On November 13th 2005, Eddie Guerrero sadly passed away. It was tragic to see Eddie taken away from us. Particularly for me, as Eddie was probably my favorite wrestler when I first started watching wrestling. But what I’d like to explore is how Eddie Guerrero would, or maybe should, have been booked if he would have been still alive. More specifically, what would be the road to Wrestlemania 22 be like for Eddie Guerrero?
Now, there are already TWO different ideas about what would have happened to Eddie Guerrero if he had not died when he did. The first idea actually came from Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie famously stated that in the upcoming edition of SmackDown!, Eddie was supposed to win the World Heavyweight Championship from Batista developing the storyline between those two which had started around September 2005. I believe it was actually promoted for that edition of SmackDown! that it would be a triple threat between Eddie, Batista and Randy Orton for the belt and according to Stephanie, Eddie was supposed to win the belt that night.
However, Court Bauer argued that Eddie winning the championship was never the plan for Latino Heat at the time. Court suggested:
“We had talked about a fascinating idea. I’m not the biggest Bruce Prichard fan but to his credit, I believe it was Bruce Prichard who pitched putting Eddie Guerrero at WrestleMania against Shawn Michaels … Being the heartthrob in Mexico, and a mercurial figure south of the border, and the American version being HBK. They had never really worked before, and you would’ve had such a great dynamic between the two with heel Eddie vs. Shawn. That’d be your ‘tear the house down,’ high quality match at WrestleMania 22 in Chicago.”
“Vince (McMahon) was like, ‘God damn that’s really appealing. We could parallel their careers. What kind of footage do we have of Eddie outside of WCW? We could do some impressive packages.'”
Either way, it’s a win-win scenario for the WWE universe. If you believe what either Stephanie or Court said, the future was bright for Eddie Guerrero.
With this mini-series, we’re going to look into both of these potential storylines and see how we would have booked them. Now there’s always the chance that Eddie could have won the championship, lost it and still do his storyline with Shawn Michaels. But we’ll talk about that scenario later on. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before going into these potential storylines, let’s take a look at where Eddie Guerrero was with regards to the WWE storylines around that time…
At Wrestlemania 21, Eddie Guerrero lost to Rey Mysterio. Eddie’s “jinx” in matches against Rey Mysterio was still in tact and Eddie was getting frustrated. Tensions between the two begin to rise, particularly after they lost the WWE Tag Team titles to MNM. After “burying the hatchet” the two invoked their rematch clause for the tag titles. However, Eddie didn’t lay a finger to help Rey as MNM beat Rey down. Rey eventually slapped Eddie stating “You don’t want to talk? Maybe, you’ll fight”. During a street fight between Rey and Chavo Guerrero, MNM did a run-in. Eddie eventually made the save for Mysterio, but then turned on his tag team partner.
Rey and Eddie finally began their feud which began with Eddie getting himself disqualified against Rey at Judgement Day. Eddie then began holding a “secret” over Rey’s head, mentally messing with Rey and his son Dominic. Eddie promised to keep his mouth shut if Rey beat him at The Great American Bash. Rey got the win, but Eddie was not a man of his word. Eddie went on to reveal that Rey was not Dominic’s son, and that it was Eddie that was Dominic’s “papi”. The feud eventually led to Rey beating Eddie in a ladder match at Summerslam to win custody of Dominic. Eddie finally ended the feud after beating Rey in a steel cage match on SmackDown!
Following his feud with Rey, Eddie was named number one contender to Batista’s World Heavyweight Championship for No Mercy. Eddie claimed to be “new and improved” and that all he wanted to be was Batista’s friend. Batista was suspicious but befriended Guerrero. After teaming up together in a few tag team matches, it seemed that the two had formed some form of respect. During their title match at No Mercy, Eddie had the opportunity to use the chair against Batista to help him win the title. However, Eddie changed his mind which led to him losing the match.
Now it seemed that Eddie and Batista was now truly friends with Batista respecting Eddie’s decision not cheat his way to the title. It even led to Batista and Eddie riding a low-rider together to the ring on SmackDown! Batista and Eddie also secured spots in SmackDown!’s Survivor Series match against Raw. However, Eddie was still hungry for another title shot. Eventually, a triple threat match for the World title was made for SmackDown featuring Eddie, Batista and Randy Orton. Before that though, Eddie would come out to his old theme song one last time and truly be himself one last time in a match with Mr Kennedy. After that episode of SmackDown!, Eddie passed away.
Now what’s really sad is that after Eddie’s death, looking back, is that it’s pretty unclear what was going to happen with the Eddie Guerrero vs Batista storyline. Eddie was white-hot at the time and the fans truly took to Eddie as a good-guy again. Was Eddie really going to turn on Batista for good? Was Eddie in-fact supposed to win the title on that next edition of SmackDown!? Could Batista maybe have turned on Eddie after seeing the fans rally behind Guerrero?
The possibilities really were endless from this point. But for this first scenario, let’s go with the idea that Eddie was supposed to win the championship the next week on SmackDown! How would we book him from then on?
Now it really does depend on HOW Eddie would have won the championship. He could either win it cleanly or turn heel once more and win it some sneaky way. Here’s how I’m imagining it…
I think Eddie WOULD have turned heel once more to win the title. As it would have made sense for Eddie to win the belt cleanly and have him be a good guy once again, it seemed more likely that Vince was going to have Eddie turn heel once more rather than someone like Batista turning heel to bounce off face Guerrero. However, I do think Eddie winning the title THAT particular night causes a bit of an issue for me. Leading into the SmackDown! vs RAW Survivor Series match (which both Eddie and Batista were to be a part of) a World Title change leading into this huge multi-brand storyline would seem to be a bit weird to me. It would make more sense to have Eddie’s title win and his turn on Batista to be built up a bit more first. Having the win take place on SmackDown! isn’t as financially appealing then possibly having it done at SmackDown! PPV Armageddon? If I were to have Eddie win the title any day, it would be then.
So how do we build to that title change. Firstly, you have to build to the SmackDown! vs RAW match. On SmackDown!’s side, we would build up the tensions between Eddie and recent rival Rey Mysterio. Remember, Rey Mysterio was also part of that team at Survivor Series. So surely tension or mistrust between the two would start to take place. It would eventually lead to something like, on the SmackDown! before Survivor Seriesm, Eddie saving Rey and the two of them shaking hands. Now to Survivor Series.
Eddie would screw over Batista and help Team RAW win. Eddie would again be heel and he would be the top heel on SmackDown! Why’s that? Because he’s just screwed over Batista in SmackDown!’s crucial bragging rights match against RAW. All the SmackDown! locker room would despise him. Batista would want revenge. Somehow, Eddie would get another shot at the title at Armageddon which he would win. Eddie’s feud with Batista would wrap up at the Royal Rumble, with Eddie retaining the title somehow in like a Last Man Standing match or something.
I personally believe that Triple H on RAW should have won the 2006 Royal Rumble. I believe the timing was right for the King Of Kings to go back on his throne and I was kinda annoyed when he didn’t win the rumble. However, for this storyline, let’s just give a SmackDown! superstar the win!
I wouldn’t have Mysterio win the match. Nothing against Mysterio, but Mysterio and Eddie would have wrestled enough at this point. They were feuding for the majority of 2005. So I’d have Eddie go one on one… with the Undertaker. I feel of everyone in the roster, Undertaker was the only other wrestler on SmackDown! that would have been ready enough to challenge Eddie for the World Title. Batista and Rey had both had feuds with Eddie, I’m not sure about guys like Chris Benoit and Bobby Lashley at that moment. I think Undertaker would be the most ideal choice. Also, a feud between those two would have definitely been great to see.
It would be promoted as “Title vs Streak” and Eddie would have promised to end the streak, but Taker would go over and win the belt. And that would wrap-up Wrestlemania 22 as the main event.
And that’s about it for this particular scenario. I truly believe that if WWE would have had Eddie win the World Title around that time, Eddie should have went all the way to Mania as the champion. And who better to end the title reign of Guerrero at Wrestlemania than the Undertaker? Plus with the styles of Undertaker and the heel Eddie Guerrero, you would be getting an incredible storyline with a high quality main event.
Read part two at this link where we discuss another potential storyline for Eddie Guerrero and how we would get to Eddie Guerrero vs Shawn Michaels…