Corrigan’s Corner: If Eddie Guerrero Hadn’t Died…

Eddie Guerrero passed away 10 years ago. What if he hadn't?

will never forget where I was 10 years ago when I heard the news of Eddie Guerrero’s death.

He was an once-in-a-lifetime performer, a hybrid of old-school wrassler and Oscar-quality actor. He made you laugh with those “lie, cheat and steal” vignettes. He made you steam over his bullying of nephew Chavo and best friend Rey-Rey. He made you roar when he won the WWE Championship, an underdog story come to life before our eyes.

And he made us all cry at his untimely passing.

I’ve spent the past couple weeks wondering what Latino Heat’s role would be today. Surely, his body wouldn’t have been able to take the nonstop abuse for another decade, so maybe he would have a reduced schedule ala Chris Jericho and Rob Van Dam. Or perhaps he would have retired to become a road agent or trainer in NXT.

Of course, Eddie could have jumped to TNA or returned to Ring of Honor or even served in Vampiro’s fatherly role for Lucha Underground.

Imagine the surefire classics he could have had with CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins, Alberto Del Rio, Austin Aries, to name a few.

What’s the point of “what if?” Well, it’s a distraction, a diversion from the moment, which can be quite helpful if that moment hurts. As a wrestling diehard, this anniversary is one of those moments.

Amid all the possibilities are five certainties if Eddie Guerrero hadn’t died on November 13, 2005:

Rey Mysterio Would Never Be World Champion

Despite his massive popularity, the master of the 619 would certainly have never risen to the top of the land of the giants. Mysterio’s World Heavyweight Championship reign in 2006 was a direct result of his best buddy’s death, beginning the night after Eddie was inducted into the Hall of Fame. His weak four-month title run indicates that there was no long-term commitment to the luchadore’s staying power. Upon further review, you could also argue that had Batista not been on the sidelines, regardless of Eddie’s passing, Mysterio would have never even sniffed the gold.

Vickie Guerrero…Just Eddie’s Wife

Although she appeared on Smackdown during the custody of Dominic storyline, there were never any plans for Vickie Guerrero to become a fixture of WWE TV. No offense to Vickie, it’s just that nobody expected her to captivate the audience like she did as GM. One of the most unlikely success stories in wrasslin’ history, Vickie developed into a legendarily despised authority figure who gained real heat with a simple catchphrase. Excuse us, Vickie, for doubting your talent.

WrestleMania 22: Eddie vs. Shawn Michaels

Despite HBK stating that he had never been told of Eddie as his opponent, former WWE Creative team members Court Bauer and John Pollock claim that the matchup had been pitched by Bruce Pritchard aka Brother Love. Now THAT’s a dream match worthy of plopping down $60. Mr. WrestleMania would go on to face Mr. McMahon in a forgettable street fight. Actually, aside from Mick Foley vs. Edge, Mania 22 truly lacked that special match. Oh, what could have been.

Kerwin White > Chavo

10 years before The Donald’s campaign headlines, Chavo Guerrero Jr. bellowed “If it’s not White, it’s not right.” Dying his hair blond, wrapping a sweater around his neck, and driving a golf cart down the ramp, Chavo ditched his Latino heritage for stereotypical Caucasian mannerisms. It was pretty funny, albeit mostly limited to Sunday Night Heat. (And it also gave Dolph Ziggler his first taste of stardom as Kerwin’s caddy.) Unfortunately, White disappeared as fast as a snowflake when WWE had only one Guerrero left on the roster.

The Wellness Policy

The silver lining in Eddie’s passing is the implementation of the WWE Talent Wellness Policy, a program administered by medical professionals and includes substance abuse and drug testing, cardiovascular and brain function testing, annual physicals, and health care referrals. While the program prevents us from enjoying Daniel Bryan in action, it serves the best intentions for the wellbeing of the men and women who sacrifice every day for our entertainment. assistant editor John Corrigan can be reached at . Follow him on Twitter at .

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John Corrigan

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