Welcome to another edition of “Ringside Review.” This week we’ll be taking a look at the 2004 WWE documentary on the life of Eddie Guerrero, “Stealing Death, Cheating Life”

I have to admit that I missed Eddie’s rise to fame. A lot of my first hand recollections of Eddie revolve around Sunday Night Heat when he was European Champion with Chyna has his valet at the time of “Latino Heat.” Needless to say, it’s probably safe to say that I missed seeing the real emergence of Eddie Guerrero as a true bona fide star in the WWE, which is definitely one thing near the top of my plethora of regrets regarding my time not following wrestling.

This DVD is, in my opinion, really very good. It doesn’t talk about backroom politics, it doesn’t go into the great feuds and angles (it’s tragic that will forever be a DVD we’ll never see) that he was involved in but it does a superb job of telling the story of the man Eddie Guerrero.

Born Eduardo Gory Guerrero in El Paso Texas, “Eddie” was born into a wrestling family. His father was one of the most revered wrestlers in Mexico, while his older brothers were also stars in the business. He knew from a young age that he was going to be a wrestler, and spent every day training in a ring that was installed in the Guerrero family backyard.

One thing that is immediately striking about Guerrero is his likability. It’s one of the biggest cliches in life that in death people are usually placed on pedastals that they otherwise wouldn’t’ve sat upon, but after about five minutes of the DVD you can see that his legacy of being one of the nicest guys you’d meet is genuine and extremely well deserved. That was a little bit of an apology, because any descriptions I’d read of Eddie sounded too good to be true, especially in Jericho’s books where Eddie was spoken about in glowing terms. Sorry Eddie.

I could continue going through Eddie’s career, but in regards to the production it’s almost irrelevent. A strange statement perhaps, but it is truely more about his life and his journey through it than his career itself. Several of his matches are available as extras, including classic WCW bouts with Jericho and Rey Mysterio and are definitely worth checking out.

The great thing about this that Eddie is honest with himself and people are honest about Eddie. It doesn’t brush over his dismissal from the WWE and Guerrero is candid about the personal problems that he’d endured in his life.

Of course, he and his family’s comments in saying how he’d finally overcome his demons in life and that he could enjoy his life are even more tragic in context. That in just after a year after the release of this production the wrestling community would be mourning the premature passing of a man who deserved the opportunity to live and see his legacy with his own eyes.

There are also moments which feel extremely uncomfortable with how events developed, particuarly in the highlights of his Wrestlemania XX match up with Brock Lesnar, where Lesnar was shouting at Eddie “Why won’t you just die!?” It would be idiotic of anyone to criticise the WWE or Brock Lesnar for these comments being in the production, there is no way they could have known what was going to happen but it did feel uneasy. I’d warn anyone about it before they pick up the film, but as I said, it would be insanity to criticise anyone for it.

My only complaint would be the running time of the main feature. It’s a whopping 45 minutes long. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of ground is covered in those 45 minutes and it’s extremely insightful, but they couldn’t’ve gotten more time? I get that they didn’t want to get into politics and cover the wrestling side of his story in a lot of detail, but they couldn’t find more material to talk about?

In summary, this is an excellent DVD. It’s exactly what a documentary should be. It covers Eddie Guerrero the man relatively well. It doesn’t paint him to be perfect, although in all honest I don’t think Eddie would have let them. He states in the documentary that he wants his story to be an inspiration, and to portray it in any way that was inaccurate would’ve been doing himself an injustice. Even though the running time is a tad short, there are more than enough extras to keep you entertained and to make this a DVD worth purchasing.

This rounds up another edition of “Ringside Review.” We’ll see you next week!

Ta Ta For Now!

You can follow Michael on twitter @MichaelBrown_91

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