Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tape Machines Are Rolling Hall of Fame Inductee #1: Eddie Guerrero

I kept thinking about doing occasional bullshit posts about the Tape Machines Are Rolling Hall of Fame, because why the fuck not, so I'm starting here. I could have been cute and gone with a "personal favorite" guy or something, or gone obvious with Ric Flair, but I'm starting with my honest to God pick for the greatest professional motherfucking wrestler to ever walk this planet: Eddie Guerrero.

I was talking to a friend who's not near the wrestling retard that I am, and I was saying that the last two wrestling deaths that "got to me" were Eddie and Randy Savage. It's still weird to me that Savage isn't out there in the world fucking around, being the Macho Man.

But Eddie Guerrero, when I go back and watch him -- and the same is true of Savage, to be fair -- I realize how far ahead of the game he was. Eddie Guerrero was that rare sort of human being born to do something specific. I was born to do nothing. Eddie Guerrero was born to wrestle, more than his father was, more than his brothers were, more than his nephew, more than his best friends in wrestling were, including Chris Benoit, who for years was the smark's choice as The Greatest.

But Eddie was better. He always was. He could do more, he was a better talker, he was more dynamic in the ring. This isn't revisionist. one of these nights I'll be drunk and put Benoit in the fake rasslin blog Hall of Fame, because while I realize what he did was horrifying, I'm in the camp that believes that it was not Chris Benoit the real person who did what he did. It was some broken shell of what once was a man.

Anyway, Eddie Guerrero. He had it all. I still have one of those WWE-made "RIP dude" shirts that they sold after he died with the proceeds going to the family. If I wasn't so much fatter now than I was then I'd wear that motherfucker on the reg. As it is, it hangs in my closet, ready to be worn if I ever decide to stop being so fat, or if I ever get forced to stop being so fat because my health finally deteriorates enough.

Eddie Guerrero always reminds me of the Skynyrd song "Simple Man"; not that way that people listen to it now, in beer commercials and shit, but in the way that it was written and meant to be heard. Eddie Guerrero had the facial expressions and mannerisms of a man who meant to be and do better than he had at so many points. He had shame and regrets and guilts that haunted him probably until the very end.

And this isn't "rah rah Eddie beat The Demons." This is the fact that Eddie was real. He had problems. But to go back to what he truly loved, which was professional goddamn wrestling, Eddie Guerrero fought harder than most with the same problems can or will.

When I watch Eddie Guerrero matches, it just smells like pro wrestling. No matter where he went, he adapted and fit in - Mexico, Japan, ECW, WCW, the WWF. One of my last "Damn this is special" moments came when he beat Lesnar. Not the winning but the celebration after. He was one of the last guys for whom winning the world's heavyweight championship really meant what it meant to him.

As for the Hall of Fame, I might occasionally add to it. Brent might add to it. We will have no votes. If he adds Terry Taylor then great.

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