Former WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero was found dead Sunday morning in his hotel room.
According to Dave Meltzer
, his nephew Chavo Guerrero called up to his room to see if he was up yet, and when he didn't get an answer, he got security to open the door. Guerrero was unconscious in the bathroom with a toothbrush in his mouth. It is believed that he suffered a heart attack while brushing his teeth, however, they have not disclosed his autopsy yet.
There have been several times I have questioned why I am a wrestling fan, but watching a Guerrero match will always refresh your memory. Eddie came through with a handful of guys (Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio, Psychosis, Juventud Guerrera) that revolutionized the sport in so many ways. When they came on the scene in WCW, we were watching a new era for wrestling.
When Guerrero became WWE Champion, he was the smallest man to ever hold that title. He wrestled around 220 llbs, and is less than six feet tall. However, his athleticism and charisma was second to none. Nobody questioned whether he should be champion, and he would move on to main event Wrestlemania 20 and defeat Olympic wrestling gold medalist Kurt Angle in a great match. They closed the show with Guerrero and newly crowned World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit together in the ring.
As Guerrero noted after winning the WWE title, he had his demons. He had been a heavy drinker and druggie for a long time, climaxing into a near-fatal car crash, being fired from WWE, and a divorce with his wife, Vicki. Malenko, Benoit, and others talked to Jim Ross about placing Eddie in rehab, and they did. Eddie cleaned up his act, left the booze and drugs alone, and was living a clean life. On Meltzer's show last night
, he noted that Guerrero had just passed his 4-year sobriety anniversary a few days ago. He had also bought a house for his family, in which he got back with his wife, Vicki. Eddie was one of the few who was very open about his problems, which was featured on a UPN special last year and also put on a special DVD.
This is a sad time for wrestling fans, as we lost a giant inside and outside of the ring.
UPDATE: Kevin Aylward has a great writeup at Wizbang