When Eddie Guerrero died in 2005, he was arguably one of the hottest superstars in the WWE. Before his tragic death, the charismatic Tejano proved that you didn’t need to be a 6’5″ beast like The Rock or Randy Orton to become a beloved WWE champ. More than a decade after Guerrero’s death, the legendary status of “Latino Heat” has continued to grow. So of course when the WWE 2K franchise decided to name their latest DLC “Legends Pack,” Eddie Guerrero was front and center on the line-up.
In a trailer for WWE 2K17’s “Legends Pack,” we see Latino Heat in classic form.
During the era of “Latino Heat,” Eddie was the villain fans loved. His slogan was meant to make him sound like a bad guy, but fans loved repeating the words: “I lie! I cheat! I steal!” Guerrero’s ring entrances featured bouncing low riders that proudly flew Mexican flags. He taunted the crowd as he made his way to the ring. People loved every minute of it.
While fans ate up his con-artist charisma, Eddie’s ring ability was the real deal. The popularity of “Latino Heat” pushed him all the way to a championship match with Brock Lesnar, where they fought in one of the most spectacular championship matches of all time. When Eddie finally walked away with the win, it was a win for everyone in that arena, and those watching around the world.
WWE 2K17’s “Legends Pack” brings Eddie, as well as a few other fan favorites, back into the squared circle.
Today marks 14 years since the untimely passing of Latino wrestling icon Eddie Guerrero. Many fans can remember the exact moment when they heard the news that the 38-year-old wrestler was found unconscious in his hotel room. It was untimely and it came out of nowhere.
For me, it was the first huge celebrity death I could recall that emotionally affected me. I was just 10 years old at the time but it felt like I lost a family member that I never met. Guerrero was one of the few wrestlers that embraced his background and spoke Spanish in the ring. He turned stereotypical Latino gimmicks like his ‘Lie Cheat & Steal’ persona into his own. More than a decade after his death, his legacy shines brighter than ever and is an icon not only in the world of wrestling but for Latinos.
Eddie Guerrero passed away on November 13, 2005. It was a day many wrestling fans can remember as an end of an era for a star that left way too early.
To understand the importance of Eddie Guerrero you must start with his humble beginnings as a young wrestler. As part of the legendary Guerrero wrestling family, Eddie followed in the footsteps of his brothers and father and went to Mexico to wrestle. After a few years in the indie wrestling scene, Eddie would make his way through New Japan Pro Wrestling ( NJPW), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW), wearing multiple championship belts along the way.
It was in WWE that Eddie made that big leap to wrestling stardom. He enjoyed success in the company in the early 2000s but that would come to an end when he was arrested for drunk driving on November 9, 2001. The company would release Guerrero just three days later. He would use this as motivation to make an eventual return to WWE, who rehired him a year after his arrest. This second chance was an opportunity for Eddie to not only prove to himself but to fans that he could live up to his name that for years followed him.
Thanks in part to his unmatched charisma and lovable personality, Eddie quickly became a fan favorite in 2003. Teaming up with his nephew Chavo, they formed the tag team Los Guerreros and became a force in the company. The duo embraced common Latino cliches and produced skits that showcased their unique personalities. Whether it was the “Latino Heat” persona or him coming out to the ring in a shiny low rider, Eddie became a star in just a few years in the company and Latino fans like myself connected to him. Maybe it was that he sounded like us or that he looked like he could have been your uncle. Either way, he was becoming a star right before our eyes.
Eddie reached the pinnacle of his wrestling career on on February 15, 2004 when he defeated Brock Lesnar to become WWE champion.
Eddie became WWE champion by defeating Brock Lesnar in what would become the signature match of his career. It’s a day that stands alone in the world of wrestling and a moment that you can argue stands up there with other Mexican-American sport achievements. It was significant because of how far Eddie had fallen just a few years earlier and how he was a heavy underdog entering the match. While his title reign would only last a few months, Eddie had become a household name and was revered like no other Latino wrestler was in years.
Unfortunately, things would change over the next year for Eddie as his role as a main event wrestler changed. In 2005, Eddie become tag team champions with another rising Latino star in Rey Mysterio and even later feud with him. By the end of the year, his dark past would return. Eddie was found unconscious in his hotel room by his nephew Chavo. When paramedics arrived at the scene, Eddie was already declared dead. It would later be known that he had died due to the result of acute heart failure.
The wrestling world was left with a huge void that many argue is still being felt today. Fans pay tribute every year to the legacy of one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
At the time of his death, Twitter didn’t exist and the only place where wrestling fans could find out about his passing were blogs. I logged onto WWE.com on that Sunday afternoon to see the words “Eddie Guerrero October 9, 1967 – November 13, 2005.” Like other fans, I couldn’t believe the news that one of the greatest wrestlers in the sport was gone. More importantly, Eddie was one of our own and he represented Latinos every time he took to the ring. That’s why 14 years later the name Eddie is relevant to so many and is celebrated annually.
Many took to Twitter to pay tribute to Eddie and speak about the impact he had on their lives. One person wrote “I am not who I am without you. 14 years and I still remember you like you never left. To the man that gave me purpose, gave me hope – I can never repay you. Rest peacefully, always.”
“I remember Eddie beating Brock Lesnar for the championship belt. One of the happiest moments in my childhood. The day Eddie died, I cried. One thing he always did was represent our heritage and culture. My favorite wrestler of all time. #VivaLaRaza“, another fan wrote.
There is no further proof of the impact that Eddie Guerrero has had on the lives of many people still today. In a day and age where Latino representation is needed more than ever, Eddie represented the best of us. He showed the power of second chances and the ability to resonate with fans who weren’t like him.
He was and will always be a legend in our eyes. Viva La Raza!
After her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career came to an end, fans were uncertain about Ronda Rousey’s path moving forward – until recently.
The former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter made her WrestleMania debut this weekend alongside professional wrestler Kurt Angle. WrestleMania is an annual event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which consists of several matches for competing titles. This year was WWE’s 34th annual WrestleMania event and although it was Rousey’s very first time competing in the WWE ring, she impressed the audience with her savage win against wrestlers Stephanie McMahon and Triple H.
As soon as Rousey got tagged into the ring by her partner Angle, the TV show commentators exclaimed, “Here comes Rousey! Call the cops!”
Rousey did not give McMahon a single break in the ring.
What made WWE fans even more excited about this match, was the moment Rousey cornered and socked Triple H as if he was a punching bag.
In Rousey’s defense, people explained that although WWE consists of choreographed matches, they’re still not easy and actually take a lot of training.
CREDIT: @rondarousey / Instagram
In a post interview Rousey’s partner and mentor Angle expressed how proud and optimistic he felt about Rousey’s future with sports entertainment. “That’s her first match and look how she blew the roof off the joint. Ronda has a big future here. This is what she was meant to do,” Angle said.
Similarly, Rousey expressed her gratitude for this opportunity in an interview with ESPN. “I thought I would never say this, but I’m so happy I lost those fights [to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes] because it led me here. This is so worth it,” Rousey said.
Rousey’s future with WWE is not set in stone, but fans can’t wait to see her grow as a professional wrestler if she continues on this path.