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La Raza: The Eddy Guerrero Story


By Sheerah Fisher

In this report you will find information on one of wrestling's most skilled competitors, and leader of the newly formed Latino World Order, Eddy Guerrero. I will also take a look at the people around him, including his father Gory, his brothers, nephew Chavo Jr., and late tag team partner Art Barr.

Eddy Guerrero was surrounded by wrestling while growing up in El Paso, Texas. His father, Gory Guerrero, was a wrestling legend in Mexico. So you could imagine playtime with his brother, Hector, Mando, and Chavo would include top rope maneuvers on to the ring in their back yard.

Now, you already know Eddy's father is a Lucha Libre (wrestling) legend in Mexico, but there is some stuff I bet you don't know! Gory Guerrero was born in 1921 in Kearney, Arizona. By the time he was 14 he moved to Guadalajara where he soon discovered sport known as Lucha Libre. In 1944 Gory won Rookie of the Year, even though his first wrestling match took place seven years before when he was 16. He was also named Luchador (wrestler) of the year twice, won two Mexican Nation singles titles, three NWA singles titles, and the Americas tag titles. He was also apart of a tag team known a La Pareja Atomica (The Atomic Pair) with El Santo (The Saint). Gory Guerrero is also the innovator of the Camel Clutch, as well as the Gory Special. Gory Guerrero died in El Paso, Texas in the year 1990. Although Gory is gone, he still has Chavo, Hector, Mando, Eddy along with Chavo Jr. to continue the Guerrero dynasty.

Now that we know about Eddy's father, it's now time to take a look at his brothers. First off, Chavo Sr. Chavo was born 1951, and had his pro-wrestling debut in 1973. Although he spent most of his career in Texas and California, he spent some time in Mexico and Japan as well. In Mexico, he held the World Trios titles with his brother's Eddy and Mando. Chavo Sr. has a lot of titles credited to him name. While in the NWA, he held the Americas title 15 times, Americas Tag Title 11 time, he's a 3 time World Light Heavyweight Champion, and 3 time International Junior Heavyweight Champion. Chavo Sr. is currently a history teacher in El Paso, Texas. Sometimes he is seen wrestling in a WCW event when they are in town.

Mando was born in 1952, just a year younger than his brother Chavo. He made his wrestling debut in 1974, and since then also has had titles credited to his name. He is a 7 time NWA Tag Team title holder, WSA Western States Champion, 2 time Americas champion, Hawaiian Champion, ACCW tag champion, and has also held a IWF championship. Mando currently lives in Los Angeles and works as a Stuntman.

Hector Guerrero made his wrestling debut in 1977. Since then he has worked in just about every wrestling federation imaginable, including the WWF, WCW, AAA, NWA, EMLL among other. Titles credited to his name are the NWA Florida title, World Junior Weight title (twice), WSA Western states Tag title, and AWA World Tag Team Title. He has also won numerous Independent titles. Hector has been wrestling in Independent wrestling federations these days.

That takes care of Eddy's brothers, now on to his fan favorite nephew Chavo Jr.! Chavo Jr. made his pro debut in 1994, and worked mostly in Mexico and California. Chavo made his WCW debut in 1996 and since then has had feuds with the best of them. Including Stevie Ray, and his Uncle Eddy. Chavo has recently made an interesting friendship with a hobbyhorse named Pepe. But we'll get more on that when we look into Eddy Guerrero's WCW career.

Now that we have taken a look at Eddy's family, it's now time to get to his wrestling career!

At the age of 19, Eddy started working for a wrestling promotion called EMLL (Expresa Mexicana Lucha Libre) and wrestled under the name Máscara Mágica (Magic Mask). While in EMLL, he learned not only the high flying wrestling moves, but also learned how to be a mat wrestler.

In 1992, the AAA was formed. When Eddy decided to join the AAA, he also decided it was time to lose the mask. (You see, in wrestling in Mexico, most wrestlers wear masks. A mask is their persona, their identity, and they have never been known to voluntarily take off their mask. But, it does happen. There have been many Mask vs. Title, and Mask vs. Mask match, where is the masked person loses, they must take off their mask. Recently, a wrestler named Juventud Guerrera was forced to unmask after losing a Mask vs. Title match to Chris Jericho. Juventud has since then been trying to prove to his Mexican wrestling friends he's still a good wrestler without the mask.) Eddy told the whole world on how he was forced to be Máscara Mágica by his former promoter, and it was someone he never wanted to be. The crowd was stunned when the first time in Lucha Libre history, a wrestler voluntarily unmasked. There, for the first time in history Máscara Mágica was unveiled as Eddy Guerrero.

Eddy then reformed La Pareja Atomica (his father's old tag team) in 1993 this time including himself, and El Santo's son, El Hijo Del Santo (The Son of the Saint). But when "Love Machine" Art Barr came to AAA, things started to heat up.

As I said before, in this report you will also learn about the people around Eddy, and Art Barr is one of them! Art Barr was born 1964 in Portland, Oregon, USA. He is the inventor of the Flog Splash. Art also was brought up in the sport of wrestling. His father, Sandy Barr, was a former wrestler and referee. None other than Rowdy Rody Piper himself trained Art. He worked in WCW for bit, and EMLL (and teamed up with Konnan) before he went to the AAA. While in AAA, Art challenge Blue Panther to a Hair vs. Mask match (if Pather won, he would get Art's hair, if Art won, he would get Panther's mask). This one of the most important matches of his career, which he lost. After that, he turned, as Mexican call Rudo (known as a heel or bad guy in America). Mexican fans hated him, and that's what he wanted. And that brings us up to date on what happened in Art Barr's life until the time of the reformation of La Pareja Atomica.

In the AAA things got heated up when Eddy Guerrero and Art Barr (whos sometimes teamed up with Eddy and Santo in trios matches) turned on El Hijo Del Santo. Art Barr convinced Eddy to drop Santo, and join him. They were known as La Pareja de Terror (The Pair of Terror), better known later as Los Gringos Loco (The Crazy Americans). Eddy claimed he was playing second to Santo, just like his father did in the first La Pareja Atomica in the 60's. Of course, Eddy and Art feuded with Hijo Del Santo, as well as his new partner Octagon. Eddy and Art Barr were now the Top Rudos in wrestling, their gimmick was they were Americans, and proud of it. Eddy Guerrero, who was once a proud Mexican wrestler, turned to wearing the Stars and Stripes. The Gringos showed everyone they could not just talk the talk, but walk the walk when they captured the Tag Titles against El Hijo Del Santo and Octagon. However, there was speculation in that match up. There was some money given to the referee by Eddy Guerrero, rumor was Eddy paid the ref to give them a fast count.

November 6, 1994 the first (and last) Lucah Libre Pay-Per-View took place. One of the most anticipated match ups was Eddy Guerrero and Art Barr vs. El Hijo Del Santo and Octagon in a double hair vs. double mask match. As I said earlier, in this type of match up, one of two things takes place, you will either see hair being cut, or wrestlers being unmasked. Eddy and Art's hair was on the line, as well as Santo and Octagon's mask in a 2 out of 3 falls match. This was one of the best matches I have seen. With so much on the line of both teams. During the match, things got a little out of control for the Gringos, so as always they resorted to cheating. While the referee's back was turned, Art Barr applied the most dangerous move in pro-wrestling (which is outlawed in any Mexican federation), the Tombstone Piledriver to Octagon. Octagon laid helpless to the Gringos till the Referee turned around, and Barr pinned him for the 1, 2, and 3. It was then tied 2 falls apiece. It was all up to Santo, and somehow, he pulled it off. With the help of Blue Panther, applying his own Tombstone while the ref was turned, Santo and Octagon arose victorious. Eddy Guerrero and Art Barr lost their hair. Although they lost their match, they got worldwide exposure, this was their chance to get contracted into one of the bigger federations in the US. Unfortunately, that would be the last match Art Barr would ever wrestle.

November 23, 1994 at the age of 28 in Springfield, Oregon Art Barr was found dead. He went home to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family. The next day his mother found him lying in bed without a pulse with a bleeding nose. Art Barr's death was a mystery then, and still is now. He had no wrestling injuries, and was not taking drugs. There are two theories of his death. First is he had been missing a vertebrae on his neck from birth. Making two vertebraes press against each other, and may have pinched a nerve causing his lungs to stop. The second theory is there was a bad mix of different substances. Art Barr suffered from bad headache. Some medicines have a reaction when taken with some substances. Art Barr's dream was to return to WCW with Eddy Guerrero. As you can imagine, this must have been hard on Eddy, he not only lost a tag team partner, but also his best friend. Here are some comments from WCW Magazine Eddy had on the great Art Barr:


"You never get over a death of a loved one, like I endured with my dad and Art, but I am a Christian and I know that both of them are now with God in spirit. I miss them extremely, but I know they are in a better place."


Eddy Guerrero then adopted Art Barr's finishing move, the Frog Splash, as a tribute to his fiends. He tried to team up with Konnan, but he soon turned on him. So ended his AAA days.

Now, with all the exposure Eddy got from the Pay-per-view, ECW was interested in him. He soon signed a contract with them. Eddy soon got into a heated feud with "The Shooter" Dean Malenko (today known as "The Ice Man" Dean Malenko) over the TV belt, which he held twice while in ECW.

Due to an agreement with NJPW (New Japan Pro-Wrestling), Eddy Guerrero was forced to leave ECW for a short time to travel to Japan. He once again worked on improving his skills. He first wrestled under his real name, but soon change it to Black Tiger, and once again went back to wrestling with a mask. He had wonderful matches against Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit), as well as Jushin "Thunder" Liger. He joined up with the Great Sasuke to capture the Super G Tag Titles.

He then went back to ECW. His last match was again Dean Malenko; a 2 out of 3 falls match up. They were both tied at 2 a piece and both pinned each other for the third one to make a draw.

In 1995, Eddy made his Debut in WCW. And instantly became a popular mid carder. Eddy once again tour Japan, but this time winning the 1996 Best of the Super Juniors tournament. But, it wasn't until December 29, 1996 that Eddy won WCW gold. The wait was worth it, he battled Diamond Dallas Paige in a tournament final for the US belt! Once again, Eddy found himself in yet another feud with Dean Malenko. But at 1997s Uncensored Pay-Per-View, Dean Malenko pined Eddy for the US belt, tearing one of Eddy's muscles in the process

This is where Eddy Guerrero's heel turn begins. Eddy was known as a face all the time he wrestled in the United States, WCW decided it was time for a change. When he came back, he said he was unable to feed his family because of the injury that Malenko gave him, and he was unable to work. Not only did Eddy come back with a new attitude, he came back with a better pshyique, and was a lot stronger.

Eddy, now a pure heel (rudo, or bad guy as some might call him) began turning on his family. Eddy gave his nephew, Chavo Jr., a CruiserWeight title shot against Syxx. Chavo was completely knocked out when Scott Hall applied the Outsider's Edge when the ref's back was turned. Instead of helping his nephew, he just stood there with a smile on his face. Another example of how he turned is when he teamed up with his brother Hector. They both went against Vicious and Delicious (Scott Norton and Buff Bagwell), Eddy just left the ring and let his own brother be beaten by them. Eddy now got into fights with his family back stage, and has annual pre-match attacks on his opponents.

Things go on, Eddy loses, and wins back his titles, and got in some feuds with Rey Misterio Jr. and once again Dean Malenko. In fact, while in a feud with Misterio, someone named El Caliente challenged Rey to a mask vs. mask match. It ended up El Caliente was Eddy Guerrero, Rey Misterio won that match.

On March 12, 1998 Chavo Jr. had enough of Eddy, and Eddy had enough of Chavo. They challenged each other to a match. The pre-match stipulation was if Chavo won, Eddy would go back to being the face (good guy) he once was. If Eddy won, Chavo would have to do anything, and everything he said. This is where one of the most entertaining angles in history started. As you can tell, Chavo Jr. lost that match. The next Monday, Eddy Guerrero apologized to Chavo, and gave him a gift, a gift he said came from his heart. Which ended up being Chavo's first duty as Eddy's slave. His gift that was from "his heart" ended up being a t-shirt that said, "My Favorite Wrestler is Eddy Guerrero" on the front, and on the back, "Cheat to Win". Chavo, of course didn't want to wear that because it wasn't "The Guerrero Way", but he was forced to. Eddy then lined himself up for many title shots, which he never had. Each time he would tell Chavo Jr. to take his place. Saying it would make him tuff, and learn the ways of wrestling. Eddy claimed he was doing this all out of love for Chavo.

Eddy Guerrero's teaching to the young, impressionable Chavo Jr. backfired. Chavo snapped, thanks to the help of his Uncle Eddy. Chavo basically started worshipping the ground Eddy walked on. Eddy couldn't stand it anymore, and told Chavo he was free, and he and the rest of the family were proud of his. Chavo wouldn't accept that, so they had a match at The Great American Bash Pay-Per-View, in which Chavo won. Now, things were not turning out the way Eddy planned, Chavo came out during all his matches, saying "Do it the Guerrero way!" with Chavo distracting him, Eddy went on a losing streak. Thats when Chavo introduced everyone to his hobby horse Pepe, who instantly became a fan favorite. Chavo once again challenge Eddy, but Eddy had a little snap of his own. He started cutting some of Chavo hair, after he gave him a proper beating of course. At Bash at the Beach Pay-Per-View, Eddy and Chavo a hair vs. hair match, which Eddy won. But instead of shaving Chavo's head, Chavo proved himself to be crazy by shaving his own head.

The Chavo vs. Eddy angle had gone away, and it was time for another change in Eddy. He had an unscheduled interview before his match with Konnan (the match never happened), saying he won't take it anymore. He said Eric Bischoff (WCW President) was keeping him down, not letting him have title shots, and not paying him as well as he should. He said if he couldn't get Bischoff's attention in back, he will on TV. He then requested to be set free of his contract.

Of course, Bischoff couldn't let one of his top stars go, so a couple weeks after that interview, Eddy had to wrestle Brian Adams. That match Eddy lost, but willingly. He just lied down in the middle of the ring, to let Adams pin him. Then, once again he requested out of his contract. In return, Bischoff said if he didn't want to be there, he'd send him to Japan.

While Eddy was taking his tour of Japan, he and Chris Jericho went for the tag titles (they had tag team matches together before, but nothing really came of it). Unfortunately, they lost that match. But, as Chris Jericho said, "If we haven't of lost, we would've won."

Eddy surprisingly cut his tour of Japan short, and came back to the States without Bischoff's knowledge. He interrupted a match between Hector Guarza and Damian. He ask both of them what Eric Bischoff ever did to them, and pointed out that all the Luchadors (Mexican Wrestlers) are forced to have one rent a car for their trips they take (consider this, there is 6, 7 or more people in rent one car. Definately not a very comfortable ride). He also said they're always forced to fight each other. Eddy then made one statement that changed the wrestling world "I want you guys to join me man, LWO, Latino World Order!" On October 5, 1998 the LWO was born. It only consisted of three members, but soon grew to be one of the largest wrestling groups.

As you can tell, the LWO formed against Eric Bischoff. Under the influence of Eddy Guerrero, the LWO members claimed Bischoff was not letting them get anywhere in the wrestling business. So, to make a statement, they evidently need a lot of members. Eddy went wild recruiting every Latino he could in WCW. First was Guarza and Damian, then El Dandy, followed by others. Rey Misterio Jr. was one of Latino who hadn't join, and Eddy couldn't let that happen, now could he? Misterio was asked if he wanted to be apart of this elite group, and turned it down. The following Monday on Nitro, Misterio and Eddy went one on one. Misterio was once again asked to join, and declined once again. During their match, Chavo Jr. came out, trying to take the LWO t-shirt offered to Misterio. Eddy saw Chavo, and turned his attention away from the match saying "No Chavo, you haven't earned it." And thats what gave Misterio an opening, within a second the match was over, and Rey Misterio Jr. arose as the victor.

The following Monday, Eddy and Misterio were once again scheduled to fight. This time, there were pre-match stipulations. If Misterio won, the LWO would leave him alone, if Eddy won Misterio would join his group. They battle for a long time. Eddy went for the injured knee of Misterio most of the match. This is the match that made people question Eddy Guerrero's motives on the LWO, because in the middle of the match his unnamed body guard trip Misterio, giving Eddy an opening for a wonderfully executed power bomb which ended the match, almost. The Referee was fighting with this unknown bodyguard, and Juventud Guerrera came out to help Misterio, but failed greatly. He planned to leg drop Eddy, but Eddy saw it coming and moved and Misterio felt the devastating leg drop. As you can tell, Misterio lost and he was forced to join the LWO.

The following Sunday, the pay-per-view World War 3 was on. This was the LWO chance to show their unity, strength, and their talent. The first thing they did astonished everyone. While Juventud Guerrera went down to defend his CruiserWeight title against Billy Kidman, he was wearing an LWO t-shirt! Juventud Guerrera was the new member of the LWO! Unfortunately, Rey Misterio Jr. didn't like this. Misterio was scheduled to face Kidman for the #1 contender spot to go against Juventud, Eddy wouldn't allow it, and this was why. He didn't want two members of the LWO fighting each other. Hey, can you blame him? Juvi's Cruiserweight title defense was a great one. But Juvi wasn't the victor in this match. Misterio came out and help Kidman win back the CruiserWeight title. Which brought out the LWO. Misterio had a choice. Eddy asked him "Are you in, or are you out?" Misterio's answer was out, and the entire LWO chased him in the back.

The LWO now had a new member. But the pay-per-view wasn't over yet! There was still the 60 Man Battle Royal to determine the #1 contender to the WCW Heavy Weight title at Starcade! One of the greatest things is to be one of the last 20 men left in the ring, and Eddy Guerrero was there. During the whole Battle Royal the LWO was magnificent, even though Eddy was the only member of the LWO to be one of the last 20 men. During the Battle Chavo Jr. really impressed the world. Possibly even impressed Eddy which is what he was going for. After all, Chavo did want to be a member of the LWO. Chavo was one of the last 20, and also helped Eddy a lot during the battle.

The following Monday Eddy made is clear Rey Misterio Jr. wasn't going to get out of the LWO that easily. He showed Misterio a legally binding contract that stated he was a part of the LWO, and he had to do anything Eddy Guerrero said. Eddy went back to the t-shirt humiliation he used with Chavo Jr. during their feud. Guerrero handed Misterio a 6 xtra large LWO t-shirt to wear, saying this shirt matched the expectations he had for Misterio. Rey didn't want to put it on, but Eddy made him, and screamed "You're not only bound legally, you're bound by Raza now put it on!"

If I didn't mention this earlier, La Raza is basically the saying of the LWO. La Raza is translated to The Race in English. Where Konnan's saying Arriba La Raza mean Power to the Race.

Well, now that I explained that, back to Misterio. Eddy Guerrero told Rey he wasn't going to be the Cruiserweight champion, because he chose Juventud to be the champ. But Rey was scheduled to fight Kidman for the CruiserWeight title that night. Kidman arose victorious in that match, with help from Juventud Guerrera. Juvi gave Misterio a Juvi-driver while Eddy distracted the Ref.

Misterio now had his heart set on making Eddy and the entire LWO's life miserable. Rey interfered in a match very important match to Eddy and the entire LWO. The match was Eddy vs. Kidman for the CruiserWeight title. Eddy had beaten him a couple nights before, but in a non-title match. Evidently Misterio thought if he couldn't have the title, no one could. Kidman beat Eddy in that match, with help from Misterio. In turn, Eddy decided to make Misterio's life miserable. Remember, Misterio has to do anything Eddy says. So he now makes Rey fight other members of the LWO hoping that they'll beat some sense into him.

And that brings us up to date on the history of Eddy Guerrero. Now it's time for some statistics! Titles he has held up to date are: WCW US title, WCW Cruiserweight title twice, ECW TV title twice, AAA/IWAS World Tag Team titles with "Love Machine" Are Barr, WWA Would Trios Title with Chavo and Mando Guerrero, and the WWA World Welterweight Title. Eddy was born in 1968 and was named Eduardo Guerrero. He made his pro debut in 1987 in EMLL (as I stated before). He is 5'8" and weighs 220 pounds. His wrestling names he has used were Máscara Mágica (Magic Mask, he used it in EMLL, and also used it a little in AAA), Black Tiger (used since September 1993, he so far only used it in Japan), El Caliente (The Heat, used it once on August 29, 1997 in WCW again Rey Misterio Jr. is a mask vs. mask match), and of course Eddy Guerrero (used since 1987). Another little tidbit about Eddy is his cousin Javier Llanes is also in the wrestling business. The reason why Javier wasn't mentioned is because not much in known of him.

Regardless of Eddy being in the Mexico, Japan or the US, being a heel or face, Rudo or Technico (Mexican term for face), or even a cocky ostentatious showman, Eddy has astounded the wrestling world with his flying moves, mat technics, and incredible smoothless he gives to every move. And he will for years to come. I hope you enjoyed learning the life story of Eddy Guerrero! I know I did!


Bibliography

La Arena/Lucha Libre
http://www.fortunecity.com/olympia/bruno/81/

Rowdy Girl Presents: El Gringo Loco
http://www.rowdygirl.com

The Chavo Jr. Fan Page
http://www.chavojrfan.com

The Official Web site of Eddy Guerrero
http://www.eddysucks.com

WCW/NWO Magazine

The Pure Wrestling Knowledge of Sheerah Fisher

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