Today would have marked the 50th birthday of wrestling legend and former WWE Champion, Eddie Guerrero.

Latino Heat tragically passed away, unexpectedly, in November of 2005, just before he was due to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship.

However, rather than focusing on what might have been, let us remember the emotional night of 15th February, 2004, when Eddie finally captured the WWE title, defeating Brock Lesnar at No Way Out, at the Cow Palace in California.

After winning a battle royal to earn the right to challenge a young but dominant Lesnar for the coveted strap at the event, Guerrero produced the performance of a lifetime to win the gold in what was a massive upset.

The 30 minute match largely consisted of the physically superior Lesnar decimating Guerrero but Latino Heat, who had travelled the globe honing his craft before getting to WWE, was not giving up easy.

And though he needed a bit of assist from Goldberg, who, with the referee knocked down, interfered and hit Lesnar with a brutal spear, this was all about Eddie Guerrero.

Ever the opportunist, Eddie looked to capitalise and cover his opponent but the Beast kicked out at two.

When Lesnar went to put his opponent away with a second F5, Guerrero produced one of the greatest counters ever seen in professional wrestling when he reversed the maneuver into a DDT onto the championship belt - the referee still out and oblivious to what was going on.

Guerrero then climbed to the top rope and with the rabid fans on their feet, delivered his tried and trusted Frog Splash and got the referee to count the pinfall to pick up the unlikeliest of victories and cement his place as one of the very best in-ring performers in history.

His infectious personality, charisma and sheer wizardry in the ring helped Eddie become a real fan favourite and watching his only world championship win back after all of these years gives goosebumps galore.

Watch the moment Eddie Guerrero became WWE Champion here:

His first walk to the ring as the champ is equally as emotional, given that Eddie had such an incredible connection with WWE fans and was taken from us far too soon.

Following on from the big win, Guerrero would successfully defend his crown at Wrestlemania against Kurt Angle, while Goldberg and Lesnar would have an absolute stinker of a match on the grandest stage of them all and both men left the company after the match, which was riddled with boos and groans from the fans in attendance at Madison Square Garden.

Guerrero lost his title months later to JBL and feuded with Angle before tagging with, and then turning on Rey Mysterio in a storyline that saw the two fight over the custody of Rey's real-life son Dominic.

At 38 years old, Eddie sadly died on 13 November 2005 when he was found unconscious in his hotel room by nephew Chavo and it was later revealed via autopsy that the death was due to "acute heart failure".

Guerrero was surely on his way to achieving even more greatness in WWE but his emotional WWE Championship win in 2004 remains a truly special moment for fans.

He lied, he cheated, he stole and he won the WWE Championship.

RIP Eddie. Viva La Raza.

Featured Image Credit: WWE

Josh Lawless

Writer who specialises in football and wrestling. Listens to S Club 7 a bit more than a 19-year old lad probably should do.

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