Tuesday, December 6th, 2005
The downside of being away for a while and largely out of contact with the world is that you miss the things that happen in your absence.
In this case, the awful news of the death of Eddie Guerrero from heart failure at the age of 38 on November 13th.
The Sun's wrestling columnists put it best:
People who don't know wrestling, won't know what Eddie meant to us. But this is our Princess Diana and John F Kennedy moment rolled into one.
Eddie was – until late in his career – an underappreciated overachiever, a skilled showman who finally got the recognition he deserved from management when they could no longer ignore the level of support he got from the crowds (this is an excellent retrospective of his life.).
At one stage in his career he suffered from drink problems and became addicted to the prescription pain-killers he was taking to allow him to work through a series of nagging injuries, but by the time he died he had overcome these demons and was days away from celebrating his fourth anniversary of being “clean”. With horrible irony, it appears that on the died he died he was due to tape a bout that would have ended with him winning a world title for the second time in his career.
Following Wrestlemania XX, where he successfully defended his first title in a match that was at times thrilling, at times dramatic and at times hysterically funny, I pretty much stopped watching wrestling. After watching that show's end, where Guerrero and his long-time friend and colleague Chris Benoit celebrated with their championship belts in the centre of the ring as tickertape and streamers rained down on them, I figured nothing would ever be that good again.
Seems I was right.