One of the most prolific families in professional wrestling history, the Guerreros have been in the business since 1937, when Gory Guerrero made his initial debut. Having worked with nearly every promotion known today, Los Guerreros have made an indelible impression on their peers, and more importantly the fans all over the world.
Today, Shaul Guerrero, also known as Raquel Diaz, Chavo Guerrero Jr., and Vickie Guerrero carry on the legacy set before them in the business of sports entertainment. These names have become synonymous with entertainment, captivating performance, and most importantly lucha. There aren’t many families that have bridged the gap between the worlds of lucha libre and “American” style wrestling quite like the Guerrero family has. Each member has held several titles, some have invented several moves, but there isn’t any questioning the fact that they all put their heart and soul into their craft.
Wrestling is a business of passion as well as performance, and Los Guerreros encapsulate that notion with the extra spice of Latino heat. You would be hard pressed to find a family more talented, outside of the Harts, the Anoa'I family, or the McMahons; although they are all on equal footing in different respects in my opinion.
Here are 15 things you probably didn’t know about the family that changed the face of wrestling.
17 Chavo Guerrero Was Never in the LWO
The LWO, or Latino World Order, was Eddie Guerrero’s version of the nWo in WCW. Almost every Latino member of the roster was a member…almost. Such names as Psychosis, La Parka, El Dandy, Silver King, Spyder, Hector Garza, Ciclope, Damien, Villano V, and Juventud Guerrera. Chavo attempted to join several times, but due to his character’s mental instability Eddie refused to allow him to join. Instead the group fought to recruit Rey Mysterio Jr., who wanted nothing to do with Eddie and his cronies. After forcing him to join as a stipulation for losing a match, Rey reluctantly came around. Still though, Chavo Jr. remains as the odd man out, having never been a member of what might’ve the largest stable of Latino wrestlers ever.
16 Chavo Was Driven “Insane” by Eddie
Ironically the reason Chavo was barred from the LWO was a result of his struggle with his own morality due to his uncle’s cheating methods. Eddie constantly would bend the rules during his matches, and Chavo was uncertain about whether or not he wanted to be like his uncle. Eventually the rift between the two would lead to Chavo falling into a state of psychosis, not related to the wrestler at all. His character became obsessed with a hobby horse that he referred to endearingly as Pepe. During a feud with Norman Smiley, Chavo would lose costing him the life of his precious Pepe who was then put through a wood chipper.
15 Gory Guerrero, A Double Entendre
Originally, Salvador Guerrero Quesada wrestled as Joe Morgan -yes, like the baseball player- but changed his moniker to reflect the bloody matches he was known for putting on. From then on, he would be known as Gory Guerrero; a calling card for all the fans who came to expect the high drama, and explicitly violent matches that are synonymous with the name Guerrero. It was a tradition even carried on by Los Guerreros, like Chavo Guerrero Sr. and Eddie Guerrero, who were also part of some of the bloodiest matches in their time. Scar tissue can be genetic I suppose, especially when your old man taught how to blade in the crib. No, no, all joking aside, like Jim Ross once said, “Blood creates drama”, and there’s nothing like a canvas run red.
14 The Gory Special
On top of being willing to draw blood in his matches, Gory also innovated several signature moves in his time. Most notably the Gory Special, a submission hold named after himself, and La de a Caballo, better known as the Camel Clutch. He created variations of the powerbomb, piledriver, and the Widow’s peak neckbreaker as well. All of these have been passed down to one member of Los Guerreros or another, but it is tradition to pay tribute to your family by using their signature maneuver, just like when Chavo Jr. began using the Frog Splash after Eddie’s passing. It is one of the ultimate signs of respect, even sometimes requiring one’s blessing to do so. Obviously in this case when it comes to family, you can take more liberties.
13 All in the Family, Aiden English
Interestingly enough, Eddie and Vickie’s daughter, Shaul Marie Guerrero, married professional wrestler Matt Rehwoldt in early 2016. You might better know him as Aiden English, one half of the Vaudevillians tag team. Both were on NXT at the same time when they became engaged in 2014. Raquel Diaz, Guerrero’s in ring name, was a NXT Diva, but has since taken time off from the professional wrestling business.
I still wonder what it would be like for Eddie and Aiden to interact within the context of WWE, assuming they would be on the roster at the same time right now. If there’s anything we know about Eddie is that family means everything to him, but he was not afraid to cross his loved ones onto the screen too. Would he have passed the torch to the Vaudevillains? One can only speculate.
12 Gobbledy Gooker
Little known fact that one of the strangest gimmicks in WWE history was played by none other than Hector Guerrero. The Gooker made its first appearance at Survivor Series 1990 after months of promotion. Not much is known as to how or why this appearance received so much hype, or why WWE thought it would be a good idea, but nevertheless it went down as one of the worst of all time. Strange that Hector would be the one to do it too, however he reprised the role in jest during WrestleMania X-Seven’s gimmick battle royal.
In 2004, then WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero made an appearance on sketch comedy show, MADtv, alongside Big Show, Trish Stratus, and Chris Jericho. The scene involved Eddie and co. beating up Frank Caliendo as Jay Leno, as he tried to make them look foolish with Aries Spears as Kevin Eubanks, looking on. It was one of the only appearances Eddie made as champion outside of WWE, other than the affiliated DVDs and video games released at the time.
10 Mascara Magica
One of Eddie’s earliest gimmicks, Mascara Magica, with Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, CMLL, became of his most controversial moments in his young career. Eddie was the first luchador to voluntarily unmask himself on camera to reveal his identity. He was immediately attacked by the opposing tag team for having done so, indicating that this was potentially a rogue move by Guerrero. Wearing a mask in lucha culture is considered sacred, but Eddie wanted to represent himself and his family by honoring his late father Gory. The truth is that CMLL owned the rights to the character Mascara Magica, and Eddie, now wrestling for a promotion called AAA, could no longer perform under that name.
9 Mando: Stuntman Extraordinaire
While having also been a wrestler himself, Mando Guerrero is well known for his work in Hollywood as an acclaimed stuntman. His list of movie credits is certainly impressive including titles such as: Miracles, Red Surf, Eve of Destruction, Falling Down, Steal Big Steal Little, My Giant, Critical Mass, Picking Up the Pieces, Submerged, and The Shrink Is In. Not to mention he has worked as a stunt coordinator for wrestling scenes due to his expertise of the craft. It’s safe to say that he had the most success in entertainment outside the realm of wrestling promotions, not that he was the only one to try.
8 Excuse Me! Am I Doing This Right?
Vickie Guerrero never planned on becoming a part of the wild world of professional wrestling, in fact she and Eddie agreed that being a stay at home mom was a priority for their family. However when the opportunity presented itself after her husband’s passing, Vickie was shot right into the vortex that is a WWE live show. Her signature catch phrase though? A total accident coincidentally. She said in an interview that there was a page and half promo she was supposed to deliver, but forgot what she was going to say midway. Out of reflex she shrieked “excuse me!” to buy herself some time. The crowd roared in retaliation, and the rest is history. Each night the reaction got louder and louder, and Vickie had herself a catch phrase.
6 17-Time NWA Americas Heavyweight Champion Chavo Guerrero… Sr!
The National Wrestling Alliance’s Los Angeles territory, also known as NWA Hollywood Wrestling, featured some legends of wrestling including: The Sheik, Fred Blassie, Rocky Johnson, Killer Kowalski, Terry Funk, Roddy Piper, Pat Patterson, and Peter Maivia. Who among those greats held the title the most? Well, that’s a rhetorical question, I already answered it. Chavo Guerrero Sr. won the strap a record 17 times during his time there. He legitimately carried the promotion through the 70s into 1980, working with everyone imaginable. He was not afraid to put people over evidently, as to win the belt 17 times you have to lose it just as many.
5 Mando Moonsault
Although Gory is known as a pioneer in the business, his second oldest son, Mando, was an innovator as well. He is credited with having created the high flying maneuver called the moonsault. This move has been varied by so many different wrestlers and has become a staple for today’s high paced, extreme athleticism era of wrestling. Performers like Chris Jericho, Ultimo Dragon, Sabu, Ricochet, John Morrison, Rob Van Dam, and so many more have taken a page out of the Guerrero playbook. Even Charlotte Flair has used the move, leaping from the top rope to the outside. She debuted a corkscrew moonsault to the outside during her main event match on RAW against Sasha Banks; only solidifying the relevance and undeniable stamp Mando left in the ring.
4 Oldest Cruiserweight Champion
Along with being the 17-time NWA Americas Heavyweight Champion, Chavo Guerrero Sr. found his way back to WWE in 2004. At 55 years of age, Chavo became the oldest Cruiserweight Champion in WWE history after defeating his son, Chavo Jr., and Spike Dudley in a Triple Threat match. He would only hold the title for no more than a month when he was defeated by Rey Mysterio Jr. That would be the last championship contention for the long and storied career of Chavo Sr., however his departure was less than pleasant. He was released the same year for no-showing several house shows for SmackDown, a low note to leave on. Still he made a return for the “Old School” version of RAW in 2010, so it’s clear the two parties have come to terms.
2 Black Tiger
Not really a secret these days, but still remarkably one of the best masked characters ever to be featured in professional wrestling, Black Tiger has been a few different people. One of those was none other than Eddie Guerrero, who was the second to don the Tiger Mask. The Tiger Mask was always reserved for gaijin, or non-Japanese, and Eddie was one of the most successful. He was a finalist in the 1994 Super Grade Junior Heavyweight Tag League, placed third in the Best of the Super Juniors in 1994 and 1995; until he won it in 1996 where he defeated Jushin Thunder Liger in the finals. He would go on to challenge the Great Sasuke a few days later, but would fall to the champion.
1 The Tradition Started Young, and I Mean Young…
I mentioned earlier that the Guerrero family entered the wrestling business in 1937, which is a long, long time ago. But did I mention when Gory Guerrero made his debut, he was only 16 years old? No? Well he was, and he was a jobber for El Rojo. It was a humble beginning for the patriarch of the legendary wrestling family, however he made friends in high places. He was trained by legendary lucha guru Diablo Velasco gaining him some much needed know-how, that then helped him win “rookie of the year” and two titles in 1945 when he began working with Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre, EMLL.
There’s so much more to know about the extensive history of Los Guerrero’s, if you really want the details I suggest you seek out one of the many autobiographies available like Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story. With Eddie’s birthday having just passed not too long ago, it’s important that we remember what the charismatic cheater lived by. Take pride in what you do, bend but don’t break the rules, and enjoy every moment of it. Viva la raza!