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Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story

Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story is a two disc DVD set on the life of WWE Superstar Eddie Guerrero.  The main feature of this DVD is a 45-minute presentation that was created not just for the DVD but also as a UPN special in the states.  Because of this the main feature is very well produced and gives a very insightful look into the life of Eddie Guerrero.  Unlike many superstars like The Rock, Stone Cold and Mick Foley, very little is known about Eddie Guerrero, as this is his very first DVD. 

Because of that I did find this DVD very entertaining, however you could tell this feature was being shown on TV due to the amount of time dedicated to his addiction to drink and prescription drugs which caused Eddie to lose his job with the WWF and ultimately his family. 

The main feature felt like a documentary on the Discovery channel as they explained his downfall due to his addictions until he reached rock bottom until he finally got his life back together, got back his job with WWE and rejoined his family.  They really pilled on how bad he was and how great he is to get his life back together, now don’t get me wrong.  I have the up most respect for Eddie Guerrero as a wrestler and a person for what he has gone through.  I just felt this feature didn’t give enough attention to Eddie Guerrero rather than the addicted Eddie.  It was very interesting to hear Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko’s side of things, since they actually informed Jim Ross about Eddie’s problems because they couldn’t get through to him how bad he had become.

Of course his addictions aren’t the only thing covered, Eddie talks about growing up in El Paso, Texas, with family members also talking about him as well as showing pictures and home videos.  I really liked this as the Guerrero’s are a huge wrestling family and having them all talk about their lives makes very entertaining.  Eddie also explains why Lowriders are so great.

As far as Eddie’s in ring action goes, the feature does show some footage from his New Japan, ECW and WCW days.  However doesn’t go into very much detail, however one thing I do like about this feature is that they do just show clips, with many of the matches are included in the extras in their entirely.  That was one thing I didn’t like about the Ric Flair DVD in that you had to sit through the whole thing.

The feature gives a very brief account over Eddie’s jump from WCW to WWE, which I was disappointed in since that was in my eyes one of the most important steps in WCW’s downfall and a change in the WWE in-ring performance.  There are some clips of Eddie’s first run with the WWF, including how he became Latino Heat (many clips of his antics with his Mammacita Chyna) but having him explain his thoughts when he injured his elbow in his first match against the New Age Outlaws, the Radicals couldn’t believe that the McMahon family stayed with Eddie in the hospital until the early morning, when in WCW their bosses barely spoke to them.

It’s a classic underdog story, from being too small to complete in the US and trying to live up to the family name, learning his trade abroad before heading back to the States to work through ECW, WCW and finally WWE.  Before hitting rock bottom and then making the ultimate comeback when he won the WWE championship at No Way Out, it has all the elements for a fantastic documentary.

The production value of this feature is excellent and is very similar to the Stone Cold Truth, they even have recent popular music from bands like Seether to add to the dramatic scenes.  

Overall I really enjoyed watching this and showed me a side of Eddie Guerrero I didn’t know and makes me think he could be a bigger star if handled correctly.  But I did feel they harped on too much about his addiction and not as much on his achievements.  However they have included about half a dozen deleted scenes in the extras section that shows more of Eddie’s in ring life as well as a touching chapter on Wrestlemania XX.  There is a great story by Eddie’s brother about how a toy monkey beat Eddie in a wrestling match when he was just 4 and Eddie didn’t take it well. 

But to wrap up, the Eddie Guerrero Story is a well-told and well-produced documentary that will make you look at Eddie Guerrero in a different light.


The Extras

The Extras on this DVD are simply amazing.  No easier way to say it, with over 5 hours of extras.  You couldn’t ask for more, first off there are the deleted scenes from the main feature that could have been included in the main feature easily.  They have also included all the hilarious vignettes for Los Guerreros with his nephew Chavo.  These are just so funny and completely turned Los Guerreros from heels to babyfaces because it connects with fans, they may lie, cheat and steal but at least they are honest about it!

The main feature is also available in Spanish plus there are a few hidden Easter Eggs that give more information on some of the matches.  Other extras include some Y2 Stinger commercials and making of, not exactly rewatchable but since we don’t get Y2 Stinger in the UK, at least we get to see the commercials.  They have also included a behind the scenes look at Eddie’s photoshoot with a lowrider magazine.  Also included is some footage from when JBL caused Eddie’s mother to have a heart attack, (I could have done with not being reminded that JBL defeated Eddie for the title!). 

However the main reason to buy this DVD is for the matches that have been included in the extras, with over 10 matches going from his AAA days, through ECW, WCW and finally WWE.  As an extra bonus, there are alternative commentary for a few of the matches, with Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio Jr and Rob Van Dam joining Eddie to talk about their matches, (the RVD one is the most fun to listen to).

The matches are as follows,

Hector, Chavo & Mando Guerrero vs. Cactus Jack & Rock n Roll RPM's (AWA SuperClash III)
Hair vs. Mask Match (When Worlds Collide) Eddie Guerrero & Art Barr vs. El Hijo Del Santo & Octagon
vs. Dean Malenko (ECW)  2 Out of 3 Falls  Their Final match with ECW
vs. Chris Jericho (WCW Fall Brawl)
vs. Rey Mysterio (WCW Halloween Havoc),     Mask Vs Title Match
vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. (WCW Bash at the Beach)    Hair Vs Hair Match
vs. Rob Van Dam (Monday Night Raw)   Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match
Triple Threat Elimination WWE Tag Team Championship (WWE Survivor Series 2002),
vs. Chris Benoit (WWE Vengeance)  Winning the United States Championship
vs. Brock Lesnar (WWE No Way Out) Winning the WWE Championship

All those matches are great, its fun to watch the first couple of ones since I hadn’t seen them before.  Simply put if you are a fan of Eddie Guerrero, you have all his best matches in one DVD set and has to be an essential purchase.

Those matches listed above are all fantastic, as well as having 3 of those matches having an alternative commentary.  My favourite match has to be the No Way Out match which still is hard to believe Eddie actually won the big one.  Also it was great to see the Jericho/Rey matches to remind us how awesome the WCW cruiserweight division was.


Overall

Simply put, The Eddie Guerrero story is a fantastic DVD with a excellent main feature which was well produced and told a fantastic story of an underdog who overcame all the obstacles and his own personal demons to be the top guy in the business.  And when you look at that list of full matches, this DVD is well worth picking up and adding to your collection.

 

Other Eddie Guerrero articles:

Eddie Guerrero's Biography

Eddie Guerreros UPN Special

Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show Transcripts