The WWE website announced the release of one of its longest tenured talents. After ten years of ups and downs in the company, the WWE released Chavo Guerrero, Jr. For the first time in fifteen years, Chavo Guerrero is no longer working for a national promotion.
I think it is arguable as to whether the move was expected or a surprise. The release comes slightly a month after his disastrous match with Sin Cara at WWE Over the Limit. The match was full of mistimed moves and sloppy moves which were credited internally to Chavo. Right or wrong, the WWE had bigger expectations from Guerrero for the match. The company assumed he could work a lucha style (because you know, all Mexicans can work lucha), although he hadn’t worked lucha in decades and only did for a brief time early in his career to begin with. Unfortunately the misunderstanding looked like the final blow to a lengthy WWE career.
He had his pushes. Remember Kerwin White? Yeah, it was a pretty lousy gimmick but it really was his opportunity to stand out. That never happened. Quite frankly I think his best work as a singles came very early in his WWE career as cruiserweight champion in WCW. Unfortunately while the WWE tinkered with a cruiserweight division they never put as big of an emphasis on it as WCW did.
On paper, his biggest success as a singles star came in ECW. Chavo defeated CM Punk for the ECW world title due to interference from Edge back in January of 2008. Unfortunately that run came to a fast end, eight seconds to be exact when Kane beat him for the belt at WrestleMania 24.
He bounced around a bit after ECW between RAW and SmackDown. He was always positioned in the spot as the guy getting the new guy ready for the next step, a role very similar to Val Venis before Venis left the WWE. I did a Shoot Interview with Venis and asked him about this and he said he took it as an honor. So for those that thought Chavo was getting the short end of the stick, it was actually quite compliment.
Which brings us back to the Sin Cara disaster at Over the Limit. If Chavo’s job was simply to make the other guy look good on the way to next step, he failed with Sin Cara. In the WWE’s eyes, if he couldn’t figure it out with Sin Cara at Over the Limit 2011, he was useless. I disagree but I’ll be honest, there are dozens of other Chavo Guerreros in the WWE.
Chavo actually took what is likely a shot at Sin Cara on Twitter following his release, although I don’t understand why he just didn’t say his name. “I will never go back to the place WWE put me in. I will never go back to being under utilized and watching ppl who suck get bigger “pushes.”
I think longtime fans will likely point to the “Pepe'” gimmick in WCW as Chavo’s most memorable career moment. Eddie was mistreating Chavo at the time so Chavo took comfort in developing a psychotic relationship with a toy horse. The gimmick got over huge and he became a quick hit in WCW. Of course this was never meant to be and WCW put an end to it thanks to Norman Smiley throwing Pepe’ in the wood chipper.
I could be wrong but I think that Chavo was the longest tenured WWE wrestler to come over from the WCW merger. Even though Booker T is still there, he did leave for a while. I can’t think of anyone else from the merger that is still around, who never left.
At the end of the day Chavo Guerrero is the last guy I will shed a tear for in the WWE. The guy had full time employment for the last fifteen years between WCW and the WWE and probably made more money doing less than half of the roster that has come through the WWE in the last ten years. Quite frankly I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come back from time to time if he doesn’t latch on to TNA or ROH in the near future.
Update: According to Chavo Guerrero on Twitter he asked for his release. “Yes, it’s true. My release is the big news I was talking about. But let’s get something straight. I asked for my release. I was just tired..” – @Mexwarrior
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