Maybe he wasn't the "biggest draw" or the "greatest promo". He was way more than that to me. He was my friend.
I could relate to Eddie Guerrero more than any other wrestler. I saw him every week on Smackdown. I met him every Tuesday evening. That was when they would show the Smackdown that aired two weeks ago in the USA. I was always two weeks behind but it never mattered to me. I had Eddie, Rey Mysterio, Edge, et all on Smackdown. These guys were the best. And the best out of all of them was Guerrero. I had no spoilers then and I didn't need them. All I needed was to see him walk out and perform in the ring alongside the stellar cast that they had at the time. Bad guy, good guy, weak guy, guy who lost to Brock Lesnar, it didn't matter.
Nostalgia is a dangerous thing. It makes you think that things were better than they really were. Not here. I know I can never recapture that era of 2002-2004. I was a lonely kid. Lots of bullying. Bad hand-eye co-ordination. Luggard at sports. Loner. Freak. But on Tuesday evenings nobody could have been happier than me.
I know what its like when your family hates you for being drunk. I have that feeling that I have hit bottom. Everyday. That there is nowhere to go but up. But I know that I want to fight another day because I am addicted. I am addicted to the high that I don't know but will know when I get there. I want to do good. I want to provide for my family. I want to be respected.
Guerrero lost it all because of his addictions. But the man fought like hell to get back to the top before his physical heart decided to give out. I can't even imagine that climb back to the top. To live every day in the hope that someday you will be able to justify your existence to your family. That you will one day hold your head high.
Why do I still watch wrestling?
Because many years ago, in that brief period of 2002-04, I really needed wrestling. I depended on it to take me away to another place that was not my life. I thought that it was a bad thing to depend on something. I don't think so anymore. Wrestling is art and we depend on art everyday. It gives me hope, it gives me color. It has all the shades that are required: hope, grief, joy, laughter, passion, anger - and most of all - familiarity. Whatever happened, I knew that he would be there, lieing, cheating, stealing. Being a glorious heel. Jumping from ladders. Landing on his back on steel. Whatever it took to make me feel alive.