Jim Ross recently discussed the formative days of Word Championship Wrestling. During the course of the conversation, he recalled a young up and coming performer looking to make his mark on professional wrestling. Coming from a legendary wrestling family, a youthful Eddie Guerrero was finding his way in sports entertainment, with sights set on WCW. However, according to Ross, many on the WCW booking committee felt Guerrero lacked one key attribute.
During a recent episode of ‘Grilling JR’, the voice of wrestling Jim Ross detailed the career of Terry Funk. When discussing the early years of WCW in the late 1980’s, Ross recalled a young Eddie Guerrero making waves in the world of professional wrestling. A select few were keen to include Guerrero in the ranks of Word Championship Wrestling, however Ross remembers pushback from others on the booking committee due to a disagreement on height:
“Same old sh*t Conrad, he’s too small. You can peel the onion back over here, over there, whatever, he’s too small. He’s five eight, five nine and I love Eddie Guerrero, I hired Eddie Guerrero to come to WWE, that’s how much I believed in him, but again when you have active performers on a decision making caucus like the booking committee, it’s hard to remain objective, you have to pick your hills to die upon.”
As well as an active performer at the time, Terry Funk was also a member of the companies inner management. Jim Ross details Funk’s admiration for Eddie Guerrero during this time period, having worked with him prior to WCW:
Eddie, other than Terry [Funk], Eddie didn’t have real good representation on the committee, but Terry knew him from the territory and Terry had worked matches with his father, so there was a relationship there. But there’s no doubt in my mind, that you look at him now why wouldn’t you hire Eddie Guerrero [but back then] he’s too short, he’s too small, he didn’t have enough representation on the committee to get it out of committee and make it law.”
Terry Funk ultimately played a key role in temporarily bringing Eddie to the organisation. Guerrero debuted for the company in 1989 in a losing effort against Funk. Eddie wouldn’t become a full-time player with the company until 1995, becoming a key member of WCW’s cruiserweight division. Guerrero left World Championship Wrestling in January 2000 alongside Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, and Chris Benoit, with the group debuting for the World Wrestling Federation shortly after.
Eddie Guerrero tragically passed away in November 2005. He left behind a legacy as one of the all-time greats, and a pioneer for all wrestlers of a smaller stature.
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