Monday, April 01, 2013

Frog Splash Monday (#537)

  • WrestleMania 29 is now a week away, making tonight the final Raw before the year's biggest card.  Several matches have been added since last week's post, including Chris Jericho competing against the debuting Fandango.  No pressure!  
  • Eddie Guerrero.  Now, Eddie is the greatest proponent of this feature's namesake, the frog splash, a move executed from the top turnbuckle, diving down in a frog-like fashion onto a prone (hopefully) opponent.  Or I should say was.  Eddie died in November 2005.  I was in the midst of a NaNoWriMo effort, and the instant I heard the news, I was so affected that I killed off the main character of the story.  It happened to work for the story, thank you (since collected in The Cloak of Shrouded Men), but that just goes to show you how important Eddie was and is to me. He embodies everything professional wrestling means to me.  He came from a family richly steeped in the business, and eventually rose to become the most famous of the entire clan.  As part of WCW's cruiserweight division, he ushered in a revolution in wrestling, reshaping the entire landscape, so that eventually smaller stars could compete in the main event, something Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were attempting to do in WWE at the time, but the cruiserweights helped make a way of life.  Every one of the biggest names in WCW's cruiserweight division went on to big success: Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, and of course Eddie.  In his WCW prime he was a wrestler you loved to hate, not because he was given a lot of time to cut promos but because he could convey very easily with his incredible body language exactly what you needed to know about him.  When he came to WWE, Eddie immediately became a different kind of character entirely, thanks to the inspired pairing with Chyna, the so-called 9th Wonder of the World.  "Latino Heat" was born.  He became a born comedy act.  And then he became known simply as one of the greatest wrestlers of his generation.  In February 2004 he was given one of the greatest honors anyone can receive in WWE when he captured the WWE championship, not the world championship that's always been the secondary, we-think-you-can-pull-off-being-champion-but-not-in-the-spotlight title, but the main one, the title worn by the likes of Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock.  He was holding that title at WrestleMania XX, defeating Kurt Angle to retain.  He was everything you could ever want.  He was a fan's wrestler through and through.  He clearly loved wrestling with a passion.  Yet he was also a small man in a big man's world.  As a pioneer, he felt pressures that the subsequent generation probably can't even imagine.  In the end we were all robbed of Eddie's magnetic charm, but we'll always remember it.  He'll always be my favorite wrestler.


Spacerguy said...

So many names I recognise here from the WWF days. It hard to believe Jericho is gone. I watched this wrestler fly through the air like superman flipping opponents twice his size up into the air. What a rush, what a thrill, the legend Jericho lives on.

Kate OMara said...

Rowdy Pepper was my favorite back when I watched every week on Saturdays. I have a fondness for the WWF.

Tony Laplume said...

Jericho has been wrestling sporadically since last January, and this will be his second WrestleMania in a row. He's still awesome.

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper remains one of the most memorable wrestlers ever!


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