I think alot of people have totally overstated the way Eddie and his death has affected them. I'm not attempting to justify the way I feel, or what I'm personally feeling, but I'm also not going to mince words; Eddie Guerrero was my idol.
I've known, for many years, that I wanted to be a wrestler, and that Eddie Guerrero was the wrestler I wanted to be. I loved everything Eddie did in the ring; the subtle nuances in his work, the facials, the promos, when he stepped on the face of his opponents. His movements felt so natural in the ring, and the sly cheating. My friend Blake idolized Chris Benoit; and though I loved me my Benoit, there was something about Eddie that just made him so great. He just oozed personality and knew how to work a crowd so well. Everything I loved about wrestling was embodied in Eddie. In my mind, I could see myself with many of those same motions, maneurisms, and style. I wanted to have a match with him; stand in awe as we cut promos just like Jericho looked that night he debuted against the Rock. And I felt that it was taken away.
And yesterday, when I first arrived on the forum, I saw the latest post was in a thread that was titled "Eddy Guerrero passes away". Immediately, I thought ban, and that this was some kind of sick joke I was going to end up cleaning up. No one had any idea it was coming I imagine; though it seems at times everyone in the business has their number comes up early, Eddie seemed to have gotten past that. He had recovered, and I felt like he earned his second chance. He deserved to live longer and to have a full career and to see his kids grow up. He had fought his demons in a business that is filled with them; a business that is built on them. He deserved better.
It took me a long time to understand what had happened. I admit, I have a horrible track record coping with death. I've only cried twice in my life at a death, and both of those were grandparents. I didn't cry during 9/11 (the feeling was, and still is, completely surreal), didn't cry for Reagan, don't cry for celebs, and I didn't cry for Eddie. What I felt was total emptiness when it sunk in. I felt like something had been sucked out of me.
Yesterday sucked. I've been copying alot of tapes onto DVD lately, and you can't trip over an old WWF show without seeing someone who's dead. Owen, Crash, Bossman, Eddy are all gone. It's sad, but it also feels embarrasing. Like, for some reason, we are at fault; that we drove these guys to use steroids, to put enormous tolls on their body, and to sacrifice what they do. And we continue to support the business that drives the lifestyle, even though we condemn the lifestyle, we are still there to support the business.
I remember the day Eddie was in the car crash on New Year's Eve and I read those reports on the net. I remember the day he was arrested for drunk driving, and thinking that it was the end of him. I felt cheated that I was never going to get to see him wrestle again. I was angry that day, as I was angry yesterday. Today is different. Eddie got his second chance. He got to put on performances doing what he loved. He played the rudo and had fun as the face, he put forth MOTYC with Lesnar and Mysterio among others, and he got the world title. He and Benoit stood on the biggest stage of them all with the world titles, and though some of us felt that the WWE would eventually botch their push, that moment was pure and untainted. I marked out like crazy both at No Way Out and WrestleMania. I said earlier that I'm not very emotional, and I often feel disjointed from the crowd and the moments of pure markdom. But I was lost in it that day. And we all enjoyed him, and I'm sure he enjoyed himself.
Tomorrow is my birthday, and I'm somehow caught in between the death of a guy I idolized and the passing of another year. I'm 22 now, I'm almost done with MA, and I want to know where I am going with things. Right now, I love this sport. After watching Eddie die, I don't know if I want to be a part of it anymore. The emptiness, I guess, is that I don't know if wrestling is for me anymore.