Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story

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Simon and Schuster, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 345 pages
24 Reviews
One of the most inspiring stories in wrestling history, Cheating Death, Stealing Life sees Eddie Guerrero recount his saga in remarkably candid fashion, chronicling a life of heartbreaks and painful personal struggles in frank, graphic detail.

Guerrero was born into Mexico's first family of sports entertainment, and his life story spans three generations of the wrestling business. His father, Gory Guerrero, was among the greatest legends of lucha libre -- Mexican wrestling. Before Eddie was twenty, he was competing in the border town of Juarez, going on to work throughout Mexico. The family name made him an instant sensation but also cast a large shadow from which he would spend years trying to emerge. Paired with the late Art Barr, Guerrero cofounded what became the most hated -- and popular -- tag team in lucha libre, the infamous Los Gringos Locos.

Word spread, and soon Guerrero was blowing away fans in North America as part of the upstart Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion. Eddie's phenomenal matches with Dean Malenko rank among the most exciting bouts of all time.

World Championship Wrestling was looking for innovative new talents to help them compete against their rival, World Wrestling Federation, and Guerrero's unique style fit the bill. Unfortunately, the backstage politics that dominated WCW kept Guerrero away from the main-event spotlight. Eddie sought solace from the pressures of life on the road by living hard and partying harder. Even a series of drug overdoses and a near-fatal car accident could not change his ways.

As WCW collapsed, Guerrero knew it was time to move on. When a group of wrestlers -- including his close associates Chris Benoit and Malenko -- opted to leave, Guerrero joined them and soon signed with World Wrestling Federation.

Now that Guerrero was finally given a chance to shine, things began looking up. Unfortunately, a freak injury in his debut match took him out of the ring action before he could even get started. Upon his return, Eddie was paired with The Ninth Wonder of the World, Chyna, which launched his indelible Latino Heat character. Though his career was flourishing, his personal demons continued to torment him. Years of the wrestling lifestyle, of nightly partying and frequent injury, led to addictions to both alcohol and painkillers, habits that would nearly cost him everything he held dear.

Guerrero spent four months in a rehabilitation facility, cleansing his body and soul. Sadly, he had not yet hit bottom. A relapse into alcohol abuse resulted in a DUI conviction and the loss of his job. Though Guerrero had lost everything -- his family, his money, his job -- he never allowed himself to lose his pride. He stopped drinking and began training harder than ever before. He returned to the independent circuit, where he regained his reputation as one of wrestling's most electrifying performers.

With an open heart and a powerful determination, Guerrero searched deep within himself and fought to regain the life he had lost. Above all, his journey of self-discovery reawakened his relationship with Jesus Christ, and he found peace and strength in the Bible.

Before long, World Wrestling Entertainment offered Guerrero a second chance, and he seized it. From the moment of his return, it was clear he was instilled with a new focus and passion. With his nephew, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Eddie made up one half of the wildly successful Los Guerreros tag team. The pair became one of WWE's hottest attractions via a series of hilarious vignettes that allowed Guerrero's comic gifts to shine and that celebrated his Chicano heritage. Meanwhile, he continued to cement his well-deserved reputation for intensity and creativity in the ring.

Ultimately, Guerrero not only regained his life, he surpassed his wildest dreams. Despite all the obstacles strewn in his path, Guerrero triumphed, becoming WWE Champion.

Cheating Death, Stealing Life offers a no-holds-barred glimpse behind the curtain into the secret world of wrestling, from the harsh realities of a lifetime spent in hotels and rental cars, to the politics that permeate the dressing room. Of course, tight-knit friendships are also forged. Guerrero tells of his personal bonds with such Superstars as Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko.

It's also the story of Guerrero's private struggle, of a son caught in the shadow of a larger-than-life father and three older brothers, of a marriage that reached the brink of disintegration before being reborn as a more powerful and fulfilling relationship. Throughout, Eddie Guerrero pulls no punches describing his battles with self-doubt and inner darkness. In the end, Cheating Death, Stealing Life is a story of great courage and personal redemption, of Guerrero's bravery in facing his disease and fighting to become a better man in every light.

  

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Review: Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story

User Review  - Artiom Karsiuk - Goodreads

Now I don't want to piss off all the Latino Heat fans, because after his passing Eddie developed somewhat of a cult following - but this was not a great book. It was a good book with some cons and ... Read full review

Review: Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story

User Review  - Joshua Lemke - Goodreads

I read Eddie's autobiography right before he passed away. This was such an inspiring book and showed the personal life of one of the greatest professional wrestlers in history. Thank you for the memories Eddie Guerrero. Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Michael Krugman is the cowriter -- with Matt and Jeff Hardy -- of the "New York Times" bestseller "The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire." Krugman has also worked with Amy Dumas -- better known as Lita -- on her autobiography, "Lita: A Less Traveled R.O.A.D. -- The Reality of Amy Dumas." He has also written for a wide variety of national publications and online media outlets, including RollingStone.com. He is the coauthor of "Generation Ecch!" and author of "Oasis: Supersonic Supernova." He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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