Date: 1990s (exact date unknown)
Location: Japan (exact city unknown)
Source: Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story, Wrestling Observer Live
We first heard about this on Wrestling Observer Live after Hawk passed away. Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez were discussing the Hawk vs. Randy Savage incident, and Dave mentioned that Hawk also beat up Eddie Guerrero. He said, “How could anybody beat up Eddie Guerrero, he’s like the nicest guy.” For years we were under the impression Hawk was this big bully who beat on poor little Eddie, but that isn’t quite the way it happened.
Eddie’s book was released following the death of Hawk, and in it he discusses the incident and accepts full blame for it.
According to Eddie’s book, he was a huge fan of the Road Warriors growing up. He remembered “totally marking out” when his brother Hector introduced them to him backstage at an NWA show in the ‘80s.
The two were on a tour of Japan together, as both worked for New Japan extensively in their careers. We don’t know the exact date, but it was probably the mid to late ‘90s. Eddie wasn’t a womanizer, so instead of chasing women after the shows, he drank a lot. The Guerrero family is notorious for drinking a lot and then feeling invincible when they’re drunk. Their judgment wasn’t always the best, as Hawk isn’t someone a man of Eddie’s size should’ve been messing with.
Eddie was drunk and looking for a fight. He started in on Hawk, who warned him to stay back and “Get the f*ck away from me or I’ll do something about it.” Eddie had the chance to leave it be, but stupidly kept pressing on. He didn’t want anyone to think he was scared of Hawk, so he pushed him. Bad move.
As Eddie turned away, Hawk struck him in the back of the head. As Eddie was on the ground, Hawk hit him a few more times for good measure. The blows were such that Eddie was out cold, which isn’t surprising considering one of them was to the back of the head (a blow so dangerous that it’s banned in MMA). Brad Armstrong, who was also on the tour, got Eddie a cab and had him driven back to the hotel.
Eddie woke up furious. But after thinking it through, he realized it was his own fault and that Hawk had given him the chance to walk away, and rather than doing so, he challenged him. “I deserved what I got,” he wrote.
Eddie wasn’t proud of the incident, but said the fight did get him over with the boys who were watching. By not backing down from big, bad Hawk, he earned their respect in a big way. Hawk and Eddie later mended fences and became friends. When Hawk became heavily religious, he told Eddie he always felt bad about knocking him down. Eddie assured him that it was his own fault, and that he needn’t be sorry. Not long after that conversation, Hawk passed away. And not long after Eddie’s book was released, he passed away too.
Eddie admitted to not remembering much about the fight because he was so drunk, but others who were there told him what happened. This version of the story contradicts the way Meltzer was portraying it, in that Eddie was the drunk heel who was asking for a beating, rather than Hawk being the big bully who picked on poor Eddie. The story is also in line with other similar stories of the Guerreros being drunk in bars and acting belligerent. You can argue that Hawk had nothing to prove and thus should’ve just let Eddie run his mouth or just walk away, but none of us were there and we don’t know what kinds of things Eddie was saying to him. Most of us in the same situation, if we were Hawk, would’ve likely done the same. Hawk may have been a bully in some instances, but this wasn’t one of them. Eddie deserves credit for taking the blame.