November 13th, 2005: Eduardo Gory Guerrero Llanes, best known to his many fans as Eddie Guerrero, passed away.
Born October 9, 1967 in El Paso, Texas, the son of Gory and a member of the famed Guerrero wrestling family. He was an amateur comepetitor at New Mexico Highlands University before breaking into lucha libre like his father and brothers in Mexico.
He wrestled primarily for AAA, teaming with El Hijo de Santo, before turning on Santo and form La Pareja del Terror (The Pair of Terror) with Art Barr.
The two, combined with Konnan, Chicano Power, and Madonna’s Boyfriend, would form Los Gringos Locos (The Crazy Americans), openly supporting the United States in front of Mexican crowds. At When Worlds Collide 1994, he lost to Hijo de Santo and Octagon in a Hair vs. Mask match. Barr and Guerrero toured ECW together in 1995, before Art Barr’s tragic passing.
Eddie would compete briefly for ECW in 1995; in his debut bout, he defeated 2 Cold Scorpio to win the ECW World Television Championship on April 8. He would go on to have a series of matches with Dean Malenko, trading the title back and forth in a one week span. After signing with WCW, Guerrero would wrestle his final ECW bout, a time limit draw in a two out of three falls match with Malenko. The crowd gave the two an amazing ovation and chanted to them not to leave.
Guerrero made his WCW debut in the 60-man World War 3 battle royal for the WCW title, where he finished ninth. He would go on to feud with his old ECW rival Dean Malenko, who would beat Guerrero for the US title. He would then go on to dominate the WCW Cruiserweight division. At Halloween Havoc, Eddie lost the title in a mask vs. title match to Rey Mysterio. He would get it back just two weeks later, and defeated Mysterio on consecutive PPVs.
After some backstage blowups, Eddie cut a promo- demanding to be released – live on Nitro in a worked shoot, but would return a couple months later and formed the Latino World Order with the intention of getting more exposure for WCW’s Latino wrestlers. When Kevin Sullivan became the booker of WCW in January 2000, he was among a group of wrestlers that asked for and was granted their release from the company.
Guerrero joined Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and Chris Benoit in the WWF just two weeks after their release to form the Radicalz. He would then begin pursuing Chyna, calling her his ‘mamacita’. After becoming an on-screen couple, tension would lead the two to feud over the Intercontinental Championship. Chyna would win the title at Summerslam in a tag match, but Eddie won the belt from Chyna in a triple threat match;
Guerrero would eventually develop an addiction to pain medication and was sent to rehab in May 2001. He would not return for a while, however, as he was released from the company after being arrested in November for drunk driving.
Guerrero would reach the pinnacle of his career, and score one of the biggest upsets in WWE history, by defeating Brock Lesnar for the WWE title in 2004. He successfully defended the title at Wrestlemania XX against Kurt Angle. In an image that is now viewed tragically, he and longtime friend Chris Benoit celebrated his win of the World Heavyweight Championship to close the biggest show of the year.
On November 13th, 2005, Eddie Guerrero was found unconscious in his hotel room in Minneapolis. An autopsy revealed that he had died of heart failure due to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. He was just 38 years old
Guerrero is survived by his wife Vickie, his daughters Shaul, Sherilyn, and Kaylie. He had a relationship with Tara Mahoney during his separation from Vickie in the early 2000s, and the two remained friends until his death. passing, and was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame that year.