Eddie Guerrero Slays the Beast
No Way Out took place on February 15, 2004 at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California. That last part sounds made up, but apparently both the Cow Palace and Daly City are real places. They had the honor of playing host to the sole WWE Championship victory in the career of Eddie Guerrero. It was an incredible moment. Eddie’s character operated under the philosophy of Lie, Cheat, and Steal. In other words, do whatever you have to, to win. That’s exactly what happened here, making it easy for the people to buy a Brock Lesnar loss to the much smaller Eddie.
Before I dig deeper into the Guerrero vs. Lesnar match, let’s go to the beginning. No Way Out 2004 began with Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty defending their Tag Team Championships in a 2-on-3 Inter-gender handicapped match, versus the Basham Brothers (Doug and Danny) and Shaniqua. I don’t really know how to go into this. I like that Shaniqua was mixing it up with Too Cool throughout the match, but then Rikishi got an easy pin over her to end it. All he had to do was hit a Samoan drop and she was out. Would that have worked on Doug or Danny Basham?
The next match was Nidia vs. Jamie Noble. No, you didn’t read that wrong. In an effort to aid Nidia, Noble agreed to be blindfolded. It resulted in Jamie chasing Nidia around for a bit, while Nidia did her best to make sure that Noble fell every chance he got. It was mostly a comedic affair, until Noble caught her with a guillotine choke. Then you sort of become uncomfortable as you realize that you’re watching a girl get choked out by a man. Thankfully, she tapped out after not too long and the show moved on.
APA (Farooq and Bradshaw) vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) took center stage next. I can’t judge a match between these two teams all too fairly. I’m a really big fan of both. With APA, I loved their promos and everything they did backstage. Then with Benjamin and Haas, I loved everything they did inside the ring. They were one of the most athletically talented tag teams we have ever seen. Put the two teams together and I’m in, as I was here. The World’s Greatest Tag Team picked up the win after Shelton nailed Bradshaw with a super kick and got the pin.
Next up was Hardcore Bob Holly versus Rhyno. This began on the entrance ramp, with the two veterans brawling all the way down it and into the ring. They went back and forth for a bit, until Holly hit Rhyno with the Alabama Slam and picked up the victory. It was a quick, ten minute affair that led into the first of the three Main Event matches.
Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio. This feud began over, of all things, jealousy. Chavo was jealous of all the attention that Rey was receiving for producing No Way Out’s featured song Crossing Borders. Paul Heyman, the man in charge of SmackDown at the time, took this as his cue to put the two of them in a match for Rey’s WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Chavo picked up the win and Rey’s strap, but homeboy still didn’t produce this classic.
I’ll let you decide whether or not I was being sarcastic about this being a classic.
With Chavo vs. Rey in the books, that leaves only two more matches on the card. First, there came a Triple Threat match to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XX. The competitors were Kurt Angle, John Cena, and Big Show. This match was great. The way Big Show used his size was awesome. He tossed Angle and Cena around for a bit, until the two finally decided to take care of the World’s Largest Athlete. John Cena hit him with an F-U, now known as the Attitude Adjustment, and then Angle tossed him out of the ring.
This left Kurt and John alone; and with no Big Show to get in his way, all Angle had to do was apply the Ankle Lock and it was game over. Cena tapped out and Kurt Angle was the official number one contender.
All that remained was to find out who would be wearing that belt when it came time for the Showcase of the Immortals. Would it be Eddie Guerrero or Brock Lesnar? This match was booked, sold, and executed perfectly. Everything worked. Eddie was fresh off getting clean of drugs and alcohol, so as the heel, Brock had easy ammo for his constant verbal assaults. Guerrero handled them with an unexpected class. He admitted that he had demons and that he had done a lot to be ashamed of, but he was confident he was clean. For good. This is one of the best promos you’ll ever see in a WWE ring.
After a segment like that, everybody wanted Eddie to beat Brock Lesnar, the Beast Incarnate; myself included. I wanted to see Eddie win so bad. I didn’t know how it was going to happen, given that Brock was and still is a genetic freak, but that’s what I wanted. Latino Heat deserved the win after his years and years of hard work.
My questions were answered when Bill Goldberg showed up at the event. The WWE was building towards a WrestleMania match between Goldberg and Lesnar, so Bill costing Brock the WWE Championship was the perfect way to go. He attacked once, earlier in the night, during a Paul Heyman promo, but was escorted out of the building by security. Brock took that one on the chin, for the most part, and seemed unaffected during his match with Guerrero.
With the ref out cold after some accidental contact, Lesnar went to get the Championship belt to use as a weapon. Before he could, Goldberg struck, leveling Brock with a spear. Still, Lesnar managed to get up again and set Eddie up for another F-5, but Eddie countered into a DDT, driving Brock’s face into the WWE Championship that he himself brought into the ring. Hoisted by his own petard and what not.
The man who actively promoted Lying, Cheating, and Stealing had no problem winning like this. Do what you have to, especially when you’re facing somebody like Brock Lesnar. So Eddie kicked the belt out of the ring, went to the top rope, and delivered one of his Frog Splashes to the incapacitated Champion. Then he covered Brock for the pin. The referee, having recently regained consciousness, counted the one, two, three.
The winner, and your new WWE Champion, EDDIE GUERRERO!
RIP Latino Heat.