September 26, 2003
Guerrero wrestles with demons
By KEN WIEBE, STAFF REPORTER

Eddie Guerrero considers his lineage to be both a blessing and a burden. With a father who was a famous wrestler and promoter back in Mexico and a trio of brothers -- Chavo Sr., Mando and Hector -- who had success in the squared circle, it was only natural for young Eddie to make his way into the grappling business.

"It's a family thing, we're basically the Hart's of Mexico," said Guerrero, referring to the Calgary-based royal family of wrestling.

Guerrero is currently one half of the WWE tag team champions with nephew Chavo (Jr.). The dynamic duo will defend their title on tomorrow night's SMACKDOWN! card at the Winnipeg Arena.

Along with the pedigree came a certain amount of pressure for Guerrero to perform as well as those who came before him.

"It's like show business, you know what I mean," said Guerrero, who is also U.S. champ. "A lot of doors were opened up because of the family name, you might get opportunities a lot quicker than other wrestlers breaking into the business. But at the same time, you've got to live up to the name. My father and my brothers were good wrestlers."

Though he had trouble living up to the name in the early stages of his career, Guerrero has since done plenty to ensure a lasting legacy.

"In wrestling, experience has a lot to do with it and the only way to get experience is through time in the ring," said Guerrero. "I can only remember one time in my life when I didn't want anything to do with wrestling and that's because I put too much pressure on myself in my junior year of high school.

"I put the pressure on myself to always win and I got my (butt) kicked a couple of times. I didn't like it."

His passion for wrestling has long since returned, but now Guerrero is fighting another type of pressure as a recovering alcoholic who's been sober for nearly two years.

"I would love to be able to sit down for a beer with the boys, but the reality is that if I drink a beer I'm not going to stop," said Guerrero, who calls himself an extremist. "I've really accepted that fact in my life. At first, it was very hard but little by little you overcome that. Actually, I like being sober and remembering the day and what happened last week."

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