The career of Eddie Guerrero

The storied career of Eddie Guerrero

Eddie Guerrero was born into Mexico's first family of professional wrestling in 1967. The son of the legendary Gory Guerrero, it was only natural that Eddie, along with his three older brothers, would pursue a career in sports-entertainment. With wrestling flowing through his veins, Eddie began his in-ring training at a very young age. In fact, Guerrero had mastered the dropkick by his third birthday.

 

Eddie moved from his family's backyard ring to the professional circuit in 1987 when he debuted as "Mascara Magica" or "Magic Mask" in Mexico. After teaming with his brothers, Guerrero broke out on his own, crafting his skills in the lucha libre world. Eddie then moved on to Japan, wrestling as Black Tiger. It was there that Guerrero first met good friend Chris Benoit.

 

After moving back to Mexico full time, Eddie began teaming with El Hijo del Santo, who was the son of Gory Guerrero's long-time associate El Santo. Eddie and Santo eventually broke up, with Eddie forming a duo with Art Barr. The pair would feud with Santo in one of the most heated rivalries in lucha libre history, which culminated in Guerrero and Barr losing a hair vs. mask match to Santo and Octagon in November 1994.

 

Eddie then moved on to ECW, where he gained his first full exposure in the United States. Not long after his ECW debut, Guerrero defeated 2 Cold Scorpio for the ECW Television Championship, a title he held twice before moving to WCW. Guerrero's ECW stay will always be remembered for the amazing match he had with Dean Malenko before leaving the promotion. After the match, which many consider to be one of the greatest ECW matches ever, the crowd showed their appreciation for Guerrero by giving him a standing ovation.

 

Guerrero spent four years competing in WCW. While there, he was a part of numerous memorable rivalries with the likes of Booker T, Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko, Ric Flair and nephew Chavo.

 

On Dec. 29, 1996, Guerrero defeated Diamond Dallas Page in the finals of a tournament to crown a new United States Champion. He also went on to capture the Cruiserweight Championship on two separate occasions before leaving WCW.

 

On Jan. 31, 2000, four new faces showed up on Monday Night RAW and shocked the sports-entertainment world. They were former WCW wrestlers Benoit, Malenko, Perry Saturn and Eddie Guerrero -- The Radicalz. The faction immediately got involved in a match between the New Age Outlaws and Al Snow & Steve Blackman, marking the beginning of Guerrero's amazing WWE career.

 

Over the next five years, Eddie Guerrero overcame many obstacles to reach the top. In his first WWE match against the Outlaws, Eddie suffered a dislocated elbow, but returned to action in a short time. On April 3, 2000, he claimed his first piece of WWE gold, defeating Chris Jericho to win the European Championship. He would go on to win that championship one more time in 2001.

 

After The Radicalz went their separate ways, Eddie began a relationship with his "Mamacita," Chyna. In fact, it was Chyna that Eddie defeated in September 2000 to claim the Intercontinental Championship. After their split, Eddie's demons got the best of him. He subsequently took time off from the ring in 2001 to deal with his personal issues.

 

Upon his return in 2002, Eddie's career skyrocketed to new heights. He won the Intercontinental Championship again in May 2002, this time from Rob Van Dam. Eventually, Eddie moved to SmackDown where he teamed with nephew Chavo to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship. He would win that championship three more times, as well as the United States Championship, but his greatest moment came in February 2004.

 

On Feb. 15, 2004 in San Francisco, Guerrero defeated Brock Lesnar at No Way Out to become WWE Champion. He had reached the pinnacle of the industry, and went on to headline WrestleMania XX against Kurt Angle. No one will ever forget the scene at the end of the show, when Eddie joined long-time friend Benoit in the ring to celebrate moments after Benoit won the World Heavyweight Championship.

 

Eddie later formed an alliance with another old friend, Rey Mysterio, and the duo would win the WWE Tag Team Championship in early 2005. This was Eddie's final run as a champion, as the duo split up after WrestleMania 21 and began a bitter rivalry, highlighted by numerous breath-taking matches.

 

At No Mercy on Oct. 9, 2005, Eddie's 38th birthday, Eddie squared off against a new amigo, Batista. He was unable to win the World Heavyweight Championship from the Animal, but their friendship was cemented when Batista led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to Latino Heat afterwards. A little more than one month later, Guerrero competed in his final televised match on the Nov. 11 edition of Friday Night SmackDown where he defeated Mr. Kennedy.

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