Looking at Vickie Guerrero as a character
When Vickie Guerrero first became a regular character on Smackdown in 2006 – less than a year after her husband Eddie Guerrero’s death – I thought she seemed very out of place. She just didn’t have the look or the presence of a WWE performer.
Then when she turned on Rey Mysterio and became Chavo Guerrero’s manager, I thought it was a creative misstep for WWE. It just seemed wrong to cast Eddie’s widow as a villain.
After that story line ran its course, she disappeared from television for a few months before returning as a babyface. In Guerrero’s new role as assistant general manager – and later general manager – of Smackdown, she still wasn’t much of a performer.
However, since becoming a heel again in November and participating in a story line in which she is in a romantic relationship with Edge, Guerrero is starting to win me over.
I thought she was especially good at being bad on Friday’s episode of Smackdown. Her facial expressions were tremendous and her delivery has greatly improved. It’s obvious that she is much more comfortable on camera.
The question is: Am I comfortable with a story line in which Eddie Guerrero’s widow is having a love affair with the show’s top heel, and several wrestlers are accusing her of disgracing Eddie’s memory?
Some will say that it’s scripted entertainment and she’s just playing a character. And that’s true. But pro wrestling is unique in that Vickie Guerrero also is a real person who really did lose her husband a little over two years ago.
This certainly isn’t the first time that critics have accused WWE of exploiting Eddie Guerrero’s death. To build up a match in 2006 between Randy Orton and Mysterio, whose close relationship with Eddie is well documented, Orton told Mysterio that “Eddie is in hell.”
That bothered me, although my stance somewhat softened after Orton and Mysterio both said in media interviews that they talked to Vickie about the scripted line and she gave her blessing. I suppose if she condones using her late husband’s name in that story line as well as the current one, then I shouldn’t get too upset about it.
With that being said, however, it would be fine with me if real-life deaths were never again used as plot devices in angles. I realize that not much is sacred in pro wrestling, and I am usually OK with bringing elements of real life – including personal problems – into story lines. It’s often good for business. I just think there are certain lines that don’t need to be crossed.