Monday, February 2, 2015

The Show Must Go On

Inspired by the fact that the WWE will be here in Denver on February 2nd and in Colorado Springs on the 3rd, I decided I would write about Eddie Guerrero's championship success and some history about those WWE championship belts he held. Gory Guerrero was born on January 11, 1921 in Ray, AZ and worked for Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL) between 1940s and 60s. He stumbled upon wrestling, because he was looking for a place to learn how to box. Gory had 4 sons and 2 daughters, and his youngest was born on October 9, 1967 who we know as Eddie Guerrero. Gory taught his children everything about the business, and grew wrestling in El Paso, TX. On April 18, 1990 he passed away, the same week Eddie was going to get married. That was a very bitter sweet week for Eddie, but he carried on his father’s wishes to continue with his life and move forward living and pursiong his dreams.

After many years watching his father Gory training and learning closely from his brothers, Eddie Guerrero’s hard work finally paid off when he made it to the WWE. He won United States Championship belt during “Starcade” in Nashville, TN on December 29, 1996. He earned his first belt and held it for 161 combined days. The second time Eddie won this same belt wasy here in Denver, CO on July 27, 2003 at “Vengeance”. The first winner of the belt was Harley Race on January 1, 1975 in Tallahassee, FL. The record holder for most days combined with this belt is Lex Luger with 948 days. The following list will show a few Legends that won the belt and the combined days they reigned.

Wrestler/Days Combined:
Ric Flair 700
Rick Rude 419
Chris Benoit 357
Booker T 271
Steve Austin 240
Sting 234
Jimmy Snuka 231
Sheamus 230
John Cena 221
Roddy Piper 220
Daniel Bryan 176
Orlando Jordan 173
Scott Steiner 169
Konnan 160
Big Show 147
Diamond Dallas Page 147
Dean Malenko 85
Goldberg 78
Scott Hall 66
R-Truth 21

Since we are celebrating Black History Month, I decided to share a very important day in WWE history. On July 7, 1977 in Norfolk, VA, Houston Harris aka Bobo Brazil won the United States Championship belt, and became the first African American to ever win any type of championship in the WWE. He held the belt for 22 combined days. He is also credited with breaking down barriers of racial segregation in pro wrestling. He is also considered one of the first successful African American in this sport. Harris was born in Little Rock, AR on July 10, 1924 and died on January, 20 1998.

A local Coloradan who lives in Boulder now, and played football for the University of Colorado by the name of Leon Allen White aka Big Van Vader held this belt for 88 days. Another Coloradan who lives in Colorado Springs by the name of Bobby Lashley held it for 49 days.

A few years passed and Eddie won the European championship belt on April 3, 2000 in Los Angeles,CA at “Raw is War”, and held this belt for 134 days combined.  The first belt was awarded to “The British Bulldog” on February 26, 1997 in Berlin, Germany, and he also holds the record for most days combined with 253 days as a champ.

Wrestler/Days Combined:
Matt Hardy 125
Kurt Angle 55
Mark Henry 34

The first African American that won this belt was on July 14, 1998 in Bringhamton, NY at “Raw is War” and his name was Accie Julius Connor aka D’Lo Brown who held the belt for 140 combined days.

A few months passed from winning his last belt, and Eddie won the Intercontinental Championship belt on September 4, 2000 at “Raw is War” in Lexington, KY and held it for 114 days. The first Intercontinental belt was awarded to Pat Patterson on September 1, 1979, and the record for most combined days is held by Puerto Rican born Pedro Morales with 619 days combined.

Wrestler/Days Combined:
Tito Santana 443
Razor Ramon 437
Ultimate Warrior 432
Randy Savage 414
Mr. Perfect 406
Shawn Michaels 406
Shelton Benjamin 354
The Rock 339
Jeff Hardy 329
Chris Jericho 318
Bret Hart 290
Kofi Kingston 266
Rob Van Dam 211
Randy Orton 210
Triple H 196
Christian 192
Edge 171
Goldust 168
Big E 167
Diesel 138
Owen hart 132
Rey Mysterio 128
Umaga 118
Texas Tornado 84
Chyna 64
Kane 57
Ezekiel Jackson 51
CM Punk 49
Rikishi 14

This list brings me to another moment in the WWE featuring another great African American wrestler. On June 23, 1996 at “King of the Ring” in Milwaukee, WI, Ahmed Johnson became the first African American to win the Intercontinental Championship belt. He held the belt for 50 days combined.

The Dark Side:

The first Black Intercontinental Champion, Ahmed Johnson, spoke in an interview about the racism he faced during his time as a champ. I'm sure he wasn't the only African Americans to deal with this, but he never spoke up. He remembers people leaving toy monkeys hanging on nooses in his locker. The night he won the championship belt, someone scratched his car and inscribed in his paint, “Congratulations N***er”.

It’s been rumored for years that there is still a lot of racism in the WWE, and this is one of the reasons Alberto del Rio is not in the WWE anymore. Alberto was released because he assaulted a WWE employee, because he reacted inappropriately to a comment the other person said. Alberto didn’t like the comment the person made about Alberto's heritage. The manner in which he reacted was obviously not correct, which ended up in costing him his job with the WWE. He has shown great regret for what happened and how he acted out in such unprofessional manner. He asked wrestling fans to forgive him, and that he would respect the sport of wrestling from here on, even if people disrespected him.

There have been rumors that Rey Mysterio also does not agree with certain things going on in this company, which includes racism, but the biggest reason he hasn’t been active is he is recovering from injuries. It’s sad that no latinos will be featured in either WWE event here in Colorado, especially with the amount of latinos in the area. I wouldn’t doubt that racism is still alive, because that’s how all humans can be. When we have control of something, we fear that others will take what we have attained. Humans tend to act in oppressive manners towards others, so they can instill fear in others and no one will threaten their well being.

The positive side to all this, is that no matter what circumstance or what road block is in the way there have been courageous people that have pushed through these situations and still succeeded. They still managed to gain and earn what others told them they couldn’t, or weren’t allowed to do or win.

In closing I would like to leave you with a quote Eddie Guerrero’s father, Gory, told Eddie on his death bed to comfort him and give him insight on life.

“We are just a small wheel in a big machine, but the show must continue.”

So no matter what happens, let’s continue to do the best we can to impact this world in a positive way making it better for everyone until our time comes for us to leave this planet.

Monday, February 2, 2015
Monday Night Raw
Pepsi Center
1000 Chopper Circle
Denver, CO 80204
Ft John Cena, Kane, Big Show

Tuesday February 3, 2015
Smack Down
World Colesium
3185 Venetucci Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Ft Roman Reign

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