The Guerrero name is synonymous with professional wrestling. Whether it was Gori, Mando, Chavo, Hector or, of course, Latino Heat himself, Eddie Guerrero. Anyone who ever saw Eddie in the ring walked away saying, “That man was made to do this,” and it’s no surprise growing up in a family where wrestling was what brought in the money. In a family that had one of the most recognizable names in Mexican wrestling and southern states of America. Hell, as a youngster he even got to step in the ring and entertain fans during the intermission of his father’s shows.
Eddie would wrestle in school growing up and go on to a collegiate level at New Mexico Highlands University. As soon as he had finished it would be back to his father’s promotion to begin his career which officially started in 1987. For much of his early years, he’d team with his brothers Chavo and Mando. Although initially he actually teamed with El Matematico.
In May of 1989, he made his American television debut and wrestled a glorified squash match against Terry Funk:
By the end of the year, the date is not clear, with his aforementioned brothers he won his first gold when they picked up the WWA World Trio’s Championship. They lost it on July 28 of the same year. The brothers continued to team together after the loss though.
He would continue wrestling with his brothers in fact until 1991. It was at the beginning of 1992 he started to don a mask and used the name Máscara Mágica. Under this guise, Eddie won his first singles title, the WWA World Welterweight Championship. For the most part of these early years, he’d been a member of the CMLL roster, the biggest company in Mexico at the time.
That was all going to change though in 1993, when Eddie jumped from CMLL to AAA and unmasked to reveal his true identity. Together with El Hijo del Santo he formed the new version of La Pareja Atómica (The Atomic Pair), a team previously made up of their fathers. They stayed together for much of the year, but never really went anywhere and arguably the most important angle of Eddie’s young career would start by the end of the year.
La Pareja Atómica in Action:
In the winter months of 1993, Eddie Guerrero turned heel on El Hijo del Santo and formed a new alliance with Art Barr, known as La Pareja del Terror (The Pair of Terror). The new duo was an instant hit. The Mexican fans hated the team who hated Mexico and proclaimed their allegiance to the United States of America. Some people still state they have raised the ire of the Mexico population more than any other team in history.
Eventually, they’d join forces with other Mexican stars such as Konnan and Chicano Power. Together the group would be known as Los Gringos Locos (The Crazy Americans). By July of 1994, Eddie and Art had picked up the AAA (IWC) World Tag-Team Championship when they defeated El Hijo del Santo & Octagon. The feud between Eddie, Art, Santo and Octagon came to a climax in November of 1994.
La Pareja del Terror Vs. El Hijo del Santo & Octagon – Hair Vs. Hair:
Shortly after the above match Art Barr passed away. The plan had been for Eddie and Art both go to ECW, unfortunately, Eddie had to go on his own. It was at this time he added the Frog Splash to his repertoire in honor of Art. The fans of the extreme promotion loved Eddie’s styles and ate up everything he did in the ring. In 1995, Eddie would have two reigns with their television championship. His stay was only short though and by the end of August, he had left for WCW.
This whole time Eddie had also been making trips over to Japan. The first one is 1992, and the majority of it coming from 1994 onward when he was given the character of Black Tiger II, (Evil version of Tiger Mask). He reached the climax of his achievements in Japan when he won the Best of the Super Junior’s Tournament in 1996. He defeated Jushin Thunder Liger in the finals.
Eddie Guerrero Vs. Jushin Thunder Liger – Best of the Super Junior’s Tournament in 1996
Even though he debuted in WCW in 1995 and had a brief feud with Ric Flair in early 1996, it was not until the end of 1996 that he really started to do something in the companies story-lines, other than just entertaining the fans in fairly random matches. On December 29 he defeated Diamond Dallas Page in the finals of a tournament to crown the new United States Heavyweight Champion. He kept the title until March when he lost it to Dean Malenko.
His next title victory would not be until Fall Brawl when he defeated Chris Jericho for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. A title he would only hold until October of 1997 when he lost to Rey Mysterio Jr. He would regain it around a month later though and hold unto it until the end of the year when he lost to Ultimo Dragon on the December 29 edition of Monday Night Nitro.
From there Eddie just toiled in the mid-card of WCW, drifting from feud to feud, including with Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Ultimo Dragon. Then he had a Brian Pillman like moment and aired his grievances with the way he was being booked on air and then disappeared from the company for a short period of time. All this ultimately led to Eddie forming the Latino World Order, the Mexican answer to the New World Order which had totally engulfed WCW by this point.
The majority of the LWO’s time was spent trying to recruit Rey Mysterio Jr., just about the only Mexican star not in the group, into the fold. The angle would be cut short when Guerrero was in a car accident though. When he returned in 1999 he spent his time with the Filthy Animals group, which he founded with Rey Mysterio Jr. and Konnan. They had various feuds with other groups and were well liked by the fans, but again, they were just not going anywhere.
In January of 2000, Eddie finally got his release from WCW, something he had wanted for two years…