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Tope Guerrilla | Eddie Guerrero, The ‘Selena’ Of Lucha Libre

Tope Guerrilla Eddie Guerrero

The following editorial was written by Angel Garcia and does not reflect the opinions of WrestleZone as a whole. We encourage you all to discuss Angel’s thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post or by tweeting him @GuerillaJokes

This piece was hard to write.

I kept coming back to it, trying to muscle through. But the fact of the matter is: Eddie Guerrero means the world to me. To a lot of us actually. Eddie was that dude.

At the time of this writing, it has only been a few days removed from the 13th anniversary of his death. I try to do my best to not only give some kind of opinion piece, but also show some love to a a part of the culture of Lucha Libre. This piece is difficult to write, not just because it’s about Eddie Guerrero, but because everyone already loves Eddie.

Everyone has some kind of Eddie Guerrero story. Even if you are too young to remember him. He has affected every wrestler in this modern era. Frog Splashes are the new superkick. Everyone is doing it. We see tributes to him everywhere. Whether it be Sasha Banks gear at Wrestlemania 32, Magnus wrestling in Arena Mexico with EG bands and an LWO shirt, Rey Mysterio adopting his own version of the frog splash as a finish. Eddie was a wrestler that changed and evolved with time. We could only speculate on what could have been. In my personal opinion Eddie Guerrero in many ways is the Selena of Lucha Libre.

For some context, in the Mexican community, Selena is a key part to our cultural identity in the United States. She was American born, never lost touch of her roots. She championed her culture from home, spoke Spanish and crossed cultural barriers. Eddie was that wrestling star for us as well. He was over with everyone in the arena. He helped Latino stars get on a bigger stage. Smaller wrestlers get over as potential stars. He even made it okay for good guys to cheat. He brought humor, levity, and emotion to an era of wrestling that we hadn’t seen in a while.

I have a million memories of watching Eddie Guerrero matches, whether it is watching old tapes of him with Art Bar, his WCW run, of his major WWE run. While like characters in wrestling are exaggerated, I definitely knew someone who acted like Eddie Guererro. I could resonate with the character because that was part of the culture at the time. Every time is saw Eddie on my television, I immediately cheered up. He was a Mexican kid from the hood, that showed you could be successful, and be your same hood self. There were times growing up, were the only thing I had to look forward to, was getting home, putting smackdown on, waiting to hear ‘Viva La Raza” and seeing Eddie drive up in a lowrider. Eddies Last PPV match was No Mercy 2005 v Batista in Houston, TX. It is the only time I regret not going to a show. I figured, I’ll see him live next time he comes. or so I thought.

I remember walking into school that day wearing my Eddie Guererro shirt. That I had gotten that weekend for my birthday. A few of friends came up to me a gave me a huge hug. They told me how sorry they were and that if I needed anything, they were there for me. I was utterly confused, I looked at them and asked what they were on about. That’s when they told me. I did not believe them. It wasn’t till I walked near an altar made for him (something very common in Mexican culture) that I realized the truth. Eddie Guerrero had died. I remember getting home, and my mother had already seen the news, and she gave me a huge hug. My dad gave me a hug. My brother, who was quite a jerk to me at that time, gave me a hug. I sat down in the middle of the living room and watched the RAW tribute with tears in my eyes, the entire time.

My family did not always understand my love for wrestling, I was the only one in my friend group that watched it. While most people that don’t watch wrestling know who Hogan, or Cena is, at that time, if you asked a Hispanic person about Lucha Libre, they would say Eddie Guererro. My entire inner circle, knew how important Eddie was. In fact, everyone saw the importance of Eddie in WWE. He was one of us, he was champion, and he allowed for better representation of luchadors in WWE and American audiences. He lied, he cheated, and he stole. He was the best because of it. We have since had other Mexican champions since Eddie. Because of Eddie, Lucha Libre got bigger and bigger, and we got things like Lucha Underground. Because of Eddie, all know to grab hold of what we love and try to enjoy it as much as we can. Because you never know, when it will go away.  Because of Eddie, I still love wrestling, and never grew out of it.  Because of Eddie I got a mullet when I was younger (I was a kid don’t judge). Because of Eddie, I forgot about my problems, and lost myself in a wrestler, that looked like me, spoke like me, and acted like me.

Eddie was that dude. We all miss him. We all love him.

Viva La Raza.