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  1. #1
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Inside the Mind: Communication (KOTC 2)




    November 13th 2005 saw the passing of one of my favourite wrestlers of all time. In 2019, more than a decade later, I’m still not over it. The death of Eddie Guerrero still saddens me. It still cuts me up inside and I still wish every time I watch wrestling that his music would start playing and Eddie would appear, swaggering away and smiling, and simply say those synonymous words, “I lied.” When discussing communication there is no man who has managed to get me so emotionally involved when communicating as Eddie Guerrero. A man who could hold the fans in the palm of his hands in one moment, and crush them in another. A man who could tug at your heart strings and emotions, yet also make you incandescent with rage against him. A man so utterly despicable, and yet so completely adorable, you couldn’t help but believe every action he performed.

    Because Eddie didn’t only communicate with words. Eddie communicated with every limb of his body. He communicated with every action and reaction, constantly speaking to us with everything he did. When he was wrestling as a heel, Eddie would turn it into an art form, communicating his dastardliness with his vicious assaults, cheating ways and increased in-ring aggression. Whilst working as a face, he would communicate by showing off his athleticism, his never-say-die attitude and his pandering to the crowd. With every wrestling move he made, Eddie was communicating with us as precious few others can. And I was utterly sucked in.

    You could tell how good he was from the many, many, matches where he cheated to win. Eddie was unique in that he could cheat to win as a face and as a heel, and he would communicate exactly what he was doing with the fans each time. No words were needed to communicate in an Eddie match. Just an exaggerated reaction and we knew exactly what he was doing. And we were all sucked into it. Pretending he had been hit with a steal chair, lying motionless all whilst winking mischievously at the fans: it’s an enduring image I associate with Eddie and love him for.

    And then you had the eyes. Eddie’s eyes spoke more than a thousand words ever could. How could a man have such cold, calculating, evil eyes one moment and such shiny, happy eyes the next? How could he portray such sadness in one simple look and then a boyish cheekiness with the next? Eddie could captivate an audience with a look from his eyes and you would instantly believe everything he had said, and everything he didn’t need to say. I’ve never known a wrestler who could say more with their eyes than Eddie could. For Eddie his eyes appeared to be beacons to his soul. And I believed what they told me.

    Of course, it would be folly to discuss communication without discussing his words. For years Eddie would captivate with his mic work. A lot of it would be because he was truly unique. In a world full of white Americans, he stood out. I fell in love with him as he attempted to win over Chyna, making us believe he was in love with her with his adoring messages and sentiment. As his career progressed, his mic work just got better and better as he lied, cheated and stole his way into all our hearts. Throughout his career he could make you believe anything he said with his words as he delivered them with such honesty and such charisma. Eddie was a master of communicating with few words. He could say more in a few sentences than others could manage in long, winding promos.




    November 13th 2005. 38 years old. Eddie Guerrero died far too soon and too young. I remember the fallout as if it was yesterday. The news trickled out and very soon even the most lapsed wrestling fan had heard it. My friends who had given up the product were upset by it. My parents who had no interest in wrestling read about it and I remember my dad asking about it as if he cared. Meanwhile, on AOL instant messenger, a weird clique of misfits and idiots were all in tears and not quite sure what to say. That weird clique, whether through AIM, LOP Forums, or through private chats, communicated with me throughout the fallout and are the very reason that I coped as well as I did. Wrestling fans are unbelievably good at supporting each other and this was the first time I’d needed it. It wouldn’t be the last. Fuck my real-world friends. Fuck my parents. Fuck the media. Communication with my weird e-friends got me through Eddie’s death.


    And then the WWE started communicating too.


    Everything about those weeks after Eddie’s death is etched in my brain. Like an ugly internal scar, it will linger with me forever. And there’s a part of me that isn’t ashamed about that. The WWE’s response to Eddie’s death was absolutely phenomenal and part of the reason why I love the product to this day. I watched every video tribute. I remember Booker T and Chris Benoit crying, alongside me, in their videos as they mourned for their friend. I remember Jericho’s uncharacteristic silence and calmness, as he tried to digest the news. I remember Vince trying to explain it but not being able to justify it. Eddie was gone, and these guys were upset too. Just like me. The WWE showed me how these guys felt. Kayfabe was broken for Eddie and I’ll never forget it. I remember emphasising with the Superstars and feeling I shared my sadness with them and I could relate to them.

    “Here without you.” I’ve watched the tribute video to Eddie hundreds of times and still can’t quite make it through with a dry eye. This was WWE’s way of letting us in on Eddie’s life and paying tribute to it, and I’ll never forget it. They communicated with us and broke down every wall in that video, and the result was more emotional and more meaningful that anything else they could have done. I’m grateful they did.

    As time went by, Eddie’s death left a permanent indent on certain wrestlers on our televisions and they continued to communicate the pain they were feeling with us. Two of the main wrestlers were Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero. I loved that in the aftermatch of Eddie’s death, both of these stars communicated their pain. With Rey it was with words and actions. His subsequent push was powered on in Eddie’s memory and I thoroughly enjoyed the ascendency of his career after Eddie’s death. At no point did Rey leave Eddie behind. He always spoke about him and always made sure the audience knew that Eddie was on his mind. Some people don’t like Rey’s push as they feel he was milking Eddie’s death. For me, Rey’s push wasn’t milking Eddie’s death, it was reminding us that he lived. And that Rey had loved him. As had I.

    Chavo’s reaction to Eddie’s death was dramatic. The abandoning of the underrated Kerwin White character was probably inevitable but it still communicated his emotion vividly, as he left his gimmick to follow his Guerrero roots. I don’t know who decided to drop the gimmick, but it was the right thing to do. Letting Chavo be a Guerrero again gave us a link to Eddie. And communicated one thing to me- the WWE cared. And we got to witness Chavo’s tributes to Eddie first-hand. By changing his moveset, Chavo communicated in actions far more than he ever could in words. Every time he hit the 3 Amigos. Every Frogsplash. It was like, for one moment, we had Eddie back. No matter how poorly they were executed, Chavo was able to give us, and himself, another moment with Eddie. Once again, the WWE hit the nail on the head by allowing that to happen.

    Fast forward to 2019. One of the members of the WWE roster is still using the Frogsplash. Sasha Banks. Sasha and I are roughly the same age and are both lifelong wrestling fans. She’s never been shy about communicating her love for Eddie and that he inspired her. And because of this, every time she gives us a little tribute to Eddie, I get a little emotional. I share the pain she would have felt when he passed away as I felt it too. And every time she hits one of his moves, adopts one of his mannerisms or refers to the man himself, I feel an affinity to Sacha that I don’t feel for many others. By communicating her pain, she’s become relatable to me and I respect her, and love her more. But never as much as I loved Eddie.

    I love that in 2019 people still remember Eddie and want to pay tribute to him. And that’s exactly what I want to do too. I’ll never be able to communicate my pain like Rey Mysterio or Sasha Banks. But I do have a keyboard and a stupid column that some people read, despite my lack of any sort of skillset as a writer. So, I’m going to say I healthy “fuck you” to the tournament, to the readers, and to everything else and communicate with Eddie.






    I love you Eddie, and I miss you. Why did you have to leave us? Wrestling isn’t the same without you. Thank you for bringing so much entertainment and joy to my teenage years, with your work and with your personality. Thank you for being yourself, brilliant but flawed. For being totally relatable and endearing in everything you did. And thank you for putting your life on the line for us again and again. For overcoming your addictions so we could have these incredible memories of the things you did. Thank you for all those memories, Eddie. Thank you for inspiring me and for making me happy so many times. I love you and I miss you.
    The worst thing about your death is that you can’t communicate with us anymore. Every time I pray for your music to hit and you to come out and say “I lied,” I’m hit by a deafening silence. I hope you lied, cheated and stole your way into heaven.







    That was a mess of a column. But I’m not sorry.

    This was a tribute to the greatest communicator in wrestling history: Eddie Guerrero.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    Really enjoyed the emotion you poured into this one. Whether a mess or not, as you say (which it isn't), it's clear you still feel passionately about him, and that shone through.

  3. #3
    HUGE Member TheLAW's Avatar
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    Loved this. Especially loved the guts out move of posting first and so fast. Great tribute to Eddie here man. Really heartfelt! Writing was spot on as well

  4. #4
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 205 Clive View Post
    Really enjoyed the emotion you poured into this one. Whether a mess or not, as you say (which it isn't), it's clear you still feel passionately about him, and that shone through.
    Clive, thanks for breaking the silence. Yeah, I got a bit carried away here and I’m glad that shone through. Weirdly the whole column feels like a dream now. The feedback is much appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLAW View Post
    Loved this. Especially loved the guts out move of posting first and so fast. Great tribute to Eddie here man. Really heartfelt! Writing was spot on as well
    Thanks and glad you enjoyed the column. Someone had to go first! May as well have been me to get the emo stuff out the way. Yeah, I hope the tribute was on point. Guess we’ll see soon.

    Thanks all for the read and the feed.

  5. #5
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    Eddie was never my favourite wrestler but he was definitely one of them. I have fond memories of his time in WWE and one of the highlights, like you mentioned, was that wink to the crowd when he was feigning an injury. I absolutely loved that.

    Although, I'm kinda pissed you made me miss Eddie. Admittedly I haven't thought about him in some time which is why this column made me miss him that much more. Loved this.

  6. #6
    Great emotive piece here, I think it benefits from the raw emotion and relative lack of polish. When you talk about Eddie's eyes communicating, the scene I go back to is Judgment Day 2004 when he comes out to the ring, and standing on the second rope just stares at JBL with nothing but revenge in his eyes. That stare completely justifies the bloodletting to come. Your feelings are at the forefront and that's how it should be for this kind of column.

  7. #7
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    I miss Eddie too. There are few wrestlers that captured the "everything" that a wrestler should have. Eddie had it all, without question.

    With that being said, to some extent you were right. This is a bit of a mess; uncharacteristically so. I was surprised at the typos in the piece first of all. And for me, it missed a little bit of 'Nony. I know you had something in mind, and I appreciate the Eddie tribute, but it just seemed somewhat off.

    You get through this round with timebomb dropping out, so tighten it up sunshine! :-)

  8. #8
    The Brain
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    Really emotional piece, I didn’t think it was too messy at all, except in the sense that any heartfelt tribute will be messy. It put me in mind of tributes I’ve written myself, for Randy Savage, for Paul Bearer, for Bobby Heenan, and others. When you feel that connection to a wrestler, it’s something special. And sometimes painful. Benoit’s death changed my life in a permanent way, for the most extreme example. Eddie is a guy I had a mental block around for a long time. When I started watching in ’03, I couldn’t bring myself to like him. It wasn’t him, it was the presentation. He cheated and was praised, other cheated and were condemned. As charismatic as Eddie was, it wouldn’t stop bothering me. I’ve been rewatching those days recently, and while the double standard is still obvious, it’s much easier for me to put it to one side and simply marvel at the incredible talent of the man. The way he communicated with the crowd was truly amazing, and you did justice to that here.

  9. #9
    You know who I am, but you don't know why I'm here
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    We're getting emotional in the quarterfinals!

    I appreciate the sentiments. I'll never forget that day in 2005. I was reviewing Smackdown for LOP at the time, and he had been a streak that seemed destined to land him back at the top as World Champion. I know that's such a small thing in the grand scheme of someone's life, but I was so excited that he was going to be the champion again after the by that point well-known confidence issues that he'd had while champion the prior year. I wrote a tribute to Eddie and had LOP Forums members who so desired "sign it" with their real names and posted it to the MP. I sent it via email to Vickie Guerrero and she sent me a thank you in reply. That's one of my favorite memories from the "Chad Matthews" side of my life; and it remains attached to perhaps my saddest memory as a wrestling fan.

    You're right - there were few wrestlers in history on his level as a communicator.

    I really appreciated this piece.
    Author of The WrestleMania Era book series, author of The Doctor's Orders columns on LOP since 2010, LOP Columns Hall of Famer, former host of The Doc Says podcast on LOP Radio (2013-2018), former LOP Raw and WWE PPV Reviewer (2006-2007), and former LOP Smackdown Reviewer (2004-2006)

  10. #10
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    Really felt the raw emotion coming from this one. There’s something to be said about tributes, columns, etc. that are just beautifully polished, and yet there’s also something powerful about the rawness of pain. Props to you for – at least what I felt like – writing this for yourself, for Eddie, and from the heart.

    I think my favorite part was you dialing in on Eddie’s specific qualities that made him so good at what he did – not only did it highlight his mastery of communication, but it simultaneously delivered why you miss him so much. I think you were hitting on both chords perfectly – the emotional part and substantive examples of his brilliance. Not an easy feat to accomplish. The best example was when you described his eyes. Almost instantly, your words took me back 15 years and put two images in my head – his WWE Championship celebration and his promo the week following his heel turn on Rey.



    and



    It really is incredible how he so vividly represented the most endearing of babyfaces and the most heinous of heels in such short time. I almost hate to use the word “analysis” in such a heartfelt piece, but it was a really was a great, direct example that still hit home with the heartstrings.

    I thought things were swallowed up more in the emotional chord and had less on the side of tying to the topic in the last part of the column. And hell, when you’re writing from the heart, that’s bound to happen. Hardly a negative. But I found it more noticeable compared to the first half of your column, which I thought straddled both worlds perfectly.

    Couple of small issues I noticed – “steal chair” instead of “steel chair”, and “Sacha” instead of “Sasha”, for instance.

    Overall, just a great pick of a wrestler to use for this topic. I think I’ve been on record saying that Eddie Guerrero, Booker T, and CM Punk are my three favorites for how they used their facial expressions in matches to convey subtext. Obviously, that’s only one small aspect of communication, and Eddie in particular was a master of every aspect. The fact that you had such a connection to him made it even stronger.

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