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   Sat, November 19, 2005



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COMMENT





Eddie had it all
By "Hotshot" JOHNNY DEVINE - SLAM! Wrestling


The wrestling world was dealt yet another huge blow this past week as Eddie Guerrero was found dead of heart failure in his hotel room early Sunday morning by his nephew Chavo Jr.

Eddie was one of those rare wrestlers who had a great blend of everything it takes to make a superstar. Awesome ability, huge technical knowledge, charisma for days and a great look. Eddie had it all.

The only thing some may say he was lacking was height. At 5'8"/5'9", some said he was too short to be world champion. People said he was too small to be "believable." That's why I looked up to Eddie. Because he made believers out of these skeptics, and proved that it's not the size of the wrestler that matters, it's the size of his talent!

For me, at a huge 5'10" with the boots, Eddie was one of the few guys like a Chris Benoit, or an Owen Hart (RIP) that let me see you didn't need to be 6'4" and 280 pounds to be the best. You just had to be the best. And Eddie was the best.

I remember watching some early Black Tiger vs Pegasus Kid (Benoit) matches and thinking, WOW! This guy is amazing! He's going to have a very successful career! And I was right! Eddie was a cruiser pioneer, before there were cruisers.

Eddie to me was also one of those guys that you could look to and say "well, if I need something extra to make this work, what would a guy like Eddie do?" When he and Chris Benoit sat atop the wrestling world for a time as champions, it was a validation of the hard workers, the over-looked and under- appreciated. He was a wonderful person and great role model in his later years for young guys like me to look to for inspiration.

It really does chafe when something like this happens and, before the funeral has even happened, people are pointing fingers at things like steroids or drugs as a cause of death. You know what? At this point, who f'n cares how he died! He was taken from us waaayy too soon and all that matters is his family (my heart and prayers go out to you at this time) and the wrestling family he had. They have lost a wonderful and important person! Let's show some respect and worry about why after we worry about mourning. Friggin' vultures.

If there's one more thing I will say about Eddie Guerrero, it's this: Eddie was one of my true heroes in this business. I had the pleasure to meet him a couple times and talk with him and he was gracious and kind. He was a true great as far as performers go, and someone I can say I try to emulate every time I wrestle. I will miss you Eddie. You were many things to many people. Father, husband, friend and mentor. But to me in wrestling you were the one thing many can't say they always are -- entertaining. Every time.

The RAW and Smackdown tributes were well done and I cried like a baby a number of times. Well done by the WWE for putting those together. And Johnny Cash at any somber gathering is guaranteed to bring water to the eyes.

RELATED LINK

TNA had their Genesis PPV last weekend and staged a huge coup by signing and delivering on another one of the under-appreciated performers who is always entertaining -- Christian Cage! His debut was handled impeccably and he will be a major part of the new TNA era on Spike TV. I must say though he probably didn't make the best decision in the world when he turned down Coach D'Amore's offer to join Team Canada. It could turn around and bite him in the ass one day. But I guess time will tell.

Genesis was another great PPV outing for TNA and some kudos must be given, I think. Kudos to the main event. A great brawl and masterfully-executed outing that had the audience straining to catch all the action. Kudos to the elimination tag match. Wow guys. That was one hell of a match and with Samoa Joe going crazy and putting Christopher Daniels in the hospital; The X division has added a level of intensity as yet unseen. And I want to give kudos to my bro' Chase Stevens for coming back and working his ass off after breaking his freaking neck! Man I knew you were tough, but come on! That's ridiculous! Oh, and damn that cheating Kip James! Fair and impartial my ass!

AWE's Harsh Reality PPV and TV taping are only two weeks away and excitement is mounting here. The roster is really trying to bring their A games and working on them at the training center here in Winnipeg on an almost daily basis. And they need to if they are going to compete. It's a tough world out there and a thousand guys are dying to take those spots. Don't let them go with out a fight.

It's funny, but with the amount of shows being run by the AWE right now, I kind of compare them to Stampede in 1998-99 when they were getting ready to go on TV. (Only with much better booking! Heh, heh.) Their young guys are getting a golden opportunity to wrestle two or three times per week and do TV and PPV at such a young age. Let's hope they make the best of it. But AWE is always looking for more talent and anyone wanting to contact them send an email to mike@aweheat.com.

I have been working my ass off in the training center lately and will be showing a new look to many who haven't seen me in a while, as well as a bit of a style change. Gotta keep it fresh!

Any questions or concerns can always be sent to johnnydevine@shaw.ca, as well as any questions about training at the AWE school or schools in your area.

Hope you all remember Eddie for the Champion he truly was.

Stay Hot

Devine

EDITOR'S NOTE: "Hotshot" Johnny Devine's column will run on Saturdays (or whenever he delivers) on SLAM! Wrestling. Be sure to visit each week!

For more on Devine's career, see his biography in our Canadian Hall of Fame
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