Eddie Guerrero vs Andrade “Cien” Almas
WWE’s biggest Latin superstar vs WWE’s modern day Latin superstar, Latino Heat vs El Ídolo, Black Tiger II vs La Sombre, Mascara Magica vs Brillante. Eddie Guerrero built a legacy for luchadores in the WWE, Andrade Cien Almas is that modern day latino to fill the void left by Eddie Guerrero. What would a rivalry or dream match look like with the lowrider-riding persona feuding against the tranquilo luchador and his manager Zelina Vega? Eddie was known for his in ring cheating playful tactics, and likewise Andrade enjoys taunting by laying on the ropes and on the mat while Zelina Vega brings the cheating schemes. Who would come out on top after this dream match rivalry?
1986: Eddie Guerrero Eddie Guerrero was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He wrestled in college and then followed in the footsteps of his brothers and father by moving to Mexico to train as a professional wrestler. As a boy, he would attend the wrestling promotions held by his father Gory Guerrero at the El Paso County Coliseum. (Gory Guerrero is the patriarch of the Guerrero wrestling family. One of the early pioneers and biggest legends in Mexican lucha libre and has been credited with the invention of the Camel Clutch. He is known for tagging with El Santo the most iconic luchador in Mexican history, and then turning on El Santo for one of his biggest rivals. He began his career in Mexico working under the ring name Joe Morgan, but later changed his name to Gory Guerrero—a reference to his bloody matches.) Guerrero’s father allowed him and his nephew Chavo to wrestle each other during intermissions.
1987-1992 Guerrero began wrestling in CMLL as the original Mascara Magica. In 1989 he made his WCW debut as “Eddy Guerrero“, a jobber, most notably wrestling Terry Funk. In 1992, Eddie left CMLL to pursue a career with AAA. Although the Mascara Magica gimmick was popular, CMLL owned the rights to the character. Guerrero appeared on a televised AAA show as Mascara Magica, only to unmask himself and reveal himself to be Eddie Guerrero along with the aide of his tag team partner that night, Octagón. Being physically attacked by the opposing tag team for doing so. (Unmasking video)
1992–1994 In Mexico, he wrestled mainly for Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA), teaming with El Hijo del Santo as the new version of La Pareja Atómica (The Atomic Pair), the tag team of Gory Guerrero and El Santo. In 1993, Guerrero began wrestling in Japan for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he was known as the second incarnation of Black Tiger. In AAA, Guerrero turned on Santo and allied with Art Barr as La Pareja del Terror (The Pair of Terror). The duo became arguably the most hated tag team in lucha libre history. Along with Barr, Konnan, Chicano Power, and Madonna’s Boyfriend, Guerrero formed Los Gringos Locos (The Crazy Americans), a villainous stable. Guerrero and Barr’s first break would come when they were noticed in late 1994 by the owner of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), Paul Heyman, and were approached about wrestling for him in 1995. Barr, however, died before he could join ECW with Guerrero. (Eddie Guerrero’s book claims that the cause of Barr’s death is still unknown to this day. According to Chris Jericho, Barr’s death to be an accidental pill overdose.) After the death of his friend Art Barr, Guerrero started to use the frog splash as a finisher.
1995 Guerrero won the ECW World Television Championship from 2 Cold Scorpio in his debut match for ECW, and went on to have a series of acclaimed matches with Dean Malenko before they both signed with WCW later that year. Guerrero lost the ECW Television Championship back to 2 Cold Scorpio on August 25. The next day, they had their last match which ended in a draw in a two out of three falls match at the ECW Arena. After the match, the locker room emptied and the two were carried around the ring by their fellow wrestlers while the crowd chanted “please don’t go”. Guerrero returned to WCW in late 1995 along with Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit with whom he had worked with in NJPW and ECW.
1996-1999 Guerrero as “Black Tiger” in NJPW, became more successful upon his return when he won the Best of the Super Juniors 1996 tournament of junior heavyweights and received a shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion The Great Sasuke. In WCW, Guerrero won his first United States Heavyweight Championship and competed with DDP, Scott Norton, Syxx, Chris Jericho, and Dean Malenko. Guerrero when later compete for the World Cruiserweight Championship also against Rey Mysterio Jr. and Último Dragón. Eddie began “mentoring” his nephew Chavo Guerrero by teaching him a lesson, and then forced him to become his “slave” and eventually driving Chavo “crazy” to his own disbelief. Despite his success and popularity, Guerrero had been one of many wrestlers who were frustrated at never being given a chance to be main event stars in WCW. These frustrations came to a head when Guerrero requested that WCW President Eric Bischoff either push his character or give him a raise for family reasons. Bischoff responded by allegedly throwing coffee at Guerrero (however, in his autobiography, Guerrero states that Bischoff accidentally knocked his coffee off the table and that it was a complete accident that he was hit). Furious, Guerrero demanded Bischoff release him from his contract on a live episode of Nitro. Guerrero then left the company for a period of months, angry at Bischoff for what he had done. Guerrero later returned to WCW, leading to the belief that maybe Guerrero’s angry speeches against Bischoff were actually a work (Guerrero later confirmed it to be a worked shoot). Guerrero would later contradict himself on WWE’s DVD Monday Night War claiming that he tried to put personal differences aside for the good of the company, yet found himself angry and outraged once more because of Bischoff’s supposed continued refusal to elevate Guerrero and other similar wrestlers. He let Brian Adams pin him and get an upset victory in a match. On-screen, Guerrero responded to Bischoff’s actions by forming the Latino World Order (lWo) as an answer to Bischoff’s “refusal” to push Latino wrestlers in ways they felt they deserved. Guerrero was involved in a car accident on New Year’s Day 1999 that cut short the LWO storyline. After his return in May 1999, Guerrero became a founding member of The Filthy Animals alongside Rey Mysterio Jr. and Konnan.
2000-2001 When Vince Russo was fired as WCW booker and replaced by Kevin Sullivan, Guerrero asked for and received a release from his contract on January 19 2000. He signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) along with fellow WCW stars Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn – They made their debut as The Radicalz. Guerrero began pursuing the affections of Chyna, who he referred to as his “Mamacita“. Chyna would later declare that she could not resist his “Latino Heat“. The two began to become popular with the fans, and after storyline tensions, Chyna almost leaving him but being proposed to and becoming engaged.. Guerrero would then turn heel with a storyline of being caught showering with two of The Godfather’s hos (one was Victoria) claiming that “two Mamacitas are better than one”. Guerrero pursued the Intercontinental and European Championships until May 2001 when he was sent to rehab for his developed addiction to pain medication stemming from his 1999 car accident. To explain his absence, a storyline was created where Guerrero was “injured” by Albert (Matt Bloom) in a match. On November 9th 2001, he was arrested for drunk driving and was subsequently released by the WWF three days later.
2001-2002: Guerrero on the indies Guerrero started wrestling on the independent circuit after his release from WWF. On February 23, 2002 he faced Super Crazy on the debut show of Ring of Honor known as The Era of Honor Begins to crown the first-ever IWA Intercontinental Champion. On February 24, he debuted in the Australian promotion World Wrestling All-Stars (WWA) at The Revolution beating the champion Juventud Guerrera and Psicosis in a Triple Threat match for the WWA International Cruiserweight Championship. On March 1, he defeated the champion CM Punk and Rey Mysterio in a Triple Threat match for the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship. He dropped the title back to Punk one day later on March 2. He vacated the WWA Cruiserweight title in April 2002 after returning to WWF.
2002-2003 Guerrero returned to the WWE on the April 1, 2002 episode of Raw, attacking and feuding with Rob Van Dam for the Intercontinental Championship. Guerrero was brought in to feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin stunned the company and fans by launching a verbal attack on the direction the company was heading in and slated the creative team for not using him the way he felt they previously did. Stone Cold Steve Austin disagreed with WWE that he would feud and lose to Brock Lesnar after his feud with Eddie Guerrero and left the WWE before the Guerrero vs Stone Cold match could take place. Guerrero paired with Benoit again, and then feuded with Edge on the Smackdown brand. Guerrero then aligned himself with his nephew Chavo, forming the tag team Los Guerreros. In contrast to a previous WCW storyline with his nephew, Chavo fully agreed with his uncle as their slogan stated: “We lie, we cheat, and we steal, but at least we’re honest about it“. In order to push the new tag team, vignettes were produced, which included things such as the two finagling their way into a rich lady’s house and throwing a pool party. These segments marked the beginning of the rise of popularity for the team, especially Eddie, who continued to use the mannerisms. They feuded with Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit, Edge and Rey Mysterio, Team Angle (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin), and later Benoit and Rhyno. Chavo tore his biceps, and Eddie chose Tajiri as his new tag partner and they won the WWE Tag Team Championship.
2003-2005: Guerrero’s final years By July 2003, Eddie Guerrero began to compete for the United States Championship against Último Dragón, Billy Gunn, Rhyno, Tajiri, and Chris Benoit. Guerrero turned to his cheating tactics, hitting Benoit with the belt at one point in the match. Guerrero tried to get Benoit in trouble by placing the title belt on top of the unconscious Benoit. It did not work, however, since he knocked out the referee earlier with a championship belt shot to the kidneys. The match ended with interference and a Gore from Rhyno, Benoit’s own partner, who was furious at the team’s failure. Guerrero himself said that this was a major point in the character of Latino Heat, since he himself realized that the fans wanted to see him lie, cheat, and steal. Guerrero pinned Benoit and won the United States Championship. Guerrero challenged Cena to a “Latino Heat” Parking Lot Brawl for his own title. Chavo made his return and Los Guerreros defeated The World’s Greatest Tag Team (previously Team Angle) to win the WWE Tag Team Championship, making Guerrero a double champion. Guerrero engaged in a feud with Big Show, which involved Guerrero giving Big Show some laxative laced burritos and then later spraying Show from a sewage truck. Los Guerreros feuded with the Basham Brothers until animosity began to build between them. Chavo attacked and turned on Eddie – the feud was settled at the Royal Rumble (2004). When Chris Benoit jumped to the Raw brand after winning the Royal Rumble, using his title shot to go for Triple H’s World Heavyweight Championship, Guerrero won a 15-man Royal Rumble match on the January 29, 2004 episode of SmackDown! to earn a shot at the WWE Championship. After becoming the number one contender, Guerrero elevated himself to main event status and began feuding with the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. At No Way Out, Guerrero defeated Lesnar in a shocking upset victory in the main event to win the WWE Championship. The victory made him a Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion in the process. His next feud was with Kurt Angle, whom he defeated at WrestleMania XX (2004) to retain his title in his first big defense. At the end of this event, Guerrero celebrated in the ring with longtime friend Chris Benoit, who had just won the World Heavyweight Championship. Guerrero then feuded with John “Bradshaw” Layfield (JBL). At Judgment Day, Guerrero defended his WWE title against JBL and retained the title after getting himself disqualified, hitting JBL with the championship belt. The match witnessed Guerrero bleed heavily mid-way in the match, and later cause him to go into shock after the event had ended. A few days after Judgement Day, Guerrero was in a 6-man tag-team match – Guerrero suffered an illness collapsing to the ring. JBL, smart and worried in that situation, pinned Guerrero forcing the referee count to allow reliefs. WWE, within fan’s incertitude and concern, formalized what happened as a way to emphasize Guerrero’s bladejob at Judgement Day. Guerrero continued to wrestle in a few various main event feuds until focusing back on tag-team competition, this time with Rey Mysterio. Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio defeated The Basham Brothers to win his final title, the WWE Tag Team Championship for a fourth time, with it being Mysterio’s third reign. They wrestled each other at WrestleMania 21 (2005) and eventually lost the titles to MNM (Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury). Guerrero became a heel and feuded with Mysterio. Guerrero adopted a new, brooding gimmick. He also stopped driving his low-riders down the ring and walked to the ring slowly with a frown on his face, gained a new theme which was a darker remix of “Lie, Cheat, And Steal” and started using his other finishing move, the Lasso from El Paso, more often. Guerrero threatened to reveal a secret about Mysterio and his son Dominick. The storyline grew to involve the families of both men, with both sides pleading for Guerrero not to reveal the secret. Guerrero ended up telling Dominick and the audience that Guerrero was his real father. In the following weeks, Guerrero revealed the details of the secret in a series of what he called “Eddie’s Bedtime Stories”. During that time he now had a dark comical gimmick. He claimed that he had a child out of wedlock (Dominick) while his marriage was going through hard times. He claimed he then allowed Mysterio and his wife, who were “having trouble conceiving”, to adopt the child as their own. At SummerSlam, Guerrero lost a ladder match over Dominick’s custody to Mysterio. Following his feud with Mysterio, Guerrero was named number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship and given a title match with Batista. Batista defeated Guerrero at No Mercy to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in what would be Guerrero’s last pay-per-view match. During the match, Guerrero struggled with a decision about whether or not to use a steel chair to secure the victory, eventually opting not to use it and losing as a result. Though the two demonstrated mutual respect after the match, Guerrero seemed displeased by the loss. Guerrero told Batista that he realized how low he had sunk since losing the WWE Championship in 2004, having attacked his best friend Rey Mysterio. Guerrero told Batista that shaking his hand at No Mercy had returned his respect to him. After the match, Batista called Guerrero back out and sang “Happy Birthday” and, along with the crowd, celebrated Guerrero’s 38th birthday. He would make his entrance the following SmackDown! using his signature low rider and old entrance theme with Batista, turning face again for the last time. He wrestled his last match on SmackDown!, airing November 11, defeating Mr. Kennedy using his signature lie, cheat, and steal tactics, which allowed him to advance to the Survivor Series team. On November 13, 2005, Guerrero was found unconscious in his hotel room at The Marriott City Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by his nephew, Chavo, who attempted CPR. However, Guerrero was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived at the scene. He was only 38 years old. An autopsy revealed that Guerrero died as a result of acute heart failure due to underlying atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Guerrero’s wife Vickie Guerrero claimed that he had been unwell in the week leading up to his death. Guerrero was regarded as one of the great in-ring performers. In a poll of the WWE roster, he was ranked the 11th greatest professional wrestler of all time. Ric Flair ranked Guerrero as one of his top 10 opponents, while Chris Jericho said he was the best performer in the world when he was “on”. Kurt Angle named Guerrero as the second greatest professional wrestler of all time, behind Shawn Michaels, stating: “[Eddie] could have been the absolute greatest of all time because when I wrestled, he was still in that top three we were talking about, so Eddie had it all. He was so entertaining, but he also had all the technique. He was such a great wrestler and he got it. He got finishes. He knew how to structure them.” WWE’s website staff named Guerrero one of the best technical wrestlers ever, and the fifth greatest performer in the history of the company’s SmackDown brand.
2007: Andrade “Cien” AlmasAndrade “Cien” Almas started wrestling in 2003 a month before the age of 14 as “Brillante Jr.” He comes from a lucha libre family and is a third generation luchador. His father is Jose Andrade Salas, who is better known as the wrestler “Brillante“. His Grandfather is Jose Andrade who wrestled under the ring name “El Moro“.) By 2007, Andrade made his Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (“World Wrestling Council”; CMLL) debut as “Brillante“, just as his father did. Within 4 months, CMLL changed his name, rechristening him La Sombra (“The Shadow”). CMLL previously had other people work under the name “La Sombra” in the 1980s and 1990s; CMLL did not promote the most recent La Sombra as having any relation to the previous incarnations at all, although it was later subtly acknowledged relationship was acknowledged when La Sombra began wrestling in a black and silver version of his father’s mask. La Sombra quickly moved up the ranks of CMLL in the months after his debut. La Sombra was a young high flying wrestler who used a lot of high flying lucha libre moves, especially dives off the top rope and occasionally out of the ring to the floor. At the time he often used a split-legged corkscrew senton dive of the top rope to finish his matches.
2010 La Sombra toured Japan for the first time with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) per their partnership with CMLL for the Best of the Super Juniors XVII (BOSJ) tournament.
2014 After a great face/tecnico run, La Sombra turned heel/rudo forming the Los Ingobernables (“The Ungovernables”) with Rush and La Máscara. They refused to acknowledge themselves as rudos (heels), instead referring to themselves as técnicos diferentes (“a different kind of good guy”). La Sombra as a heel, developed a more individual personality, acting cockier and more laid back in the ring, acting unimpressed with his opponents by adopting a more arrogant, Tranquillo attitude that that became synonymous with all the Los Ingobernables members. As a heel he began using the “Sombra driver” (sometimes referred to as the “Shadow driver”), a Schoolboy suplex, that illustrated his transition from high flyer to a more power based wrestler.
2015 After a two and a half year reign, La Sombra lost the NWA World Historic Middleweight Championship. The following month at CMLL’s 82nd Anniversary Show, La Sombra and Atlantis as the company’s top 2 stars from the past 2 years faced off in a mask vs mask match. Atlantis won the Lucha de Apuestas match and, as a result, La Sombra was forced to unmask (video) and reveal his real name.
2016 Manny Andrade made his dark match debut at NXT TakeOver: Dallas on 1 April. The following month, Andrade was given the new ring name Andrade “Cien” Almas. Initially the Andrade Cien Almas character was portrayed as a face, although without much depth to the character. His heel turn in 2016 saw a return of the arrogant Tranquilo character he had used with success while working as La Sombra.
2017-2018 Zelina Vega began to manage Andrade at which time Andrade stepped his game up. After his heel turn Almas often uses Running double knee smash against an opponent sitting in the corner of the ring, or on occasion on an opponent leaned against the ring post on the outside of the ring to make the move look more dangerous. After his heel turn Andrade often won his matches by using a Hammerlock DDT, including his NXT Championship victory. Andrade held the NXT Championship for 140 days. 10 days later, Almas was drafted along with Vega to SmackDown as part of the 2018 WWE Superstar Shake-up. At only 28 years of age, Andrade Cien Almas is the youngest member of the Smackdown roster.
Tale of the tape:
|WWE, WCW, ECW, AAA, CMLL||Known In||WWE, NXT, NJPW, CMLL|
|Gory Guerrero||Trained by||Moro III, Brillante Sr, El Satánico, Stuka, Franco Colombo
|Frog Splash, Three Amigos (Triple Rolling Vertical Suplex)||Signature Moves||La Sombra (Hammerlock DDT), Running double knee corner smash|
|Latino Heat, The Late Great||Known As||Cien (One Hundred), El Ídolo (The Idol)|
Who would win this rivalry?
Can it happen?
Eddie Guerrero passed away in 2005. WWE has since been in search for appropriate talent to fill the latin main event role in the WWE. It will be interesting to watch how far Andrade Almas can take his WWE career, including a keep-in-mind career comparison to that of the great Eddie Guerrero. RIP.