Eddie Guerrero left a remarkable legacy on the wrestling world when he tragically passed away on November 13th, 2005 due to heart failure. CM Punk named him as the greatest wrestler of all time, while Ric Flair was quoted as saying he was in his top ten favorite opponents to work with. Who knows how much greater his legacy could have been if it had not been for his sudden passing.
Guerrero was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, but moved to Mexico to embark on his wrestling career. He wrestled in Mexico and Japan for several years before finally landing on ECW for good in 1995. In his first match, Guerrero won the ECW World Television Championship from 2 Cold Scorpio. Later that year, he debuted on WCW with Chris Benoit whom he wrestled with in NJPW and ECW.
The two of them debuted together in WWE in January of 2000 on an episode of Monday Night Raw. After being partnered with Chyna for most of 2000, Guerrero found himself being released by the WWE in 2001 because of his addiction to painkillers and a drunk driving arrest.
Guerrero spent a year wrestling independently against the likes of CM Punk and Rey Mysterio before he found himself back in WWE in 2002. Guerrero would turn his life around for the better. During his final three years with the company, he feuded with the likes of Mysterio, JBL, John Cena, Batista, and Brock Lesnar. Guerrero made many enemies while on the SmackDown brand, while creating some lifetime memories.
He will always be known for his signature Frog Splash and his “Lie, Cheat and Steal” attitude, but there are many facts people don’t know about the legendary Eddie Guerrero.
Here are 15 shocking facts you might not know about Eddie Guerrero.
15 He Won His First Wrestling Match At The Age Of Nine
Eddie Guerrero grew up in El Paso, Texas before beginning his wrestling career in Mexico. Although most kids like to wrestle in front of the television growing up, Guerrero did it in front of a live audience. Guerrero already had his father and three brothers in the wrestling business so he had to prove to them he belonged in the ring too. His brothers would often teach him the ins and outs of wrestling since they had a ring in their backyard.
During a show at a local carnival, Guerrero teamed up with his six-year old cousin, Chavo Jr., to take on his dad, Gory Guerrero, and his uncle. He won the match and turned a few heads not long after. It is quite a story to tell people that you began wrestling against your father at such a young age.
14 He Was The First Luchadore To Voluntarily Take Off His Mask
Guerrero began his wrestling career under the name Mascara Magica for CMLL in Mexico wearing a Luchadore Mask. Masks in wrestling have always been sacred in the Mexican culture and were supposed to be treated with the highest respect. After leaving CMLL, Guerrero joined their rival company AAA wearing the same mask but took it off before his tag team match even began.
The opposing team immediately began to attack Guerrero for breaking such a sacred tradition in Mexican wrestling. Explaining the situation, Guerrero said that he wanted to make a name for himself without having to use his family’s name to get further in the wrestling business. Guerrero would use the mask once again when he wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling under the ring name “Black Tiger.”
13 He Nearly Died In A Car Crash In 1999
During his final days with ECW, Guerrero escaped a near-death experience when his car ran into a tree. He admitted to have been going over 100 MPH driving home on New Years Day when he fell asleep at the wheel. Guerrero had been drinking the night before and may have still been drunk the next day when headed home. Within a blink of an eye, Guerrero was thrown through the roof of the car. He suffered many injuries including a broken collarbone, broken hip, compressed discs, and a lacerated liver.
Guerrero admitted the only thing to save his life that day was not wearing his seat belt. If he had, he would have been crushed just like the rest of his car. Just six months after this horrific incident, Guerrero found himself back in the middle of a wrestling ring.
12 He Secretly Met With Vince McMahon Before Joining WWE
Eddie Guerrero wrestled for different companies on and off from 1989-2000 until he finally joined the WWE early in 2000. Spending 11 years at any job can grow tiresome, but many people believe Guerrero left WCW because of a change in the WCW booker. Vicki Guerrero, Eddie’s wife, claimed that to be false saying that Eddie and Vince had been talking for months before he made the switch to Monday Night Raw.
She also said that Vince and Eddie would visit each other to discuss a potential contract, but would not speak to her about it because it was such a big deal. McMahon could have found himself in legal trouble for negotiating with a wrestler under contract with WCW, but thankfully the word never got out of the two’s secret meetings.
11 He Injured His Elbow In His WWE Debut
Eddie Guerrero made his long awaited WWE debut January 31st, 2000 on Monday Night Raw interfering in a New Age Outlaws match. The following week, he was involved in a tag team match against them with Perry Saturn as his partner. Guerrero performed his signature Frog Splash, which is mimicked by many wrestlers today, on Road Dogg. Unfortunately for Guerrero, his elbow could not handle the splash as he was thriving in pain upon impact.
Guerrero and Saturn were originally planned to win the match, but Guerrero panicked when he felt the pain in his elbow and told Road Dogg to pin him. Very rarely do we see the outcome of the match change because of an injury. Most wrestlers would rather continue fighting injured than let the fans know they can no longer compete. Because of his injury, he was sidelined for a few weeks and was placed in a program with Chyna.
10 He Was Engaged To Chyna In Storyline
Eddie Guerrero began his program with Chyna just two months after his WWE debut when he challenged Chris Jericho for the European championship the night after WrestleMania. During the match, Chyna turned on Jericho allowing Guerrero to win the championship. Afterwards, she claimed she could no longer resist the “Latino Heat”. Although they had their ups and downs as an on-screen couple, their chemistry became polarizing with the WWE Universe.
The story behind the engagement began when Chyna won the Intercontinental Championship from Trish Stratus at Summerslam. Although Eddie claimed he did not mind Chyna being the champion between the two of them, he asked to be inserted in her championship match against Kurt Angle. In the match, he accidentally pinned her to win the championship from her. The two began arguing over her shooting for Playboy leading to him going to the Mansion to stop her.
Just when we thought the relationship was over, Guerrero proposed to her and she accepted. The engagement did not last very long because of Guerrero being caught backstage with two of the Godfather’s Hos. The relationship may have been fake on-screen but produced constant interest from the WWE Universe.
9 His Daughter Wrestled In FCW
Eddie was married to Vickie Guerrero from 1990 until his untimely death in 2005. The two of them had two daughters together and the eldest, Shaul Guerrero, decided to join the family business. Although her father never got to see her wrestle professionally, he instead looks down proud as his daughter followed in his footsteps. She joined the FCW, now known as NXT, in 2010 and made her in-ring debut in February of 2011.
She made her mark in FCW while wrestling against AJ Lee and managing the Ascension in 2012. She left the company for a year and returned briefly in 2013. She left the company for good in 2014 after admitting to an eating disorder. She is currently engaged to WWE superstar Aiden English of the Vaudevillians.
8 He Had A Third Daughter Not From Vickie
Most fans know about Guerrero’s two daughters with Vickie Guerrero, but what they don’t know is that he had a third daughter while him and Vickie were separated in 2002. While separated, Eddie began dating a woman named Tara Mahoney. In their short time together, Eddie and Tarar welcomed a daughter named Kaylie Marie into the world. Eddie and Vickie soon got back together, but Eddie wanted Kaylie to feel included in the family.
Vickie promised to welcome her with open arms and treat her as if she were her own daughter. Even though things did not work out between Eddie and Tara, he remained close friends with her until his passing in 2005. Today, it is unknown whether or not Kaylie has any type of relationship with Vickie Guerrero.
7 He Couldn’t Deal With The Pressure Of Being Champion
After leaving WWE in 2001 because of an addiction to the painkillers from his car accident, he did a year on the independent scene and found his way back to the WWE in 2002. He made his way to the top tier of superstars on the roster and was plugged into a feud with Brock Lesnar for the WWE championship in 2004. He shocked the world when he took the title from Lesnar at No Way Out to win his first WWE championship title.
However, once he became champion, he found himself obsessed with the ratings and attendance numbers during his title run. SmackDown was running out of top talent because of Lesnar leaving the company and an injury to Kurt Angle after WrestleMania XX. He began to take everything personally while on the top of the company and felt there was too much pressure on him. Guerrero was instantly relieved when they took the title off of him and put it on JBL at the Great American Bash.
6 He Went Out Of His Way To Put Over JBL
JBL had been a mid-card wrestler for most of his career and did not receive his main event push until Eddie Guerrero took notice of him. JBL admitted that people were not buying his character because he was flipping back and forth between Bradshaw and then JBL wearing a cowboy hat getting world title matches. Whether it was because Guerrero didn’t want the title anymore or he genuinely wanted to help John Bradshaw, he took it upon himself to make him a main event star.
Guerrero, JBL, and Chavo would often sit around in the dressing room discussing ideas that would potentially help JBL get over with the WWE Universe. They even produced a kayfabe heart attack for Guerrero’s mother caused by JBL at a house show. If it had not been for Guerrero wanting him to succeed, JBL may not have had the long successful career he has had to this day.
5 He Fought Kurt Angle Backstage And Lost
Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle were locked in a program together that culminated at WrestleMania XX with Guerrero coming out on top. What most people don’t know is that the two fought backstage one night after a show. It was reported that Guerrero was upset with Angle for taking it to him too hard in the ring. Most wrestlers wouldn’t complain about something like that but Guerrero was still feeling the effects of his car crash in 1999.
The two were seen screaming at each other backstage when Guerrero charged at him going after his legs. Unfortunately for Guerrero, Angle had him in a chokehold in just a few seconds. Eddie admitted later it was not smart to go after the legs of someone who was an Olympic Gold medal wrestler.
4 He Was In Constant Pain The Last Year Of His Life
Most wrestlers today deal with nagging injuries from being thrown around in the ring and having to work week in and week out, but Guerrero’s injuries never seemed to go away. Besides dealing with the aftermath of his car crash, he had injuries of the back, knee, shoulder, calf, hamstring, and hip. Even though he spent a majority of his time in WWE on the trainer’s table, he never let that stop him from putting on a five star match.
At the age of 38, Guerrero had arguably the best year of his wrestling career holding the WWE Championship and being involved with guys like Rey Mysterio and Batista. No matter how great of a year it was, it would have been much more beneficial to Guerrero and his family if he had some time off to heal his body. If WWE had his body recuperate during that year, then maybe he would still be with us today.
3 He Was The Only Batista Supporter On SmackDown
Before being drafted to SmackDown, Batista made comments about the superstars on SmackDown’s work ethic, calling them lazy workers. Once he made the transition to the SmackDown roster, he obviously had a difficult time making any friends in the locker room. It also did not help his cause having a glaring affair with WWE Diva and Johnny Nitro’s girlfriend Melina. Guerrero, on the other hand, was the first one to turn the other cheek and give Batista a second chance.
The two became friends quickly and Guerrero even convinced Batista to leave a show one night to be with his daughter who was having his first grandchild. The two also showed great in-ring chemistry during their championship feud even with the blatant size difference between them. To this day, Dave Bautista calls Guerrero one of the best friends he ever had.
2 He Passed Away While Brushing His Teeth
On November 13, 2005, Eddie Guerrero was found unconscious on the floor by his nephew Chavo Guerrero Jr. after security had reported that Eddie didn't respond to his wake up call. They immediately called 911 as attempts were made to revive him, but sadly, it was too late.
Eddie is believed to have had a heart attack while brushing his teeth since they found a toothbrush still in his mouth. When paramedics arrived at the scene, he was officially pronounced dead at 38 years old. WWE would go on to hold tribute shows in his memory on both Raw and SmackDown. A few months later, he was posthumously inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
1 He Was Rumored To Face Shawn Michaels At WrestleMania 22
WWE normally plans their big PPVs months in advance and had an epic idea for WrestleMania 22. The Heartbreak Kid versus Eddie Guerrero would have been must see television. The two of them had very similar career paths and were known to be born again Christians, but never came across each other during their extended time in the company.
The WWE writers pitched the idea just a few weeks before Guerrero’s passing and the feud was expected to begin at the Royal Rumble and end on wrestling’s biggest stage. Vince McMahon loved the idea and even started ordering video promos of the two. Since the match obviously couldn’t happen, Michaels went on to face Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred match in which he won. The world can only wonder what could have been if the two faced off at WrestleMania.