Eddie Guerrero‘s Death in 2005 was one of the most emotional and painful of all celebrity deaths. He was 38 years and still in his prime, as well as being one of the most beloved wrestlers of all time. His character of Latino Heat that lied, cheated and stole his way to the top of the WWE resonated with the fanbase who took the Texan native under their arms and helped propelled him into being one of the top stars in the word.
It has been 18 years since his passing, yet the memory of the late great Eddie Guerrero lives on. He is persistently listed among the greatest wrestlers of all time, with his in-ring ability and inate charisma setting him apart from his peers. This is why Vince McMahon saw enough in him to have him defeated Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship in 2004.
Even though he has been dead for close to two decades, nobody will ever, ever forget Latino Heat.
How Did Eddie Guerrero Die?
On November 13, Eddie was found in an unconscious state at the Marriott Hotel City Center in Minneapolis. He was discovered by Chavo Guerrero, his nephew who was raised like a brother during the pairs’ childhoods, growing up in Texas.
Chavo Guerrero was interviewed for Dark Side of the Ring in 2020 and stated that Eddie was “barely clinging to life” when he found him. Eddie was passed out in the hotel bathroom with a toothbrush in his hand. He was reportedly alive, but barely clinging to life when Chavo discovered him and called an ambulance to try and save him.
However, it was not enough as Eddie Guerrero was pronounced dead at the scene when the ambulance arrived. He died aged 38, with the autopsy revealing he died due to died as a result of acute heart failure due to underlying atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. It was likely that his history of drug abuse contributed to his death, with the abuse narrowing his arteries and enlarging his heart so much that he could no longer face the rigours of professional wrestling and his heart simply gave up.
leaving behind his wife Vickie Guerrero and three children (one from outside of the relationship). His death was one of the most emotional in wrestling, with fans and wrestlers alike lining up to pay tribute to the former WWE Champion.
He was one of the most popular wrestlers of all time and still in his prime as a performer, so the mourning was not just for the wrestler that they loved, but for what they would have missed out on seeing him do in the ring in the future.
Did He Die In The Ring?
Eddie Guerrero did not die in the ring in the WWE. The former WWE Champion died in his hotel room in the Marriott Hotel City Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 13, 2005 and was passed out in his room when he found by his nephew, but pronounced dead once the ambulance was at the scene.
Few wrestlers have passed away inside the ring. The most famous was Owen Hart, who fell from a height when a stunt went wrong at the Over the Edge pay per view in 1999. He landed on the turnbuckle while a backstage interview was being shown. However, the show continued in one of the most disgusting moments in WWE history (and that is saying something).
Mexican star Perro Aguayo Jr. was one wrestler who died actually during a match. When facing the legendary Rey Mysterio in a bout in 2015, he was kicked into the ring ropes and jumped into position to take the 619 (Mysterio’s signature move). However, he passed out and subsequently died immediately on impact, with it later being revealed that he suffered three fractured vertebrae. He died in the ring, although the family never lay any blame on the head of Mysterio, who had done the move thousands of times without incident.
British wrestling legend Big Daddy also killed a man in the ring (by accident of course). After dropping his 300lb-plus frame onto King Kong Kurt, his opponent for the night, Kurt suffered from a heart attack and died, aged just 40. Real name Malcolm Kurt, he was a well respected wrestler by all, including Bret Hart who spoke well of him in his book. Big Daddy never forgot what happened that day and blamed himself until the day he died.
What Was His Last WWE Match?
Eddie Guerrero’s last wrestling match was against Mr Kennedy on Smackdown. The match took place on the November 11, 2005 on Friday Night Smackdown, with the winner earning themselves a spot on the Smackdown Survivor Series team for that year.
The bout became famous for the ending, which has become one of the most iconic in WWE history – partly due to it being the final outing of the legendary Eddie Guerrero, but partly due to the genius and originality of the finish.
Guerrero grabbed a chair from the outside and brought it into the ring. At first, his thought was to hit his opponent in the head whilst the referee was down and win the match via cheating. However, he noticed the referee was starting to stir so instead banged the steel chair onto the ring mat.
This alerted the referee to the fact that a weapon was being used. Guerrero then quickly tossed the chair for Mr Kennedy, who caught it, and flung himself to the ground just in time for the referee to see. Putting two and two together, he fell for the Mexican star’s tricks and disqualified Mr Kennedy and gave Eddie Guerrero the victory.
This would be his final match before his death two days later, and would be fondly remembered as one of the finest and funniest last matches of all time. A fitting end to a fantastic career, even if it was under less-than-ideal circumstances.
His Death Could Have Contributed To Chris Benoit’s Death
After the death of Eddie Guerrero, many in the world of wrestling were completely shaken. This included many of his close, personal friends who had travelled the globe with him and shared incredible memories. These included his lifelong friends like Chris Jericho, Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio and his nephew Chavo Guerrero.
Another one of his best friends in wrestling was the late Chris Benoit. The former World Heavyweight Champion was deeply affected by his friends untimely demise. He suffered a depression after hearing the news as the grief he felt for his friend overtook him,
Some have theories that one of the reasons why Benoit killed himself and his family was partially down to his mental state at the time, which would have exacerbated by the depression he felt at the death of Eddie Guerrero. There were a number of issues, however, which contributed to Chris Benoit’s Death, which you can read about below.
After his death, many wrestlers have come out and paid tribute to the legendary Guerrero. Jim Ross has named him as the most talented in-ring performer of all time, while CM Punk also had strong words to describe where he thinks the former WWE Champion stands in the annals of history.
“He’s the greatest wrestler, EVER. He’s better than Ric Flair. He’s better than Stone Cold. He’s better than me.”
Punk also revealed how before his death, Eddie treated him well on the independent scene and was the inspiration behind him working to build up younger talent in AEW. He will be so sorely missed by all that knew him and is undoubtable one of the all time greats.
Eddie Guerrero’s death was one off the saddest in wrestling history. Where do you rank him among the greatest WWE wrestlers of all time?