TOP NEWS STORIES for Monday November 14, 2005
As noted earlier today, Eddie Guerrero passed away early this morning from what remain unknown causes. When Guerrero didn't answer his wake-up call, his nephew Chavo was contacted by hotel staff who remembered he and Eddie from a stay at the hotel years ago according to a statement from Chavo Guerrero Jr. at a WWE issued press conference early this afternoon in Minneapolis. When security found Guerrero, he was lifeless on the bathroom floor with a toothbrush in his mouth, and was pronounced dead when authorities arrived. Eddie's body was taken from the room, and soon afterwards Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio, Chris Benoit and Chavo Guerrero Jr. were said to have spent time in the empty hotel room saying their goodbyes to Eddie according to Wade Keller of The Pro-Wrestling Torch.
The shock of Eddie Guerrero's death resonated quickly, as those in both WWE and TNA were said to be devastated. TNA--WWE's only real American competitor--paid tribute to Eddie Guerrero both on their website and on their live pay-per-view Genesis, with a graphic paying respects to Eddie opening the show. During the three hour event, fans broke into chants of "Eddie", and Team 3-D and Rhyno wore wristbands marked with the letters "E.G." in tribute to their former coworker. World Wrestling Entertainment paid tribute to Guerrero by scrapping original plans for their back-to-back taping of Raw and Smackdown later in the evening, and instead turning the evening into a four hour tribute to the former WWE Champion that will air on both Monday and Friday in the Raw and Smackdown timeslots.
Press was slow in picking up on the tragedy, but by nights end the death of the former champion was the lead story in the entertainment sections of the news sites of NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX, and was being carried by Yahoo, MSNBC, The UK SUN, The USA Today and AOL News and will almost certainly appear in the Monday edition of most major newspapers. Vince McMahon and Chavo Guerrero spoke at the WWE sanctioned press conference early in the afternoon. Both demonstrated remarkable composure, with McMahon using the standard company line that Eddie would have wanted "the show to go on" that evening. Vince stated that the Guerrero family would receive royalties from WWE "forever", and noted that Guerrero was a born-again Christian. Chavo told the press that Eddie had recently celebrated the four year anniversary of his sobriety.
Former World Wrestling Federation Champion Billy Graham will preside over Eddie Guerrero's funeral, which World Wrestling Entertainment officials are trying to make arrangements for as soon as possible. With WWE set for a long overseas tour that begins on Monday with a travel day to Italy, the company realizes they are in a difficult situation with so many close friends of Guerrero who would not agree to miss his funeral. According to Billy Graham, who spoke on Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Live tonight, Eddie's widowed wife Vickie passed word along to him that several WWE wrestlers refused to work the overseas tour if it meant missing Eddie's funeral, and she believes that WWE is now pushing the European tour back several days. This has yet to be confirmed.
Both Eddie Guerrero and Billy Graham have WWE published autobiographies scheduled for release in the upcoming weeks. Guerrero's autobiography -heartbreakingly titled "Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story"- will be released on December 20, 2005. The Editorial Preview states: "With an open heart and a powerful determination, Guerrero searched deep within himself and fought to regain the life he had lost. Above all, his journey of self-discovery reawakened his relationship with Jesus Christ, and he found peace and strength in the Bible...Ultimately, Guerrero not only regained his life, he surpassed his wildest dreams. Despite all the obstacles strewn in his path, Guerrero triumphed, becoming WWE Champion...t's also the story of Guerrero's private struggle, of a son caught in the shadow of a larger-than-life father and three older brothers, of a marriage that reached the brink of disintegration before being reborn as a more powerful and fulfilling relationship. Throughout, Eddie Guerrero pulls no punches describing his battles with self-doubt and inner darkness. In the end, Cheating Life, Stealing Death is a story of great courage and personal redemption, of Guerrero's bravery in facing his disease and fighting to become a better man in every light". Billy Graham's autobiography, Tangled Ropes, is available on January 10, 2006.
On Eddie Guerrero, Dave Meltzer said: "When it is said that someone doesn't have a single enemy in the business, usually it's an overstatement. In Eddie Guerrero's case, it was true". Eddie's funeral will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, where Eddie had just relocated his wife and children to so that they could be closer to their extended family.
According to Dave Meltzer, World Wrestling Entertainment is very interested in acquiring the Mid-South wrestling video library. Featuring big, believable stars such as Steve Williams, Jim Duggan and the Junkyard Dog and all around exceptional talent like The Freebirds, Ted Dibiase and Terry Taylor, Mid-South Wrestling--or the UWF as Bill Watts would later rename it-- was an exciting predecessor to the television format that would be adapted by much larger promotions in the future, and was considered by many to be the greatest promotion of its time, competing with and defeating the expanding World Wrestling Federation in several markets in the mid 1980's. At the moment, the library is owned by Ene Watts, ex-wife of UWF promoter Bill Watts. She is asking twice the price that WWE is currently offering for the library, and a deal has yet to be reached. World Wrestling Entertainment has also yet to close on the World Class Championship Wrestling library that they have been in negotiations with Kevin Von Erich for several months regarding.
Pat Patterson is back with World Wrestling Entertainment on a part time basis after retiring last year according to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Patterson will be working primarily pay-per-view events as an agent and will lend his proven expertise in laying out important matches for the company.