I felt like writing about Eddy Guerrero since this past Summer, I pretty much watched his whole career unfold. An internet acquaintance of mine makes essential comps of various great workers around the world of pro wrestling, and in June he finally completed an epic Eddy Guerrero set that was an astounding 36 discs. So, yeah a few days ago I finally finished the set and had some thoughts on Guerrero's best work.
10. Eddie Guerrero vs. Low-Ki (ICW 11/30/01) - This was during the time Eddy was fired from WWE and was going around the indy circuit putting over local indy darlings in wrestling clinics. Even though Low Ki was the champion here, Eddy was wrestling like the touring NWA champions of the past, playing the subtle heel and controlling most of the match with some awesome submissions like the rarely used Inverted Gory Special. Also, there is a great sequence where Low Ki is doing his trademark kicks to Eddy's chest and Eddy catches the foot, turns it into an STF in such a flawless fashion. Guerrero delivered here and it was a pretty brilliant match.
9. Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio (SD! 6/23/05) - Guerrero and Mysterio at this point were no longer the superquick marvels they were in WCW or in their lucha days. Mysterio had multiple knee surgeries, and Guerrero's body and back were destroyed from an almost fatal car crash. But, Guerrero's acting, body language, mic skills, and facial expressions had never been better than they were at this point. Mysterio, while he couldn't pull off the spots he did in the Havoc '97 match, had become in my opinion the best seller in the world. So we have this great match, that starts off with Guerrero pretending to wrestle clean and then he finally takes over and gets heat by simply shoving Mysterio off the ropes and just bringing on the intensity. Very simple yet excellent TV match, Guerrero's and Mysterio's total control of the audience and storytelling were the high point of 2005 WWE television.
8. Eddy Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko (Handheld 9/18/97) - This is a handheld copy, and even though I'm a big Dean Malenko fan, this was the Eddy Guerrero show. Watching this match, it's really apparent how Eddy was brilliant at working the crowd through mannerisms and body language, and how important Love Machine Art Barr was in his career for helping him develop personality wise. When I watch Guerrero in matches like these, where he just combines great heelish tricks (lots of begging off, stalling, false sincerity) with his great amazing ability, I'm convince that Guerrero at his best was probably better than any other pro wrestler ever. Malenko makes a great babyface and does a great job selling the leg in this match.
7. Eddy Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit (WCWSN 11/18/95) - This is a semi-famous gem from the mid-1990s of WCW, as Benoit and Guerrero proceed to wrestle an insane balls out match that leads to a memorable double knockout finish. I don't know what else to really add to this, but this is a match that feels very much like some of the best ROH matches out there, except this has better workers and it happened in 1995 on a b-show. Very different from every match that took place in WWF and WCW in 1995.
6. Eddy Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit (Nitro 10/16/95) - I love this match, it's a perfect TV match. They have like 8 minutes to work with here, and they start off fast as hell with some pretty difficult sequences. All this leads to Guerrero missing a clothesline and hitting his arm on the post. As I watched this match, I kept wondering, who was doing a better job: Benoit's sadistic and brutal work on Guerrero or Guerrero's selling and great babyface combacks. Awesome match, and the injured arm story plays perfectly into the finish.
5. Eddy, Chavo y Mando Guerrero vs. El Satanico, MS1 y Masakre (EMLL 8/23/92) - I was blown away by this match, Los Guerreros just destroy Satanico, MS1, and Masakre with some of the most convincing matwork I've ever seen. They just dive in for takedowns, and just deliver some brutal legwork to all the rudos. This is a great example to show that lucha isn't all about dives and pretty sequences, as the work is like a Chigusa Nagayo vs Devil Masami AJW match from 1985, where they struggle through every hold and move. The 2nd fall is just as good, as the heels decide to get revenge by neutralizing the Guerreros by using headlocks and working on their head/neck areas. Even at around 30 minutes, I wish this match would have been a lot longer, it was superb.
4. Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL (Judgment Day 5/16/04) - The only thing keeping this match from being higher is that some of the stuff in the middle of the match didn't really seem as inspired as the opening segment or the finishing stretch. Even though Guerrero is like 5'6 and JBL is huge, you forget about that in the opening part since Guerrero just goes after JBL with awesome looking punches and it fits perfectly to the storyline that preceded this match. The thing everyone remembers about this match is the bladejob that Eddy pulls off that is really kinda uncomfortable to watch at times. The last stretch with the false finishes and Eddy's selling (which was so great it was scary to watch) and the fire he showed in his comebacks makes it kinda sad Eddy didn't have more bloody brawls since he was probably the most versatile worker I've ever seen. Also, it should be pointed out that a few months before this, JBL was quite a poor worker and at best a lower midcard guy, and yet in the last 10 minutes, the crowd is more emotionally invested in this match than any other match in 2004 and it's pretty much all thanks to Guerrero's storytelling ability.
3. Black Tiger vs. Wild Pegasus (NJ 6/11/96) - This match is quite awesome, Benoit becomes the biggest heel in the world by using the most nasty looking sleeper ever. Guerrero is constantly trying to escape and make a comeback, then Benoit keeps cutting him off with a sleeper, and the crowd heat is incredible. Also, Eddie's selling of the effects the sleeper had on his throat and head are pretty nice and subtle. This match also plays off their famous past matches and it's right up there as the best matches NJPW juniors ever had.
2. Eddy Guerrero y Love Machine vs. El Hijo Del Santo y Octagon (AAA When Worlds Collide 11/6/94) - This match only gets better with repeated viewing. AAA did a brilliant job building up this match and tying it into the history of both El Santo and Gory Guerrero. First fall is pretty short, but the 2nd fall does a great job of almost convincing the audience that El Hijo Del Santo is losing the mask. The 3rd fall is long like it should be, they play off some of the finishes from the previous falls, also they play up the famous Blue Panther-Love Machine feud that started more than 2 years ago in EMLL, Guerrero hits all these great suplexes and it's just a such a great joy to watch all this unfold. Dave Meltzer was at this match live, rated it ***** and has often talked about how INSANE the crowd heat was for this match.
1. Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. (Havoc 10/26/97) - I have never seen a wrestling match as much times as this one, it's the match I would show people if they are curious as to why I love pro wrestling. Guerrero comes in looking like the biggest meanest asshole ever, with the belt draped around his shoulder, with this slow walk and this look of total contempt on his face. Mysterio comes in as the small sympathetic babyface, who even though he had already defeated Guerrero multiple times, is still the underdog. The match is mostly Guerrero focusing on Mysterio's back, and the way Eddie controls the match is as good as it gets. Mysterio makes such a great babyface, hits all his comebacks smoothly and sells all of Eddie's great stuff like the most brutal moves ever. This match also features two of my favorite spots ever: Mysterio hitting that springboard moonsault DDT and a somersault into headscissors on the arena floor. I love this match, it's my favorite wrestling match ever.