On October 09 we celebrated the birthday of a champion and a hero. A man known the world over as one of the greatest cruiserweight champions of all time and someone that to a man can say, they miss seeing in the ring.
We celebrate him posthumously.
Eddie’s biography read like that of a warrior and rivaled by many. Born into the Guerrero wrestling family. He wrestled in Mexico and Japan for several major professional wrestling promotions. In the United States, Guerrero wrestled in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Guerrero’s gimmick was that of “Latino Heat”, a crafty, resourceful wrestler who would do anything to win a match. His catchphrase became “I Lie! I Cheat! I Steal!,” which was used in one of his entrance themes. Guerrero partly used this phrase in his autobiography Cheating Death, Stealing Life.
Despite being a villain for most of his career, he got over in and outside the ring being the youngest, yet most popular, athletic and successful of the Guerrero brothers. Guerrero was widely regarded as one of the most respected and gifted technical wrestlers in history. Guerrero experienced various substance abuse problems outside of wrestling, including alcoholism and an addiction to painkillers. These real-life issues were sometimes incorporated into his storylines. Guerrero won 23 titles during his career, which encompassed the WWE Grand Slam Championship.
But what Eddie brought to the business was life and excitement and the belief that even the underdog can prevail.
No matter what role he played, I always loved the Guerrero character. Having watched Chavo, Hector, Mando and Chavo, Jr, there was always something electric in his performance. Whether in Texas or Georgia or even Stamford, I was never disappointed when Eddie was on screen.
When I think of past champions and the crusierweights who have graced the mats across the globe, there is very little space between Eddie and the top.
· Chris Benoit – Benoit is a two-time world champion: a one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and a one-time World Heavyweight Champion in WWE. Both of his world title reigns were represented by the Big Gold Belt: Benoit is one of only four men to have held the Big Gold Belt in both WCW and WWE, alongside Goldberg, Booker T and Big Show. He is also a record-tying five-time WCW/WWE United States Champion, having held the championship twice in WCW, and three times in WWE. He is the twelfth WWE Triple Crown Champion and sixth WCW Triple Crown Champion; he is the second of five men in history to achieve both the WWE and WCW Triple Crown Championships.
· Eddie Guerrero – No explanation needed
· Dean Malenko – He is best known for his time with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Malenko was known by the nicknames “The Man of 1,000 Holds” and “The Iceman”, the former in recognition of his technical wrestling ability, and the latter for his cold and calculating demeanor. Although never a world champion, Malenko achieved significant championship success in ECW, WCW and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE), holding multiple titles in each organization. Pro Wrestling Illustrated named Malenko the #1 wrestler in the world in 1997
· Chris Jericho – Jericho has won 30 championships between WWE, WCW, and ECW – the three most prominent American promotions in the 1990s and early 2000s. He is credited as being the first Undisputed WWF Champion, having unified the World Championship (formerly the WCW Championship) and the WWF Championship by defeating The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin on the same night in 2001. He is also the fourth WWE Grand Slam Champion and is currently the only Grand Slam Champion to have held every title in WWE.
· Daniel Bryan – Bryan is a four-time world champion: a three-time WWE Champion/WWE World Heavyweight Champion and a one-time World Heavyweight Champion. He is also a former United States Champion, had a 245-day reign as WWE Tag Team Champion as part of Team Hell No, and is a Money in the Bank winner. Danielson has headlined several major pay-per-view events for WWE, including WrestleMania XXX, and was awarded the 2013 Superstar of the Year Slammy Award. Prior to joining WWE, Bryan wrestled for various companies using both his real name and the ring name (and later nickname) “American Dragon”. He had a notable tenure in Ring of Honor (ROH), becoming a one-time ROH World Champion, and the final ROH Pure Wrestling Champion (unifying the Pure title and World title). Along with CM Punk, Bryan is one of only two men to have won the WWE, World Heavyweight and ROH World championships.
· CM Punk – Punk is a seven-time world champion, having held the ROH World Championship and ECW Championship once each, WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship three times, and the WWE Championship twice. He won the World Tag Team Championship (with Kofi Kingston) and the WWE Intercontinental Championship, making him the 19th WWE Triple Crown Champion and the fastest man in WWE history to achieve this feat, in 203 days. Between WWE and Ring of Honor (where he is a two-time World Tag Team Champion), Punk has won a total of 11 championships. He won the 2008 and 2009 Money in the Bank ladder matches (the only wrestler to win the match twice), and the 2011 Superstar of the Year Slammy Award.
· Jeff Hardy – Hardy has experienced success as a singles wrestler and is a six-time world champion, having held the WWE Championship once, the World Heavyweight Championship twice and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship three times, a four-time Intercontinental Champion (also the youngest champion to win the title), and has held the Light Heavyweight, and European Championships once each. He is also a former Hardcore Champion, having held the championship on three occasions. Between WWE and TNA, Hardy has won 22 total championships.
· Austin Aries – Aries is a five-time X Division Champion (his first reign lasting a record 301 days), one-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion, and one-time World Tag Team Champion, making him the fifth TNA Triple Crown Champion. He is also known for performing in Ring of Honor, where he became the first two-time ROH World Champion.
He was 38 years old. An autopsy revealed that Guerrero died as a result of acute heart failure due to underlying atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Guerrero’s wife Vickie Guerrero claimed that he had been unwell in the week preceding his death. On the November 30 episode of WWE Byte This!, Chavo said that Guerrero had been working hard and was at peak physical fitness as a result, doing cardiovascular and weight training exercises every day.
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