November 18, 2005
Smackdown: Capturing the essence of Eddie
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling
Not much more can be said that hasn't already been said about Eddie Guerrero. At 38 years old and 18 years in the industry he loved, he left behind a legacy of kindness, love, determination, and wrestling ability. The emotional, heartfelt commentaries from WWE superstars on Raw were so incredibly touching and reminds us all that sometimes you never fully appreciate what you have until it's gone. I'm sure the Smackdown tribute show tonight will capture the essence that was Eddie Guerrero.
The World Heavyweight Champion Batista rides out in Eddie's low rider in the Target Center in Minneapolis. He immediately breaks down after exiting the car. Seeing such tough, rugged men like Batista, Big Show, and Chris Benoit openly cry simply shows just how important Eddie Guerrero was in their lives. Batista delivers a sentimental speech that was so genuine and real that you'd have to be made of ice not to get a little choked up yourself. After he was finished, Batista placed his title and sunglasses on the hood of Eddie's low rider. A tribute music video from 3 Doors Down is then played.
Match 1: Carlito vs. Matt Hardy
A bit of a slow start with a couple of sloppy starts in this inter-promotional matchup. Action picks up as Hardy gains momentum and hits the Side Effect. After reversing out of the Twist of Fate, Matt was able to counter back and nail Carlito with his finisher.
WINNER: Matt Hardy
Match 2: Legion of Doom vs. Cade and Murdoch
In this second Raw vs. Smackdown battle of the evening Cade and Heidenreich bang around as Murdoch eventually rushes in to interfere. After brawling back and forth, Heidenreich clears out Murdoch and delivers a hard sidewalk slam on Cade. This sets up The Doomsday Device on Cade for the 1-2-3.
WINNER: Legion of Doom
Match 3: Chavo Guerrero vs. JBL
It is great to see the old Chavo back and he shows in this match that if you give him some time in a match that he can go. How tough must it have been to discover your uncle/brother deceased and then wrestle the same night? Chavo could have taken the night off and no one would have blamed him, but he wanted to contribute and honour the memory of his "Uncle Eddie." This was an extremely inspirational and emotional match, with Guerrero pulling out a bunch of Eddie's classic moves. The comical fake knockout and tossing the chair to the opponent, along with The Three Amigos suplexes both made appearances. After giving a suplex, Chavo climbs up high to the top rope and in an epic moment paused ... and flew through the air with Eddie's Frog Splash for the upset win.
WINNER: Chavo Guerrero
A tribute Eddie video highlighting his co-main event at WrestleMania 20 versus Kurt Angle is shown.
Match 4: Cruiserweight Battle Royal (inter-promotional)
Many of the cruiserweights are wearing Eddie's "I'm Your Pappi" shirts in respect to their fallen amigo. Tajiri and Gregory Helms are the only two Raw superstars in this Battle Royal. The Raw competitors are ambushed right off the bat. Brian Kendrick is the first man eliminated, followed by Super Crazy. Newcomer Kid Kash is extraordinary as he nails a leaping head scissors off the top. I saw Kash at the Oshawa Warrior 1 show back in June and if he is given any sort of program in WWE then he will be sure to impress. After tossing Nunzio, Juventud and Paul London are the final two and fighting at a fiery pace. In a cool spot, Juventud is on top of London's shoulders and whips London over the rope with a hurracarrana.
The audience is then treated to a clip from Eddie's last match on the previous week of Smackdown. They don't show Mr. Kennedy's chairshot on Guerrero, however.
Match 5: MAIN EVENT -- Chris Benoit vs. HHH
A WrestleMania 20 rematch, which was a special moment for Eddie and Benoit as Eddie surprised the Crippler in the ring after Benoit's world title victory over HHH. Benoit and HHH have had many great matches in the past and the start to this one is no different. The finish came when Benoit reverses out of The Pedigree and slaps the Crippler Crossface on The Game. After a long struggle, Benoit slides HHH on his back for a three count and the win.
WINNER: Chris Benoit
After a few moments HHH and Benoit embrace and shed tears in the middle of the ring. As The Game leaves Dean Malenko enters, standing with Benoit to remember their close friend Eddie Guerrero as the show goes off the air.
What a class act the WWE is for putting on not one but two tribute shows to remember one of the greatest in-ring performers of all time. It was also refreshing to have wrestling in the spotlight rather than silly angles. Tazz and Michael Cole had time to both explain the in-ring action and reflect on their own experiences with Guerrero rather than pushing a new pay-per-view or storyline.
from all of us at SLAM! Wrestling go out to the Guerrero family, and
hopefully the thousands of sympathy emails that the family has received will
give them an idea of how much the world loved "Latino Heat." God Bless you
Eddie, there will never be another one like you.
Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer from Pickering, ON. He also
writes reports for The LAW and does the play-by-play broadcasts for Durham
College sports. Andy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.