It Was An Honor, Eddie
While Ring Of Honor will just be a brief footnote in the career of Eddie Guerrero, this class individual played a major role in the early days of ROH. Eddie Guerrero was one of the first men booked in ROH history. He was the perfect name for ROH to feature on its first show. He drew attention to ROH, he epitomized the style ROH wanted to showcase and he was a major influence on everyone that stepped in the ROH ring.
Ring Of Honor was fortunate to have Eddie Guerrero vs. Super Crazy as half of the double main event on its very first show. February 23rd, 2002 “The Era Of Honor Begins” was a huge success with a sellout crowd and outstanding card that immediately put ROH on the map with rave reviews. Much of that had to do with Eddie Guerrero. It was the unique Guerrero vs. Crazy bout that attracted the crowd and attention of the internet. The one/two punch of Guerrero vs. Crazy and the famous three-way pitting Low Ki vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Christopher Daniels immediately gave ROH the reputation as the place where highly-skilled, fast-paced, innovative wrestling would be put in the forefront. Putting on an outstanding match that night wasn’t enough for Eddie. He insisted on cutting a locker room promo after the card for the home release. This promo is still among the greatest in ROH history.
Shortly after that first show, Guerrero re-signed with WWE and quickly won the Intercontinental Title. However, Guerrero had already agreed to be on ROH’s third show, “A Night Of Appreciation,” on April 27th, 2002. ROH promoters told Eddie that they understood if he could not make the date. Eddie told them that he was a man of his word and he would honor the commitment even if it meant missing a WWE show while Intercontinental Champion. Eddie was a humble man with class and dignity. He proved this with that emotional appearance on ROH’s third event.
The show came at a time when Eddie was at the end of successfully overcoming some personal problems. ROH officials decided to use this event to honor Eddie for what he had given us and what he had overcome in his life. The entire ROH locker room wanted to show their appreciation and respect for his influence in the ring and honorable character outside the squared circle. Guerrero teamed with Amazing Red to defeat The SAT on that special event. He gave a speech after the match saying how much the Philadelphia fans meant to him as he left underground wrestling for the WWE. It was a night no one in attendance will ever forget. It created a bond with ROH and its fans. The tearful speech showed everyone that Eddie Guerrero is a very special individual.
Guerrero was the perfect name and athlete to kick start ROH’s early success. It was on the back of Eddie Guerrero that ROH sold out its first show and drew the attention of the wrestling community. It was Eddie’s passion and skill that pioneered the style you see today in ROH.
ROH will dedicate this Saturday’s show to Eddie Guerrero. This isn’t a ploy to sell tickets. The show will open with the locker room in the ring for a ten bell salute to Eddie Guerrero and after that it will be a regular ROH show. You aren’t any less of an Eddie Guerrero fan if you don’t attend. This is just our thank you to him and our way of showing respect to this great man and incredible wrestler. Eddie Guerrero has influenced us all. Eddie Guerrero will never be forgotten.