Until a few years ago, when the product bacame largely unwatchable, I was a big pro wrestling fan. Yes, I know it’s all fake. Thing is, though, I’m a writer, a storyteller, and that what wrestlers are. They take the time they are given in the ring, and they tell a story.
And nobody was better than Eddie Guerrero.
Whether Eddie was a face or a heel, the fans cheered him. They cheered him because they knew. He was the best there was, the perfect package of wrestling, selling, and talking. I remeber an interview he gave with his nephew Chavo, where all he did was say he had a better smile than his opponent, Edge. The promo, which lasted maybe two minutes, brought the entire house down. Eddie was that good.
And Eddie was an inspiration. For years, he battle alcohol and prescription painkillers before hitting rock bottom in Florida four years ago. When he hit bottom, with no job, a wrecked car, and zero prospects, Eddie buckled down. He found Christ and he beat his addictions. Okay, I know I’m an atheist and all, but Eddie did what he needed to do to get better.
And he was better, for four years, he was clean and sober.
And yesterday his nephew found him lying on the floor of his hotel room, his toothbrush still in his mouth.
Eddie Guerrero had died.
Eddie was 38 years old, ancient for the pro wrestling business, really. Toxicology reports won’t be back for weeks, but I’m hopeful they’ll all come back clean. In a statement yesterday, Chavo said Eddie was still clean. His heart just gave out. It’s not hard to believe.
Eddie is dead.
And the ring is empty.