When it comes to wrestlers who have left a legacy on the world of wrestling, there may not be a family that has had a bigger impact than the Guerreros. Eddie and his nephew Chavo both had a tremendous impact in the WWE and their family heritage speaks to the passion that wrestling carries in their family.
Eddie Guerrero was a tremendous athlete, who seemingly was always able to muster the energy needed to put on a show that got people excited. Throughout his wrestling career, Eddie held 23 different championships. Whether you loved or hated him, there was no doubting the charisma that Guerrero elicited every time he entered the arena.
Eddie’s career could have been longer, but he, unfortunately, passed away at the age of 36. The cause of death was revealed to be an acute heart failure that was brought on by underlying atherosclerosis cardiovascular disease. The death shocked the WWE community, but while Eddie is gone, his legacy remains a large part of many wrestling fans' best memories.
Here are 10 things you may not have known about Eddie Guerrero. If you are curious, feel free to also check out 10 shocking facts you didn’t know about Chris Benoit.
10 The Amount Of Pain He Was In
When it comes to being a professional wrestler, you are putting your body through hell on a nightly basis. Sure, you’re entertaining millions, but at the expense of almost every single part of your body. As Eddie was getting older, especially during the last year of his life, he was reportedly in such severe agony that he would rarely be seen outside of the trainer room/trainer table. It’s clear he loved to wrestle, but it’s heartbreaking to know how much it hurt him to do it.
When Eddie was 32, he did an interview in which he talked about his physical condition:
“I live with it. Right now it’s raining up here, so I have pain. It’s like arthritis pain. I have three compressed vertebrae in my back that give me problems sometimes. I’ve had reconstructive surgery on my shins and calves. I lost a little bit of my calf. But gosh, just to be able to be working again, and to be alive.”
Sorry about that last sentence. I know it's sad.
9 He Once Wore A Mask
When Eddie first started out wrestling, it was under the ring name ‘Mascara Magica’ in the CMLL foundation. The foundation owned the trademarked image, but Guerrero did not keep the mask for long. During a televised AAA show, Guerrero voluntarily removed his mask. This made him the first luchador to do such an act. Others, such as Rey Mysterio, can be seen wearing a mask for most (if not their entire) career. Though, if Eddie was going to have the same mustache that he did as a member of the L.W.O., a mask may have been a good idea!
8 His Friendship With Art Barr
For those who are unfamiliar with the name Art Barr, he was a wrestler in the late 80s and early 90s, who spent some time in the WCW. He was Eddie’s best friend, but he unfortunately passed away at the age of 28. While the cause of death was originally unknown, there are reports that it could have been a heart attack in his sleep that was a result of potential steroid use. The death obviously impacted Eddie, and when asked about him, he stated:
“I think about him all the time. That’s why I called my Low Rider the Love Machine in tribute to him.”
Truly a special tribute to a man who meant a lot to Eddie.
7 His Incident With Eric Bishoff
There was obviously some animosity between Eric Bischoff and Eddie Guerrero towards the end of Guerrero’s tenure in the WCW. A story came out about when Eddie went to Bischoff and demanded to be released by the WCW. Bischoff, furious at the request, allegedly knocked a cup of coffee off his desk and it splashed on Eddie. The incident got overblown, and ended up being talked about on the air as well during a storyline.
6 He Fell Asleep At The Wheel
Eddie was clearly a huge car fan. Who else would drive their car to a ring? Yet Eddie got into a significant car accident back in 1999 that ended up taking him out of the ring for a total of six months. The incident could have been much worse, but Eddie was fortunate to survive. When asked about what happened on that night, he recalled that he fell asleep at the wheel:
“Yes. I had never gotten a ticket for anything. I think I was overtired and had a long road trip. I had gone for breakfast. It was New Year’s Day, and I had forgotten the store was closed. I went up the road eight miles to a 7-11, and coming back, the tiredness hit me, and I guess I fell asleep and my foot pressed the gas, and here we go. I was shot out 100 feet through the top of the car. What saved me, and I don’t want to promote this because I should have been wearing it, but what saved me was not wearing my seat belt. If I had worn my seat belt, in that car, I would have been crushed because the car was totally demolished. That’s how bad it had tumbled. The only thing that saved me was that I was shot through the T-top. I know I’m here by the grace of God.”
Talk about getting out by the skin of your teeth!
5 He Had A Hair Vs Hair With Chavo
One of the great things about watching Eddie wrestle was that you would often be able to see his nephew Chavo somewhere close by. While they had some great matches as a team, they also had some great feuds. A storyline in 1998 saw Chavo being forced to be Eddie’s slave, but over the course of a few weeks Chavo got tired of it (shocker). They eventually settled things in a Hair vs. Hair match, which was won by Eddie. It’s a good thing too, because Eddie had some fantastic looking hair! At least they were able to get over it and ended up forming a successful tag team!
4 His Thoughts On The Latino Heat Gimmick
When you think Eddie, it’s only natural to think of his classic trademark of how he would lie, cheat and steal his way to victory by any means necessary. Guerrero played heavily into what a lot of people found to be over-stereotyping of the Latino population. Guerrero disagreed with those who feel it was stereotyping:
“I don’t think it’s stereotyping. That’s like you saying that to Cheech Marin. How can you stereotype a guy? We are what we are. I’m a Mexican-American. I am an Hispanic. I talk like this right now, but a lot of guys have that accent, you know. I mean, hey, I grew up with those guys…..Let’s face it. America is a melting pot. If you want to say who the true Americans are, it’s the native Indians. I crossed a river. You guys crossed an ocean."
There is no doubting how awesome he looked driving the low riders to the ring though!
3 He Hurt His Elbow In His Debut Match
Eddie Guerrero was not happy staying at WCW, so when there was a chance to go to the WWE, he took it. When Eddie made his start in the WWE, it was alongside Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn and Chris Benoit. Together, they formed the group known as The Radicalz. Unfortunately, Eddie hurt his elbow when he was attempting a Frog Splash Finisher, a move he went on to use his entire career, much to the dismay of his opponents, such as Booker T. The debut came as a shock to the announcers, as the four men came over the barricade and didn’t work for the WWE to lay the smack down on The Road Dogg. Perhaps, partially due to the injury, Eddie went onto start a feud with Chyna.
2 He Was Engaged To Chyna
Granted, this didn’t happen in real life, but there was a storyline in which he was engaged to Chyna. The two even had a cute little trade off of the Intercontinental Championship, in which Eddie accidentally pinned her to win the title in a triple threat match. Unfortunately, the relationship did not last, partially due to the fact that Eddie got jealous that Chyna was posing for Playboy, which even resulted in Eddie “going to the mansion to stop the photoshoot.” The relationship finally came to an end when Eddie was caught sleeping with two other women on the show.
1 He Wrestled In The First Ever Ring Of Honor Match
Eddie Guerrero may be best known for his time in the WWE, but it was far from the only federation of which he was a part. In 2001, Guerrero spent time in rehab for an addiction to pain medication. After completing rehab, Guerrero was unfortunately arrested for drunk driving and released from the company. This lead to a unique opportunity for Eddie, as he ended up wrestling in the first ever Ring of Honor show. While ROH is not huge, it’s still a respectable wrestling federation. Eddie’s first match went against Super Crazy and ended with Eddie losing after Super Crazy rolled him up for an unexpected pin.