Nov. 15, 2005
Eddie Guerrero and I had a special relationship that came together over time. The catalyst was the challenges this wonderful human being faced in his daily life. I know our relationship was special because I can feel it so strongly in my heart at this very moment — and because Eddie told me so this morning in a dream.
I managed the talent roster for WWE when Eddie was hired at WWE. I had known him and his famous wrestling family for years prior to Eddie becoming a WWE Superstar. But it was after Eddie came to WWE that our relationship became diverse, involved, and, luckily for me, one of the most rewarding and valued relationships I have ever developed in this business. Unfortunately, this unique industry is not famous for people building long-term relationships with their peers that last a lifetime. That’s another story for another time.
I will never forget Eddie. I will never forget the face-to-face, spirited discussions we had over his demons. I will never forget the moment we finally reached common ground, with tears flowing and hugs abounding. We both knew we had turned the corner and now there was a fighting chance for this amazing wrestler to live out the balance of his life clean and sober. Eddie got the help he needed. He returned to us a better man, and he became an even bigger star. Eddie Guerrero is easily one of the 10 best in-ring talents I have seen in 33 years in this business. I was so proud of Eddie, and I told him so every single time I saw him from the day he returned to work until the last time I saw him at SummerSlam.
Eddie seemed a little tired at SummerSlam in August when I saw him at the MCI Arena in Washington, D.C. But when our eyes locked he immediately had an ear-to-ear grin on his face and we embraced like long lost brothers. I guess in a way we were brothers … of the wrestling business. I kidded him about stealing the show at SummerSlam and how that might not sit well with those that had to follow “Latino Heat.” He smiled that mischievous smile of his that we all grew to love because that was exactly what Eddie had on his mind. I wished him good luck and told him how excited I was to be able to sit and watch his match just like a regular fan. We hugged for a few moments but not nearly long enough — as I realized when the news of my friend’s death reached me early Sunday morning.
Eddie, I am sorry I could not be a part of your tribute on Monday Night RAW. But you know my heart was there and you know that I will never forget you or what you have meant to me. You once told my wife that I saved your life. I don’t know about that, but I do know this: You definitely made my life better by me simply knowing you. Eddie, you constantly reminded me that “respect” is still the top priority for being a wrestler — even though it doesn’t always seem that way to everyone in this generation. I hope the young wrestlers in this business continue to look to you for inspiration and guidance. You were a wonderful inspiration to me and to so many others — not only as a wrestler but as a husband, father, brother and friend.
I want to smile as I remember you now because I am weary from crying. Goodbye “Uncle Eddie,” until we see each other again. —Jim Ross