Wrestler of the Day – November 27: Hector Guerrero

It’s Turkey Day so here’s the most famous wrestling turkey (?) of them all: the Gobbledy Gooker himself, Hector Guerrero.

Hector started off in regional promotions in California in 1973 but we’ll pick things up when he’s a bit more established in Memphis on January 18, 1981.

Gypsy Joe vs. Hector Guerrero

Joe is a legendary brawler who nails Hector before the bell. He rips Guerrero’s ring jacket off and hammers him against the ropes as this is one sided so far. Choking in the corner has Hector in even more trouble and Joe keeps it up on the mat. All brawling so far. Hector is launched to the floor before he comes back in with a single right hand. That’s the extent of his offense though as Joe pounds him down in the corner again before biting at Guerrero’s head. Hector finally nails some chops but Joe plants him with a slam for two. Back up and Hector grabs a sunset flip out of nowhere for the surprise pin.

Rating: D. Total squash until the end here which isn’t really surprising given that Joe never had much lasting success. I always like it when a wrestling surprises a brawler and wins in the end like he did here, especially with a move that catches the guy out of nowhere. Guerrero would have some success around here but didn’t stay around long.

Off to Florida with a match in the CWF at some point in the first half of 1984.

Hector Guerrero/Chavo Guerrero vs. Barry Windham/Mike Rotundo

This could be good. Windham and Rotundo are the US Tag Team Champions but I think this is non-title. The Guerreros come out with mariachi music, sombreros and a big Mexican flag. Barry hammers on Chavo to start but Windham gets caught in a headlock. Off to Hector as Oliver Humperdink goes on a rant about the history of tag team matches originating in America.

Mike comes in and takes Hector down with a headlock but gets countered into a headscissors. Back to the much smaller Chavo for two off a snap suplex but everything breaks down for a minute. That goes nowhere as the Guerreros take over on Rotundo, only to have him cross body Hector for two. Mike finally gets over to Windham for a tag as the biggest man in the match takes over.

A suplex drops Hector for two before it’s back to Chavo for some right hands. That’s fine with Barry as he clotheslines both guys down to take over on Chavo again. They hit heads to put both guys down as everything breaks down again. Dick Slater sneaks in with a swinging neckbreaker to Windham on the floor. Another guy comes out to explain what happened and the match is thrown out.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t bad as you had four guys that could work a solid match out there at the same time. Hector and Chavo were just so much faster than almost anyone else they fought and they became an attraction as a result. They would take the titles from Windham and Rotundo eventually, though I’m not sure if it was in this reign.

Off to Jim Crockett Promotions now with the team appearing in the 1986 Crockett Cup.

Crockett Cup First Round: Sheepherders vs. Hector Guerrero/Chavo Guerrero

The Sheepherders are the Bushwackers as CRAZY heels. Believe it or not there’s a match later on with them in it that Meltzer gave five stars, so they weren’t exactly the same team. Joined in progress with Butch pounding on Chavo but the guy with a famous brother escapes with speed moves. Off to Luke who pounds away even more but gets caught in a sunset flip for two.

Moderate tag brings in Hector and the announcer says we’re at ten minutes in. Abdominal stretch goes on but the Herders won’t quit cheating. Butch is knocked out of the ring as the flag bearer (Rip Morgan) is dropped for a BIG pop. Not that it matters as a double clothesline to Hector ends the Guerreros at just under three minutes shown of about 11. I’m sorry for the lack of ratings but at 15 minutes into the tape I’ve gotten through a two minute intro and five matches. What can I really do here?

Here’s a one off tag match from Starrcade 1986.

Hector Guerrero/Baron Von Raschke vs. Shaska Whatley/Barbarian

Whatley and Barbarian are members of Paul Jones’ Army while Guerrero and Raschke are kind of an oddball tag team. It’s a big brawl to start with the Baron pairing off with Whatley as Hector sends Barbarian out to the floor. Hector and Shaska start things off with Guerrero hitting some fast paced offense for early control. It’s off to Barbarian though to drop Hector throat first across the top rope, stopping his momentum cold.

Barbarian misses a running boot into the corner though and falls to the floor, allowing Hector to hit a BIG dive, taking out both Barbarian and Baron. That was a very big deal back then and still looks good even today. Whatley comes out to beat on Hector before throwing him inside for a gorilla press slam by Barbarian. A double backdrop puts Hector down for two and Whatley breaks up a potential hot tag to Baron.

Back to Barbarian for another near fall off a big boot followed by a backbreaker. Whatley sends him into the ropes and Hector spits right in his face, which is somehow enough for the hot tag off to the Baron. Raschke puts his Claw Hold on Shaska as everything breaks down. Barbarian breaks up the hold but gets pummeled in the corner by Hector. In the melee, Shaska misses a charge into the corner and Baron drops an elbow for the pin.

Rating: C. Just a basic tag match here which was fine for the most part. There was talk of a grudge coming in but there was not actual explanation given of what the feud was over or how everyone was involved. Baron seemed much more angry than Hector but that’s normal for the both of them. Nothing bad here but it’s just a tag match.

From the 1987 Crockett Cup.

Crockett Cup First Round: Jimmy Valiant/Lazer Tron vs. Shaska Whatley/Teijho Khan

Tron is Hector Guerrero in a mask. Clipped to him working on Khan with a dropkick and it’s off to Whatley. The ring is cleared so Tron and Valiant dance a bit. The heels collide as they look like idiots. Valiant comes in and the fun part goes away quickly. Valiant vibrates on the mat as he’s beaten down and Whatley dances some more. Back to Tron who cleans house but the other guys brawl as he’s covering Whatley. Whatley charges at Tron and Khan pulls the top rope down so his partner goes crashing, but it’s a DQ win for them as the referee thinks it was intentional. Only a minute clipped here but not enough to grade.

Later in the 1980s, every promotion not called the WWF realized they were in big trouble. They banded together under the name of Pro Wrestling USA for a lot of supercards. Here’s a match from one of their shows on March 5, 1988.

Hector Guerrero vs. Keith Hart

Hector is the heel here for a change and his partner Buddy Landel is on commentary. A quick headlock puts Keith down but it goes about as far as you would expect. Guerrero rides him on the mat before shoving him away, only to take his eyes with the boot. A shoulder drops Keith but Hector flips out of a backdrop as Landel makes racist jokes about Mexicans. Hector drops him with a vertical suplex but misses a splash.

Back up and Hector slowly punches him down before choking while holding a hammerlock. Keith comes back with a horrible looking back elbow so Hector takes him down again. Guerrero starts a Sharpshooter but leans forward for a cover instead. The referee isn’t pleased with him being in the ropes though so we get a quick argument, followed by a flying forearm to give Guerrero the pin.

Rating: D. Keith was worthless here and it was clear that Hector didn’t have much to work with. Thankfully they kept this short with Hector just beating the tar out of him for the most part. It didn’t help that Keith was botching stuff here while I had to listen to Landel’s heel schtick.

Off to the AWA at SuperClash III.

Chavo Guerrero/Mando Guerrero/Hector Guerrero vs. Rock N Roll RPMs/Cactus Jack

WCCW vs. CWA. I’ll list the companies for every match for the sake of sanity. Chavo is of course the senior version and Mando is the least known Guerrero. Hector is a dead ringer for Eddie and arguably better. The RPMs are the southern tag champions and are named Tommy Lane and Mike Davis. That Jack guy won’t ever amount to anything. He was a total rookie at this point and almost the Abyss of his day: the guy that would take any bump asked of him so here he is as a result.

The Guerreros all have big sombreros and are about as stereotypical as you can get. Capetta (announcer) says this is AWA vs. CWA and that’s just incorrect. Actually the Guerreros were in the AWA also so I guess it’s correct. Granted both companies would be dead in a year so does it really matter? Hector starts and makes the RPMs look like idiots. Off to Jack and Mando (barely taller than the top rope) with the Guerreros being so much faster it’s unreal.

They hit the floor and Jack actually gets beaten up even worse out there. Back to Hector and they work on the knee before Chavo, the oldest, comes in. Wait make that Mando. Oh and it’s Cactus Jack Foley at this point. The Guerreros tag in and out about every 8 seconds. Jack wants out of there badly and brings in one of the RPMs who I don’t think the announcers know the difference between.

The RPMs finally double team Chavo and that goes even worse for them and it’s off to Hector. The Guerreros get in a big pile on and clear the ring. Jack vs. Chavo now and Jack finally gets something together. Off to Davis as it’s pretty clear the announcers don’t know the RPMs’ names. Off to Davis again and never mind as it’s Jack now. Hot tag to Hector and everything breaks down again. There’s some heel miscommunication and the camera misses the big dives but you can hear the crowd gasping. A moonsault press from Chavo ends Lane.

Rating: C+. Total squash here and a way to get the crowd fired up with the Guerreros doing stuff no one had ever seen before. The speed stuff was good as they looked like an awesome team out there. The dives were good and they made the fans get into the show, which is exactly what the point of an opener is.

After a run in Smoky Mountain and the infamous Gobbledy Gooker period, it was off to WCW for a quick run. Here he is on Nitro, November 4, 1996.

Hector Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit

Hector is Eddie’s older brother and possibly even more talented. He’s also a dead ringer for Eddie if you just glance at him. I’ve often gotten them confused until I took a good look. Flair has had his surgery and Anderson is out with a back injury. On Saturday, Benoit said Sullivan is no longer the man he used to be. Sullivan pops up and says he’ll hurt Benoit in Baltimore. He’s actually talking about a house show.

Hector speeds things up and hits almost a Vader Bomb from the top rope out to the floor onto a standing Benoit. Benoit’s shoulder is still taped up. Hector works on the arm and mixes up the attack on it, because Hector Guerrero is smarter than most wrestlers. He goes to take the tape off and we take a break. After an NWO t-shirt ad, we come back to Benoit hitting a knee to put Guerrero down.

He draped Hector over the top rope with a release suplex and Guerrero is in trouble. Benoit works over the ribs and hooks an awkward abdominal stretch. Hector is basically crouched down and Benoit is bending over. Benoit hammers him down as Tony hypes up how amazing the second hour is. There’s the explosion. Hector grabs a small package for two. Guerrero speeds things up and uses a rolling tumbleweed style cradle for two. Woman breaks it up which isn’t a DQ. Benoit grabs a rollup via the distraction and uses the ropes for the pin.

Rating: C+. Another long match which again works. Benoit could move better this week which is a nice perk. Hector wouldn’t be around that much I don’t think so this was really just to avenge Eddie I guess. Nothing that great but they were moving well out there and the psychology worked so big points for that.

Another Nitro match on July 22, 1997.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Hector Guerrero

Hector takes him down with a headscissors but a dropkick misses. Eddie starts stomping but we head to the floor for a chase. Back in and Hector uses a side roll to roll Eddie around the ring about four times for two. Eddie comes back with some biting but another headscissors sends him to the floor. Hector hits a big plancha on the floor but back inside, Eddie powerbombs him down and hits the Frog Splash for a fast pin.

Rating: C. This is the same problem I’ve mentioned before: Hector is a talented guy, but other than his name, he doesn’t mean much to most WCW audiences. I get what they were going for here with the sibling rivalry thing but it’s hard to care here because Hector isn’t a guy we know as far as his stuff in WCW goes.

One more match on this show from Nitro, August 4, 1997.

Dean Malenko/Jeff Jarrett vs. Hector Guerrero/Chavo Guerrero

Malenko and Chavo start things off and we hit the mat very quickly. That doesn’t last long so they run the ropes a bit until Dean gets taken down by a pair of dropkicks. Hector comes in to face Jeff and we have a strut vs. dance battle. A headscissors puts Jarrett down and frustrates him so he pounds away a bit. Hector makes a brief comeback but stops to jaw with Dean, letting Jeff take over again.

There’s the running crotch attack to a 619’d Hector (I’m still looking for a better name for that) before it’s back to Malenko. Make that back to Jeff again and Hector gets two off a backslide. Chavo breaks up the Figure Four and Dean is rolled up for two. Hector won’t tag and is caught in an electric chair. Dean hooks the Cloverleaf and we’re done.

Rating: C. The idea here was that Hector wouldn’t tag, presumably due to stubbornness, but it doesn’t make Jeff any more interesting. The guy is just flat out not interesting no matter how you try to push or package him. Malenko was fine but he needs to get away from this stupid tag team thing.

One more WCW match from Saturday Night on October 4, 1997.

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Hector Guerrero

Eddie and Rey are feuding but Hector says he isn’t his brother. Then he tries to pull Rey in to start before taking him down with a headscissors. A nice spinout armdrag sends Hector outside and Rey follows him with a suicide dive. Guerrero slams him down on the floor before working on Rey’s back in the ring. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two but Mysterio grabs a victory roll for the same. Guerrero gets two more off a running splash but Rey fires off right hands to break up a superplex attempt. A top rope West Coast Pop is enough to pin Hector.

Rating: C-. This didn’t have time to go anywhere but it worked well enough. You had Rey flying around like only Rey can do and Hector basically wrestling the same kind of style that Eddie was going to. This was a nice warmup for the masterpiece at Halloween Havoc a few weeks later.

We’ll wrap it up with the only Gooker match, from Wrestlemania X7.

Gimmick Battle Royal

Luke, Butch, Duke Droese, Iron Sheik, Earthquake, The Goon, Doink, Kamala, Kimchee, Repo Man, Jim Cornette, Nikolai Volkoff, Michael Hayes, One Man Gang (He couldn’t fit into the Akeem gear), Gobbledy Gooker (complete with video from Survivor Series 1990), Tugboat, Hillbilly Jim (biggest reaction of the entrants), Brother Love, Sgt. Slaughter

Take eighteen of the goofiest gimmicks of all time, throw them in a match, have fun. I thought this was awesome when I was 13 and it’s still awesome to this day. The entrances take nearly three times longer than the match but that’s beside the point. Repo Man is put out in about two seconds as is the Gooker. Quake puts Tugboat out before Kamala throws him out as well.

People are thrown out right and left with Doink being eliminated to a chorus of booing. The final four are Brother Love, Slaughter, Hillbilly Jim and the Sheik. Within about 12 seconds it’s down to Sheik and Jim with Sheik winning because he can’t go over the top to the floor. This was like three minutes long and it worked just fine all things considered. Slaughter puts Sheik in the Cobra Clutch post match.

Hector Guerrero is an incredibly talented guy who was overshadowed by his brother’s success. That being said, Hector is still a guy who kept steady work for the better part of thirty years as an active competitor before joining TNA as a Spanish commentator. He’s very smooth in the ring and you can see so much of Eddie in him and vice versa.

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