Artists can leave a profound imprint on your life, even if you haven’t ever met them. We open our hearts to the creative outpourings of many, letting in those who speak to us the most; regardless of medium. The fires they light within us do not burn out, even after they are long gone. For me, Eddie Guerrero was one of those people.
Stories connect us. Shared experiences connect us. Wrestling is an amalgamation of so many different things but at it’s heart, it’s about telling a story and letting an audience share in that moment. Eddie was a master of all of this, regardless of what role he had to play. To use the word charisma feels like an undersell. Eddie had an aura. An undeniable, incredible ability to connect with people. With me. Perhaps it’s because his story was so universal. Conquering your demons to rise to the top. I cheered for him in as much as for the idea that it was possible. Stripping away all of that however, this is about celebrating the life of a man that made people smile. When he wanted them to.
In the years leading up until his untimely passing I had the honour of watching him wrestle live on a few occasions. Energy in the building would reach fever pitch almost regardless of his position on the card, almost sapping it for whoever would be unlucky enough to follow him. That’s just it though. When Eddie was there, you felt it. When he wasn’t, you felt it. I was in attendance at a house show a few days after he left us. I never felt it more.
So much has been said about what could have happened. The chance to battle Shawn Micheals at Wrestlemania would have been a match for the ages and there’s a Jericho-esque long list of incredible match-ups since. That being said, you don’t begrudge a painter for all the things that they didn’t paint nor a singer for the songs they didn’t sing. Instead, we marvel in all the things that they did.
Today would have been his 50th birthday. Thank you Eddie.