I wanted to post something about Eddie Guerrero today, since it has been 9 years since he passed away, so I thought I’d try to find his championship celebration entrance to share on my social media platforms, but as I saw it again for the first time since it aired on Smackdown 10 years ago…I cried. Tears flowed as soon as I heard Tony Chimel say, “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my pleasure to introduce to you, the NEW WWE Champion, Eddie Guerrero!”
Then the music hit and it was just so powerful!
I honestly did not remember him coming through the crowd, but that only proves the point I’m about to make.
People can say what they will about professional wrestling or WWE specifically. They can say what they will about fandoms in general. With moments like this one, or when Daniel Bryan won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXX, or when Edge was forced to retire as World Champion due to injury. It shook every fan to hear that Ultimate Warrior passed away just one day after being on Raw for the first time in at least a decade. Whether the feelings are good, bad, or a little of both. Professional wrestling is not just a TV experience. It’s not just a hobby. This is life. It’s a lifestyle. The characters seen on TV week in and week out are real people. It’s not secret that Eddie Guerrero fought his own personal demons. There were a few storylines where they did mention some of those demons. Sadly, Eddie Guerrero lost his fight with those demons, but not before he could have his moment: THE biggest moment any WWE superstar could ever want. He makes his way through the crowd of supportive family members, shaking hands and high fiving because it was that very support that got him exactly what he held across his shoulder all the way to the ring. Eddie Guerrero, if not but for one night, could put all of this struggles behind him and revel in at least one success. He had made it to the top of the mountain!
Tears flowed as I watched that video (posted above) and tears flow now and I talk about it. Moments like these, no matter what shape or color they are, prove to me just what it’s all about. Some see wrestling as a TV show and it is, but it’s also so much more. These characters may be larger than life on screen, but the people portraying them aren’t able to just walk away from who they are. The best characters are extensions of people’s personalities. It’s difficult to play a character if you don’t have some kind of invested interest in how it all turns out for them or where their motives lie. These are real people with dreams and aspirations just like any real-life lawyer, banker, producer, director, or actor. Professional wrestlers and their fans bring such a lively atmosphere to each and every event that I can’t imagine not at least finding something interesting as you’re watching the show.
I know not everyone can see things the way I do, and I know not everyone is going to like professional wrestling, but the idea here is that if you have something that can put a chill down your back, lift you off your seat, put a smile on your face and make you do…well, something like this:
If you have something in your life, a movie, television series, or even a hands-on hobby, hold onto that. If whatever it is you do make you happy, gives you something to look forward to or fills you with all the butterflies, chills and smiles – or even frowns – that true and honest entertainment can provide, regardless of what anyone else says about it, stick to it!
When I get moments like this, I relish in them the same way Eddie Guerrero relished in his championship victory and in conquering his personal demons and owning that Smackdown ring as it filled with balloons and confetti. Eddie may have lost his life, but in that loss, I see a life lesson.
I’m not trying to suggest that everyone should immediately become wrestling fans or that they are wrong if they don’t see what I see, but if you’re reading this and you don’t think you have something that can send you on as much of a fascinating, emotional roller coaster or offer a bond between yourself on the couch and the real-life, common people portraying your favorite characters each and every week putting their bodies and careers on the line for your entertainment like wrestling or WWE can do, then please by all means…join the ever-growing family. The more the merrier.
¡Viva La Raza!