Today, on what would have been Eddie Guerrero’s 53rd birthday, I’m recycling one of my favorite stories about my friend. If Eddie wasn’t wrestling’s G.O.A.T., he was very close.
Also, check out video of the best tag team you probably never saw: Los Gringos Locos. La Pareja del Terror. Eddie Guerrero and “Love Machine” Art Barr. They electrified Mexico’s AAA promotion from 1992-94. Amazing ability and chemistry. Both gone too soon. (Yes, they were actually managed by Tonya Harding. One night only.)
Eddie Guerrero was a consummate pro wrestler. He cared deeply about his performance.
His 24/7 intensity was often a giveaway.
It was April, 2002. Eddie was on a brief suspension from WWE. So brief that WWE let him keep the Intercontinental title instead of stripping him. Eddie was in Pittsburgh to wrestle future WWE superstar C.M. Punk on an International Wrestling Cartel show. Punk was IWC champ.
I had worked with Eddie in WCW, and liked him a great deal. So, I went to the Monroeville Sports Center to see the show.
Before the show, Eddie said, “I’m going back [to WWE] soon, so I want you to watch my match real close and tell me if I’m ready. Tell me the truth.”
I did as requested. Not that I wouldn’t have anyway, because Guerrero vs. Punk was one heck of a match-up. It was fast-paced, physical, had amazing psychology and excellent high spots. The bout went the time limit, then overtime. Eddie won. Brilliant stuff.
Afterwards, Eddie said, “How was it? Tell me the truth.”
So I did: “It was great, Eddie. You didn’t blow up, your timing was excellent, good facials, solid mannerisms, you felt the crowd," blah, blah, blah.
Eddie: “Look, don’t sugar-coat it. Tell me the truth. I need to know. Am I ready to go back? You need to be honest.”
Me: “Eddie, I am being honest. It was great. It was TV quality,” blah, blah, blah.
Eddie (voice rising): “ARE YOU SURE? BECAUSE I DIDN’T LIKE [THIS AND THAT], AND [THIS AND THAT] COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER. I NEED YOU TO BE ABSOLUTELY HONEST! TELL ME THE TRUTH!”
Me: “Eddie, why are you yelling at me?”
Eddie’s face collapsed into a smile, and he hugged me. But he wasn’t quite finished: “So, you’re sure it was good?”
It was. When Eddie Guerrero was involved, it was always very good. That intensity is one of the reasons we called him “Eddie the Giant.”
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