Paying tribute

This week's edition of Friday Night SmackDown was dedicated to the memory of Eddie Guerrero, who tragically passed away on Nov. 13, and several special inter-promotional matches were contested to honor the legacy of Latino Heat.

As the show began, Eddie's entrance music hit, and World Heavyweight Champion Batista came to the ring in a low-rider to pay tribute to his fallen amigo. After parking the low-rider in the entrance aisle and entering the ring, Batista said that Eddie loved his family and the sports-entertainment business, and found peace inside the ring. He knew Eddie was at peace now, and said he will make sure that no one ever forgets Eddie Guerrero. As Batista left the ring, he laid the World Heavyweight Championship on the hood of the low-rider, one final tribute to his amigo.  

In perhaps the most emotional moment of the night, Eddie's nephew Chavo Guerrero took on JBL. An emotional and fired-up Chavo dominated in the early going, but JBL caught him coming off the top rope with a fallaway slam to take control. JBL worked over Chavo, but as the fans chanted "Eddie, Eddie" over and over, Chavo nailed a tornado DDT to escape another fallaway slam attempt. Chavo then went to ringside, grabbing two chairs and throwing one into the ring. As the referee cleared the first chair, Chavo snuck the second one in. He tossed it to JBL, and in homage to his uncle Eddie, went down to act as if JBL hit him with the chair. While the referee questioned JBL's perceived actions, Chavo hit the former WWE Champion with a low blow, and delivered Eddie's signature "Three Amigos." Chavo then climbed to the top rope, and after pointing to the sky in tribute, hit his uncle's signature Frog Splash for the pinfall victory.

In the night's final contest, Eddie's best friend Chris Benoit took on Raw's Triple H. The emotional Benoit came out strong and aggressive, nearly locking The Game in the Crippler Crossface on multiple occasions. Triple H was able to escape each time, and managed to toss Benoit to the arena floor. Triple H took control of Benoit, working the back and ribs until Benoit escaped. Triple H managed to block the Sharpshooter, but Benoit responded by blocking The Game's attempt at a Pedigree. Benoit dominated from there, and his signature rolling German Suplexes led to him finally locking on the Crossface. Triple H attempted to break out of the maneuver, but as he rolled over, Benoit released his grip and caught Triple H in a modified cradle. Triple H was unable to escape, and Benoit claimed the pinfall victory. After the match, Benoit and Triple H shared an embrace, then pointed to the sky in tribute to their fallen friend. Dean Malenko, another of Eddie's best friends, joined Benoit in the ring and embraced him.

Also during the night, Matt Hardy defeated Raw's Carlito, Road Warrior Animal & Heidenreich defeated Cade & Murdoch, and Juventud won an 11-man inter-promotional Cruiserweight Battle Royal, last eliminating Paul London.

Throughout the night, various clips were shown that chronicled some of the greatest moments of Eddie's career and looked inside the personal life of one of the most beloved Superstars in WWE history. Also, several WWE Superstars also gave their thoughts on Latino Heat through a series of testimonial tributes.

JBL talked about how while he and Eddie were bitter rivals in the ring, they were the best of friends outside the squared circle. He recounted how their rivalry nearly caused riots in every city they visited, and how Eddie was always there for him when he was having problems. JBL's last wish was to see Eddie come out in the low-rider one last time.

Big Show said that Eddie was a great man and a great father, and touched upon Eddie's spirituality. Show said his only comfort is that Eddie is now in a better place where he is safe and loved, and knows there will never be another like him.

Booker T expressed his sympathies to Eddie's wife and family, and said they could always reach out to himself and Sharmell.

Mr. McMahon praised Eddie as a classic performer, and one of the all-time greats. He said that Eddie was a master craftsman at work, and loved to perform for the fans. Mr. McMahon also said that above all else, Eddie was a good man.

And finally, Shane McMahon said that the Guerreros were one of the most special multi-generation families in the business, and Eddie was the most special of the bunch. Eddie loved what he did, and left behind a great legacy. Shane said that the fans' chants of "Eddie, Eddie" will always live on inside their hearts.

As the night progressed, Eddie's low-rider remained parked in the entrance aisle, with the World Heavyweight Championship remaining on its hood; as the show went off the air, the final shot was a close-up of the championship resting there, a fitting final tribute to a man who will be remembered as a champion both in and out of the ring.

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