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THIS DAY IN HISTORY: EDDIE GUERRERO PASSES AWAY, ECW'S FIRST NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER

By Buck Woodward on 2009-11-13 08:00:00

Courtesy PWInsider.com Elite Newsletter, 11/20/05

EDDIE GUERRERO PASSES AWAY

On November 13th 2005, at around 7am, former WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero was found dead in his hotel room in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he was scheduled to wrestle Randy Orton and Batista that night in a three-way match to be aired on Smackdown.

COMPLETE WWE EDDIE GUERRERO PRESS CONFERENCE RECAP

WWE held a press conference on the afternoon of Guerrero's death, with Vince McMahon and Chavo Guerrero taking questions from the media.

Vince opened by saying that Chavo was with Eddie last night when they traveled to Minneapolis together. He then opened it up to questions.

They were asked if they know how Eddie died. Chavo said that it was still pending right now. He said he thought there would be more information tomorrow. Chavo was asked what happened. He said he got a call from security in the morning saying that Eddie didn't take his wake up call. He went with security to the room and they found Eddie on the floor. He said he went over to Eddie and turned him over and said something was not right and they called 911.

He was was asked if there was anything unusual that happened last night. Chavo said no. They flew in from Phoenix, had a bite to eat and checked in to the hotel. He talked to Eddie about a half hour later. They checked in early this morning, around 12:30 a.m.

Vince was asked how big a loss this was for WWE and Vince, obviously, said it was huge. He said very kind things about Eddie, his talent and his family.

Vince was asked if they were going to do anything to pay tribute to Eddie and he said that both the Raw and Smackdown tapings tonight will be tribute shows. He said that Eddie had so many friends in each locker room that wanted to pay tribute to Eddie. He said we will see classic Eddie matches on the shows as well. He said that the guys appearing on the shows will be doing so voluntarily and that the talent knows Eddie would want the show to go on. Chavo shook his head in agreement. He said the shows for tonight, obviously, are being changed from what had been planned. Chavo said he was given the option to go home but he wants to be a part of it, and he knows that Eddie would want him to be part in it.

When asked about the effect of his family, Chavo said that they've never had a tragedy like this. He noted that when Eddie's father (Chavo's grandfather) passed away, he was older and it was expected, but this is "devastating" to his family. He noted the family history in the business. They asked about the ages of Eddie's daughters and Chavo provided that information. When asked what his family wanted him to do, Chavo said that his family wanted him to be here to help. It was noted that Eddie had recently moved his family to Phoenix, Arizona.

When asked about how Eddie's wife had taken his passing, Chavo noted that she hasn't taken it very well. He said that Eddie's sister and mother were contacted personally, and they then went to Eddie's wife to tell her personally.

Chavo noted that Eddie felt fine when he went to bed. They had planned to meet at 8 AM for breakfast and then go to the gym together. Guerrero was going to order takeout as room service was closed. When Chavo connected from his flight out of California to Phoenix, Eddie got on the plane so they sat together and watched a film and talked.

When asked about Eddie's past substance abuse playing a factor in his death, Chavo relayed that when they were flying into Minneapolis, Eddie had told him he had just celebrated four years of being sober. When asked about his past, Chavo said, "He was an addict. He was addicted to everything, but really, alcohol and prescription, like painkillers." When asked about whether, even four years after being clean, Eddie's body could have shut down, McMahon said it's speculation, and with Eddie's past history before getting cleaned up, it took a toll but he has no idea whether that played a role into his passing.

When asked about how long Eddie was in the business, Chavo said 17, then corrected himself and said 20 years, as Eddie made his debut in the ring when he was just 18 years old.

When asked whether Eddie's background may have inspired other performers and athletes to stay clean, Chavo said "100%" noting that Eddie being so open about it led to many fans telling Eddie about their own experiences. McMahon noted that Guerrero was very open about his newfound faith and was a born again Christian.

When asked about royalties, McMahon said, "Eddie Guerrero will have royalties coming in forever, and those royalties will go straight to his family."

McMahon noted that everyone was deeply saddened by Eddie's passing and it will be tough to get over, but Eddie will have wanted the show to go on. When asked if fans were aware, McMahon said they were but if they weren't they would be once they arrive and see what WWE has planned for the tribute show. He noted Eddie was originally scheduled to appear on Smackdown.

Chavo said that Eddie was 100% business and would have wanted the show to go on, as he knew this is how the performers fed their families. He said that Eddie had the biggest heart of everyone he knows personally. He said that Eddie had a big love for the business and is going to be loved not just by the wrestlers but by the fans as well.

EDDIE GUERRERO'S CAUSE OF DEATH ANNOUNCED

Former WWE champion Eddie Guerrero passed away due to heart failure brought on by past drug and alcohol abuse, according to a statement made by his wife Vicki to WWE's website several days after his passing.

Guerrero told the website, "It was from his past drinking and the drug abuse. They found signs of heart disease. She (the examiner) said that the blood vessels were very worn and narrow, and that just showed all the abuse from the scheduling of work and his past. And Eddie just worked out like crazy all the time. It made his heart grow bigger and work harder and the vessels were getting smaller, and that's what caused the heart failure. He went into a deep sleep.

As soon as they saw his heart, they saw the lining of his heart already had the heart disease. There was no trauma, and Eddie hadn't hurt himself in any way. It answered a lot of questions. I knew Eddie wasn't feeling very good for the last week. He was home and kept saying he wasn't feeling good and we thought it was just “road tired."So we thought he just had to rest. It answered a lot of my questions, too, because he was just so exhausted. She said it was normal because the heart was working so hard."

REACTION TO GUERRERO'S DEATH

The mood backstage at the Supershow taping was somber, as you would expect. The formats for the show were thrown out, and both Raw and Smackdown were instead taped as tributes to Guerrero. Chris Benoit and Batista were noticeably upset by Eddie's death, but everyone at the show were feeling his loss as well. The issue was further compounded by the European tour, which most of the talent left for the next day. Several performers, including Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio and JBL, were excused from the first part of the tour so they could attend Guerrero's funeral.

WWE issued the following official statement the day after Guerrero's passing:

WWE Saddened By Death of Eddie Guerrero
Monday November 14, 11:40 am ET

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 14, 2005--WWE is deeply saddened by the news that Eddie Guerrero, age 38, has passed away. He was found dead yesterday morning in his hotel room in Minneapolis. Eddie is survived by his wife, Vickie, and his three daughters. No further details are known at this time. Guerrero, a fan favorite on WWE's UPN program Friday Night SmackDown, held several championships with WWE during his career, most notably becoming the first Mexican-American to become a WWE Champion, achieving that honor in February 2004. WWE extends its sympathies to the entire Guerrero family.

WWE.com has posted many audio, video and text tributes to Eddie Guerrero since his passing.

JBL: "THE WORLD LOST A GREAT MAN YESTERDAY"

John Bradshaw Layfield appeared on MSNBC on Monday afternoon to discuss Eddie Guerrero's tragic passing during "MSNBC News Live". JBL joined the show via satellite from New York.

- JBL started the segment by saying, "The world lost a great man yesterday, and WWE lose one of it's best and most passionate performers".

- JBL talked briefly about the history of the Guerrero family in wrestling, and noted that Eddie Guerrero was the reason that Smackdown was the number one non-Spanish speaking program among Hispanics in the nation.

- He praised Guerrero's ability, saying it was an honor to wrestle him. JBL talked about Guerrero's ability to "feel" what the crowd wanted, and his passion for wrestling. He then told a story of needing a police escort out of the building when he wrestled Eddie in his hometown of El Paso, Texas.

- JBL said that outside the ring, Guerrero differentiated himself from anyone he has ever met. JBL said that when he was going through a divorce a few years ago, Guerrero "sensed" something was wrong with him, and would talk to him and point out scriptures to him.

- Bradshaw said that when he first became a main event performer, a lot of people didn't believe he could cut it, and it was Eddie Guerrero who went to "the powers in WWE" and asked them to give him a chance. JBL said he main evented for a year and a half, mostly with Eddie Guerrero,. "I owe Eddie Guerrero my entire career".

- They talked about Eddie's past addictions, with JBL noting that he was addicted to alcohol and painkillers, and that he had just celebrated his fourth year of sobriety. JBL talked about how Guerrero got his life, finances and family back together, which added to the tragedy of his passing. He also noted that Guerrero had just purchased a home in Phoenix that he was planning to someday retire to, and that he had also moved his mother to Phoenix as well.

- It was noted that autopsy reports were still not available. JBL was asked if he thought drugs had anything to do with the death, and JBL said that he certainly hoped not, and there was no indication that there was at this point. JBL noted that Guerrero was found dead on the bathroom floor, and the death had to be instant, since Guerrero's toothbrush was still in his hand. JBL said the "best guess" is that he died of a massive heart attack, but there was no official word yet. JBL again pointed out how Guerrero had been clean and sober for four years.

- JBL ended the segment saying it was an "honor" to talk about his "friend Eddie".


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