Squared Circle Reviews: Update & Eddie

Douglas Nunnally


Hey guys. I know you haven’t heard from me in a while now and I apologize. At first, I had a lot of side projects going like my new forums and magazine I recently took over, and then the news hit this weekend about Eddie Guerrero. I’ll get to Eddie Guerrero in a little bit, but first I want to tell you guys the future of “Squared Circle Reviews.”

Now, I know you guys have not heard from me since the 26th of last month and I apologize. I will be returning soon though, but let me tell you that I am going to be reviewing only a few things from the past few weeks. I will be reviewing the NWA-VA Star City Slamfest, TNA Bound For Glory, WWE Taboo Tuesday, and TNA Genesis. After that, I will be picking up with Raw this coming Monday. I will not be reviewing individual shows from the past couple of weeks and especially not reviewing SD or Raw this week. Why? Very simple: I don’t want to. Shows like those two this week are just so full of emotion that I really do not think I can bring myself to “review” the show. Even more, what can I say? How can I not give a star wrestler rating to someone just trying to honor Eddie Guerrero? I can’t and I won’t. Raw and SD are just too emotional for me to even think about reviewing. Episodes like that don’t need it. Reviews are supposed to show people whether a show is good or not; shows like these don’t need explanation. They are a tribute to a great wrestler and that should be the review you need of the show.

Now onto Eddie Guerrero.

Wow.

What do I say?

Well, I don’t want to right now. Later this week, I’ll be chronicling Eddie Guerrero in my column series “Column O’ Nonsense” and I have already done a tribute radio show on Eddie Guerrero which you can listen to by clicking here. I really suggest you listen as we went over Eddie’s whole career, answered questions on Eddie, played some great music to reflect on his life, read fan testimonials on Eddie, and so much more. It was easily one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also one of the most prestigious honors. For me to speak on a man and wrestler to the level of Eddie Guerrero, that is one of the biggest honors I think I will ever have.

Now, to end this little whatever-you-wanna-call-it, I thought it’d be better to show you past quotes of “Squared Circle Reviews” on Eddie Guerrero. I think it will prove just how amazing of a worker Eddie Guerrero was in his prime and how none of the praise he is getting right now is because of his death. I promise I will be more poignant in my column later this week, but I feel this is the best way for this review series to honor Eddie’s memories.

Note: This next part is very long, but in memory of Eddie, it should be.

WWE Summerslam – August 21, 2005:

Ladder Match

Winner Gets Custody Of Dominick


Eddie Guerrero Vs. Rey Mysterio

Eddie comes out playing the best heel in the business today. He sees Dominick with the social worker and he plays with his hair a bit and the kid, as always, looks like he’s going to cry. I think he actually looks like that in real life, which if he does, it’s pretty sad on more than one level. Rey’s music hits to a mediocre pop. I expected more for the masked lucha. A lot more. Anyway, this should be good, very good. Rey exchanges word with his son and kisses him, and this match has what most lack today: emotion. Whether or not you like the story, it’s got emotion. Cole is doing a great job of selling the angle too. Best commentating I think he’s ever done, which is a big compliment coming from me seeing as how I don’t have that many bad things to say about Cole. He’s decent at what he does, in my opinion, and never really gets on my nerves like some other announcers. Anyway, Eddie goes out to Dominick and tries to one up Rey. That’s one of the things I like about this one. Eddie and Rey play off each other so well and are able to tell a story. I literally think that if Rey and Eddie had to sell the fact that Rey borrowed a broom from Eddie and never gave it back and they had the broom with a social worker, Eddie & Rey could make it work and make it work better than the other stuff on TV. I said it once and I’ll say it again: Rey and Eddie show more character and emotion in their eyes than the whole WWE Roster does in a week. I honestly hope the boys backstage are taking notes.

Anyhow, Rey and Eddie start it off by playing to the crowd and exchanging some words. Eddie eventually cheap shots Rey and takes control early on. He starts to work the back with some thrusts into the turnbuckle and then a vertical suplex. Mysterio comes with a semi-botched monkey flip that was kind of pathetic considering Rey has been doing that move for a while. Eddie ducks out of the ring and plays possum for Rey. As soon as Rey ducks out too, Eddie slams him hard into the steps and the ladder that is set up in the ramp. Action continues as Eddie sets up the ladder and goes up for it, but Rey springboard dropkicks him off. Eddie and Rey then start to fight over a second ladder. Eddie and Rey fight over the ladder until Eddie literally hurls the ladder at Rey. The two then fight it out some more before Rey finally hits a baseball slide onto the ladder into Eddie. Great spot, although you knew it was coming as soon as Eddie brought the second steel one into play. As Eddie arises, Rey jumps up and hits a huge senton to Latino Heat himself. Rey gets in the ring and starts to climb the ladder, but Eddie catches up to him on the other side. Eddie and Rey start to fight on the top for a while. A little longer than I expected. In most ladders, the guys fight on the top with two or three punches and do a spot, but Rey and Eddie wrote it out like a real story. Desperation. Eddie then went for a sunset flip, but botched it a little. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Eddie involved with a ladder and him not do a sunset flip. Kind of weird that he botched it too, but then again, most of Eddie’s other opponents are in the 200 range, not late 100s, so maybe Eddie had a hard time with the difference.

Eddie gets the ladder and starts to ram it onto Rey who turns limp like a rag doll. It works since Rey looks like a doll at some times in comparisons to the other workers. Rey’s size will always be a hindrance, no matter how many other small guys make it big. Eddie finally gets that other ladder into the ring and Eddie chucks it at Rey. Rey collapses as Eddie sets up the ladders for a RVD Ladder Match deja vu. He sandwiches Rey in between two ladders and then hits his catapult somersault senton. Good spot, but once I’ve seen it in one match, it’s tainted. Eddie then takes one of the ladders and sets it up going for the gold, or papers in this matter. Rey pushes the ladder off of him in the corner and makes a ramp from the corner to the other ladder. Rey starts to crawl on the ramp to the other one and when he gets there, he and Eddie start to battle again. Rey then gives a huge back body drop to Eddie onto the ladder ramp. Now that is one spot that will always stick out in my mind. I love the use of a ladder ramp like at Wrestlemania 21. You can do so much more with it. Rey gets up first of the two and goes up the ladder, but Eddie dropkicks him back down, and like most of the matches, it’s been Eddie carrying the offense workload with Rey getting the underdog spots here and there. Not bad on anyone’s part, just stating the obvious. Eddie sets up the ladder on the top rope and it looks like he is trying to whip Rey into it head first, but Rey starts to mount some offense. Eddie counters it though by lifting up Rey and slamming him ribs first into the ladder. Whoa, brutal spot. Reminded me of last match too.

Eddie starts to climb the ladder, but Dominick hops the rail and tries to push the ladder over. Of course, he’s not strong enough and a surprised Eddie hops down and confronts him. Probably the funniest moment in television this year happened, and it kept me in stitches all night long. Eddie started screaming at Dominick for doing that and tops it off by screaming, “Give me a hug!” It’s like some ghetto guy just yelling at his ho and then screaming, “Give me a hug, bitch!” It was hilarious to me. Maybe I’m easily amused. As Eddie spends his time with Dominick, Rey mounts his comeback. He sets up a ladder on the ropes and the two fight for the next phase. Eventually, Eddie tries to send Rey into it, but Rey counters it and then hits the 619 onto the ladder onto Eddie. He then drops the dime onto the ladder onto Eddie. Two very obvious spots that I didn’t think would happen because I didn’t think the story would allow Rey that much offense. Didn’t make it any less of a great thing though. Rey then climbs the ladder, but Eddie comes up from underneath him and goes for the Electric Chair, but Rey reverses it into a powerbomb in a true “holy shit” fashion. Rey then starts to climb the ladder and gets to the briefcase, but Eddie kicks the ladder out from under him. Rey is now just dangling from the ladder and eventually drops as Eddie catches him with a power move of some sort. To be honest, I missed it, but the selling and the impact on the ring hit hard. Cole called it a spinebuster which could mean anything from a powerslam to a lariat these days. Eddie then positions the ladder right on top of Rey pinning him down as he climbs up. He taunts Rey from the top and Rey tries to wiggle out. He keeps trying. He keeps trying. Eventually, he gets out and knocks the ladder out and Eddie is now dangling. You can really tell that was spot gone awry. Rey then grabs the leg of Eddie and pulls him down, and Eddie starts to curse excessively. It may be because of the blown spot or the fact that in character, Eddie had it won. It’s hard to tell with Eddie’s character, but either way, it was good.

Rey starts to climb towards the ladder, but Eddie catches him and hits the Three Amigos to the legendary cruiser. The last of the three connects right onto the ladder and I really am wondering what is left at this point. It’s been amazing thus far. Guerrero then goes to set up the ladder but Vicki runs down. Whoa, I really didn’t think she would get involved in the match itself. As Eddie is on the top, he argues with his wife who then pushes him off. What the hell! Rey starts to climb the ladder, but Eddie gets close. Vicki holds him off though as Rey climbs his way to victory! Wow! What a freakin’ match!

Winner: Rey Mysterio

Star Wrestler: Eddie Guerrero

This was by far the best ladder match I have ever seen. It had some dry points and some blown spots, but still, it beats out Jericho-Benoit from the Rumble in 2000 as the best I have ever seen. Some of the stuff they did like the Electric Chair counter and the ramp bump were just amazing, and the story they intertwined it fit. You don’t see many stories in ladder matches. Actually, you just don’t. It’s all spots. This wasn’t. Now, in all of their other great matches, I can’t really put emphasis on one person over the other, but in this one, Eddie Guerrero made it work. Face it, Rey is small. Working with a ladder that he can barely carry doesn’t do much for the match, but Eddie made it work. He sold to Rey well, he carried him through the spots, and he accentuated all the best things each of them had. Eddie cemented why he is the best worker bar none in pro wrestling today.

From WWE SmackDown! House Show – August 22, 2005:

Winners: Batista, Rey Mysterio, & Chris Benoit

Star Wrestler: Eddie Guerrero

The crowd would have been completely dead had it not been for Eddie shouting at them and just being the great worker he was. In the land of mediocrity that was this match, Eddie was god. Again, it may be me just overrating another of my favorites but I love Rey and Benoit too and you don’t see me tooting their horn. In fact, Benoit was definitely phoning in his performance shy the Germans and Crossface.

From WWE SmackDown! – September 30, 2005:

Winners: Legion Of Doom

Star Wrestler: Eddie Guerrero

Without Eddie’s work ethic, comedy, and character, the match probably would have been horrible. I swear Eddie could work a match with a broom and have the crowd into at this point. He is the best worker on the planet and I would be damn foolish not to give him this nod.

From WWE SmackDown! – October 7, 2005:

They do a video recap of the No Mercy press conference. The Batista-Guerrero exchanges here were just pure gold. If Flair/Benoit can put over a broomstick, I think Guerrero could literally trick an audience into believing a broomstick is God. I am dead serious. Guerrero is perhaps one of the greatest all around wrestlers ever and definitely the best in WWE today.

Batista and Eddie also locked up in this one and it was pretty good too with Eddie’s comedy taking it to a good level. Eddie’s comedy though didn’t turn it into a comedic match, a style of match that has no place in the main event. It was subtle and sparse which is something a lot of comedic wrestlers (cough-MECW-wrestlers-cough) have a bad habit of comprehending. Finish came when Eddie saved Batista from two moves. First, he held the ropes down so JBL fell to the outside coming off the ropes trying to deliver his finishing move. Then, he pointed out to Batista that Christian was on the top rope. Batista caught Christian then and hit the Spinebuster for the win. This was a great way to put over Eddie as a sneaky heel as he sacrificed his own team’s loss just to get the upper hand in Batista thinking Eddie would be his “friend.” Great booking plot.

Winners: Batista, Chris Benoit, & Rey Mysterio

Star Wrestler: Eddie Guerrero

Eddie Guerrero is pure gold. His antics were gold. His heel characteristics that he hid from Batista were gold. His exchanges with Benoit were gold. His selling from Batista was gold. Overall, like I said, Eddie Guerrero is just pure gold. No explanation needed.

From WWE No Mercy – October 9, 2005:

WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Batista (c) Vs. Eddie Guerrero

This was a great match and another match of the year contender. I would rank this one better than the casket match earlier and as much as I love Taker, I have to admit I’m glad this one was better. It’s time the main event of the night starts being the best match of the night again. Eddie was on fire tonight with everything he did and it was literally like a better version of the Rey-JBL match from earlier with Eddie flying around the ring and using his agility to his advantage. Batista was great in this match too like controlling the beginning of the match with just simple headlocks that worked so well. All through the match, Eddie kept going for the chair and other cheating ways, but then he would look confused and then put it down and go about wrestling as a face. He even used this to get the advantage on Batista and start to work his back. Eddie in control of the match was golden too as he was able to work the back and other parts of the body and have it make sense. In regard to JBL doing it earlier, he kind of tried to work the head and back with his offense (ending with the clothesline), but he failed because his holds only focused on the back. Eddie was able to take every opening and incorporate into his back working on Batista. For instance, Eddie would hit a dropkick to the jaw to knock Batista, but then he would lock in a body scissors to work the body as well as a rear chin lock to work the body part he just hit. It was pure gold. As much as I love Eddie in 2005, I really don’t think you have to explain why he’s one of the best, if not the best, workers in the world right now. When he does stuff like that, arguments and debates just dissolve away. Even more, most wrestlers will ditch their psychology once their opponent stops selling it, but Eddie kept going after it with the Three Amigos and the pin attempts that would have torqued Batista’s back more. God, this was a great match. The finish came when Batista ducked out of the Frog Splash and got the Spinebuster onto Eddie for the win. That didn’t sit too well with me because it seemed a bit to anti-climatic to just have all that action and then one move take out Eddie. I think Batista should have definitely followed that up with the Batista Bomb, but then again, having him win with just a Spinebuster plays to Batista’s power (his biggest asset) more. I was truly torn on the ending to the match, but whether it was bad or good, it doesn’t do anything to change the fact that this match was spectacular.

Winner: Batista

Star Wrestler: Eddie Guerrero

Eddie Guerrero carried Batista to a match of the year contender and easily Batista’s best match ever. His psychology was firing on all cylinders and he was able to incorporate that with the storyline of being a changed man. Eddie is gold right now and I understand why he didn’t win the title tonight. If he doesn’t win it at Survivor Series, WWE will be missing the boat on the best thing they have in their promotion today. Eddie definitely rules. No doubt about it in this reviewer’s mind.

From WWE Velocity – October 15, 2005:

After that, they show the recap of Guerrero-Orton from SmackDown! I actually missed SmackDown! on Friday due to pure fatigue. I’m going to assume it was great match due to Eddie Guerrero; but in WWE, you really can never know. I do like the storyline Batista-Eddie have going on though, so I think it’s safe to assume that it got furthered well. They then announce the main event for next week’s SmackDown!, and like tonight’s main event coming up, it looks horrible on paper.

From WWE SmackDown! – October 21, 2005:

It’s good acting by Eddie as always, but I preferred when Eddie was a conflicted tweener as opposed to this garbage. Eddie better turn heel at Survivor Series or WWE will have ruined the best thing they have going for them. Eddie will be a great worker no matter what, but mental Eddie was firing on all cylinders.

Winners: Batista & Eddie Guerrero

Star Wrestler: Eddie Guerrero

Let’s just assume that for now on; any time there is a HBK or Eddie match, they will be the star wrestler. As far as I’m concerned, these two have done no wrong this whole year and can do no wrong. They are the epitome of the total package, and you know Luger is not meant in that. To justify my claims, Eddie’s selling and his take down of Orton/Kennedy in the opening was great. Eddie was showing Orton just exactly how to throw an uppercut right. In the end, good match, but like most Eddie matches this year, the quality would have dropped horribly if anyone besides Latino Heat was in here.

Rest in peace, Eddie.

Just look at how much you touched my experience as a fan.

AIM – Douglas Nunnally

E-mail – douglasnunnally@thewrestlingvoice.com

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