Monday, 14 November 2005

WWE Raw Eddie Guerrero Tribute - TV Review

Not since 1999 has there been an edition of WWE Raw as emotional as this, as the company pays tribute to it’s fallen star, Eddie Guerrero.

As Raw begins, we see the entire WWE roster, stars from both Raw and Smackdown, beneath the big screen, as Vince McMahon pays tribute to Eddie Guerrero. After a ten bell salute, a moving video package,set to Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt, plays. Almost everyone is in tears.

John Cena then pays his own tribute to Eddie, telling how Eddie career.

Great Eddie Moment#1 - We see Eddie spraying the Big Show, with a little help from Chavo, with liquid manure.

Tag action follows, as World Champions Kane and the Big Show take on WWE Champions MNM. A quick, but  enjoyable match as the big guys dominate and take Nitro down with a double choke slam.

Lilian Garcia then tells us of her trip to Iraq with Eddie, before bidding him farewell in Spanish.

Great Eddie Moment#2 - Eddie steals Kurt Angle’s stuff, including his gold medals and old wheelchair, and puts them  up for auction.

It’s a battle for the former team-mates next as Kurt Angle takes on Shelton Benjamin in a great technical bout worthy of this occasion. A back and forth match with plenty of action, as Angle takes Benjamin down with the ankle lock. Afterwards, Angle pays tribute to Eddie by holding aloft his EG black armband.

Shawn Michaels then tells us of the faith that he and Eddie shared. Michaels v Guerrero would have been a dream match for any fan.

Great Eddie Moment#3 - A montage of some classic moments from Los Guerreros, living up to their ethos of lying, cheating and stealing. Some great and funny moments here.

Chavo Guerrero then pays an extremely moving tribute to his uncle, his brother. Chavo tells us of life growing up in the Guerrero family, of the dream he shared with Eddie of becoming tag-team champions together.

Dream match time, as Shawn Michaels takes on Rey Mysterio. This was a great match, with plenty of excitement, and Rey ducking out of HBK’s Sweet Chin Music attempt before getting the win after the 619.

World Champion Batista, in floods of tears, tells us how he found out about Eddie’s death, and how Eddie helped him with personal problems, and the advice Eddie gave him in the early days of his title reign.

Another chance to see the video set to Johnny Cash’s Hurt next. This song really says it all, a perfect tribute.

Then it’s time for the Divas battle royal, with stars from Raw and Smackdown. As the divas tear strips off each other, Maria spends most of the match standing in the corner looking ditzy, before she is eliminated by Trish Stratus and Melina. Melina eventually wins by eliminating Trish.

Rey Mysterio then pays tribute to his brother Eddie, and tells of how both of their families bonded and became close. Pausing between sentences, Rey’s silence says more than any words can.

Great Eddie Moment#4 - From Wrestlemania XX, Eddie and Chris Benoit celebrate in the ring after Benoit’s World title win.

Next up, Eugene takes on Simon Dean. Pure comedy match here, as Eugene takes an instant dislike to Dean’s nutrition bars, pins Dean after a Rock Bottom, and then steals the Dean Machine.

Chris Benoit then tells us of his fifteen years on the road with Eddie. Through the tears, Benoit pays tribute to his best friend.

Great Eddie Moment#5 - Eddie defeats Brock Lesnar for the WWE title at No Way Out 2004.

Then it’s Triple H’s turn to pay tribute to Eddie, telling us how he overcame his personal demons, and paying respect to him as both a friend and a wrestler.

Intercontinental Champion Ric Flair then goes up against William Regal. A short and slow-paced match here, which sees Flair get the win with the figure four.

Stephanie McMahon then tells the story of when she first met Eddie, just before he left WCW and joined WWE, and of working behind the scenes with him, and of his attributes as a performer.

Great Eddie Moment#6 - Eddie inadvertently wins the Intercontinental title from Chyna in a triple threat match.

It’s a battle of WWE’s young lions next, as WWE Champion John Cena goes up against Randy Orton, who has Cowboy Bob in his corner. A short, and a slightly unspectacular bout which sees Cena get the win by disqualification after being attacked by Cowboy Bob. After a quick double team from father and son, Cena fights out of an RKO attempt and finally connects with an FU. Afterwards, Cena pays tribute to Eddie by taking off his Guerrero t-shirt, laying it in the centre of the ring, and then placing his title belt on it.

In conclusion - this was always going to be an emotional edition of Raw. With all the storylines and angles put on hold, this was a fitting tribute to Eddie Guerrero. Kudos to everyone in WWE for this show, a perfect way to pay our respects to a man taken from us before his time.