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Viva La Raza! The Eddie Guerrero Story

Modern day wrestlers are the equivalent to the gladiators of Ancient Rome. These demigods of the squared circle are held in high regard by many voracious fans who anticipate nothing but canned acting and gratuitous violence. They say that in order to make it big in the world of wrestling, you need to prove yourself worthy. One of the things that attract many people towards these ring celebrities is their unique ability to draw emotion and captivate audiences with their stories. Perhaps one of the best in the business was Eduardo Gory Guerrero Llanes, also known as Eddie to his fans.

Eddie made his debut in the WWF as a villain known as the dashing Latino Heat vying for the affections of Chyna, who he affectionately called “Mamacita.” He would later win the European Championship against Chris Jericho with a little help from Chyna. The two would continue to work as a team and proved to be quite popular among the fans. The pair were even “engaged” for a time until it was cooled off when Latino Heat was caught showering with two other women saying, “Two Mamacitas are better than one!”

On November 2001, Eddie was arrested for driving under the influence and was later released from the WWF. He would work on the independent circuit before making his wrestling debut in 2002. Guerrero made his comeback on Raw and feuded with Rob Van Dam. He would later win Van Dam’s Intercontinental Championship.

By this time, Eddie captivated audiences with his charisma and trademark grin. Audiences would forever be entertained by the star’s gimmicks, from driving his flashy customized low riders to the ring, to his ever-famous battle cry, “Viva La Raza!” Eddie would also amuse the crowd with his “lie, cheat, steal” tactics to win the match. He was always quite the creative one, even fooling the referee that his opponent had hit him with a steel chair so that he would win by disqualification. Whether he played the villain or the hero, he would always incorporate the lying, cheating, and stealing tactic.

It was in 2004 that Guerrero would win the much-coveted title of champion at No Way Out against Brock Lesnar. He would later defend the championship against Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania XX. It was a great victory when he celebrated in the ring together with his longtime friend and comrade, Chris Benoit who won the World Heavyweight Championship that night.

Sadly, Eddie’s personal life wasn’t very rosy. He was known to have an addiction to painkillers and alcohol. This addiction took its toll on his family, and was even separated from his wife, Vickie, for a time. The two later reconciled and renewed their vows. Vickie would later accept his daughter, Kayley, who was born from another woman whom Eddie had a brief affair.

Tragedy struck on November 13, 2005 when Eddie was found unconscious in his hotel room in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was pronounced dead when paramedics had rushed to the scene. Later that week, Raw and SmackDown announced that they would hold tribute matches in honor of the late great, Eddie Guerrero. Many of the wrestlers wore black armbands with the initials “E.G.” during those shows. Some of the wrestlers, like Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero dedicated their matches to him.

Eddie would later be inducted to the Wrestling Hall of Fame on April 2006 by Rey Chavo Guerrero, Mysterio, and Chris Benoit. Vickie Guerrero accepted the honor that night. Now, Latino Heat may be gone but his spirit continues to live on in many of his fans.