Last night on Raw, after nine years with WWE, Vickie Guerrero bid farewell to the company en route to the next chapter in her life. She tweeted the following after the show:
The ride has come to a halt....I'm so grateful for the wonderful blessings in the last 9 years! live, love, and laugh💜— Vickie Guerrero (@ExcuseMeWWE) June 24, 2014
Heading home to begin a new chapter in my amazing life! Thank you Jesus! #empowered— Vickie Guerrero (@ExcuseMeWWE) June 24, 2014
In the long run, Vickie Guerrero will likely be remembered for just how thoroughly her character worked the "smart" fans.
Day in and day out, it was common to see fans online talk about how terrible a performer Vickie Guerrero was. People would talk about how shrill she was and how she didn't belong, all completely oblivious to the fact that being shrill and out of place was the entire point of her character.
Vickie Guerrero was an absolutely tremendous performer, one of the few people in modern WWE who I've seen get real, hateful heat from the crowd. I'll get into that in more detail in a moment, but for whatever reason, modern WWE booking isn't really about putting heat on the heels in the way that wrestling worked for decades. Still, fans hated her.
The things fans would yell at her at shows were awful. Everyone else was booed in good fun, but she was hated. Sometimes I wondered about how much of that had to do with her performance versus other, more uncomfortable factors (odd resentment about her path into WWE, misogyny, etc.), but at the end of the day, she got the type of response nobody else was getting.
While last night's farewell segments had one big, glaring negative (everyone pretending that what was obviously pudding was some form of human excrement without outright saying it), it was otherwise a tremendously constructed segment. I was skeptical that they could get the crowd really into Vickie as a babyface, to say the least.
In the past, when WWE experimented with turning Vickie Guerrero babyface, it was hard to gauge crowd reactions. I remember going to Great American Bash 2008 right after the angle where Edge cheated on her with Alicia Fox. It was not uncommon to hear people at the Nassau Coliseum screaming vile, hateful things at her that night...until the main event. When she clotheslined Fox during Edge vs. Triple H, she got the biggest pop of the night—then everyone got back to screaming awful things at her.
Last night, they really did a tremendous job babyfacing Vickie. In the opening segment, while there was some risk to invoking Eddie Guerrero's name, it was done tastefully, and Stephanie McMahon did a tremendous job shifting any remaining heat to herself. I did find myself wondering how much of this had to do with some fans knowing she was leaving, but regardless, it was well done. The match itself was an impressive piece of work, with Vickie getting the last laugh and Stephanie being her father's daughter by embarrassing herself in the best way possible.
Godspeed, Vickie, and I hope you enjoy the next chapter in your life.