After years of battling in WWE and TNA rings, Chavo Guerrero is set to do his fighting inside the panels of a comic book.
Guerrero has been a tag team champion at WCW, TNA and WWE, teaming with men like his uncle Eddie and the powerhouse Hernandez. He has since found a new partner in Lion Forge Comics.
He is one of the many members of the famed Guerrero family to make an impact on the pro wrestling industry. Working under a variety of gimmicks during his 20-year career, he consistently delivered a compelling blend of high-flying and mat wrestling.
Load up any match of his either against or alongside his late uncle, and chances are you'll witness something superb, an artwork created between the ropes.
That's an art form he practices far less often these days. Most fans last saw Guerrero find a pink slip in his Feast or Fired briefcase before seeing him step away from the spotlight.
He has since dedicated more time to his family, only taking occasional bookings on the independent circuit, and is now the inspiration for a comic-book series.
Warrior's Creed is the story of Guerrero battling La Iniciativa de Voltan, a villainous group looking to siphon the powers hidden in the Guerrero family DNA. Evil scientists and a lagoon filled with dragon's blood await readers.
On the comic book that will bear his likeness, Guerrero told Fox News Latino, "This feels very natural to me. I've gotten into trouble my whole life fighting for what I believe in. I believe in standing up to bullies and that's what this character and series is about."
This move from the ring to the page is a natural transition, as pro wrestlers are essentially comic-book characters come to life.
Fabian Nicieza, the co-creator of Deadpool, handles the writing duties. Eddie Nunez, who worked on Fanboys vs. Zombies, is the artist for Warrior's Creed. Guerrero will be doing the superheroing.
The series will be available in both English and Spanish, and digital and print forms when it launches in early 2015. Bleacher Report had a chance to talk with Guerrero about the new project, his future in the ring and memories of his career.
Bleacher Report: How did the Warrior's Creed project come about? Is that something you came up with, or did Lion Forge come to you?
Guerrero: I was in Vegas at the CES, the electronics convention. I ended up hooking up with my buddy "Rampage" Jackson. And he had a comic book out with Lion Forge and I didn't know too much about it, but out of the blue we saw Lion Forge guys there. The owner David, we just hooked up with him. He was a fan and we talked awhile, and it was kind of cool. I got an email or text from him about a month later asking 'Are you serious about doing a comic book?' and I'm like 'Heck yeah, man.'
B/R: How much did you know about comics before? Were you a big fan?
Guerrero: Yeah, I was an old-school comic guy. Just like anything, the new millennium, social media kind of changed the way that everything in media is done, and that's true for comic books too. I was a huge comic-book fan. Spider-Man was my favorite, Superman and all that kind of stuff. Now comic books have come to a different level where they have Walking Dead and Deadpool and all these different crazy-ass comics. And they're super popular.
This one (Warrior's Creed) is going to be in English and in Spanish. We're gonna hit that Latino market, you know? And Lion Forge is really good about that. They understand that demographic.
What Latinos don't have and Hispanics don't have a lot is superheroes. If you look at any kind of superhero out there, whether it be anything from Marvel or anything from DC or anyone, you look at them, they're big, strong white dudes.
There aren't many Latinos out there. Lion Forge is smart to jump on that. The Hispanic market is the largest demographic in the world.
You think about guys like Stan Lee, they're going to write what they know, which is a Caucasian guy. They can't write an African-American or they can't write a Latino because that's not them. It's like me writing a Caucasian movie or screenplay or whatever. It's not me, you know?
B/R: Then there's the danger of dipping into stereotypes when you're writing about people you're not familiar with.
Guerrero: Absolutely. Every time in WWE that they would write a promo for me, I would say by the way, 'it's homes, not home.' 'Oh but we didn't know.'
To show you how out of touch really Vince McMahon is...He's a billionaire, he doesn't relate to a normal person. Me and Eddie ended up doing that one skit with Big Show and we put some Ex-Lax into his burrito. He ate it and had to go have a big bowel movement.
At first, Vince didn't want to do it. He didn't know if the rest of the world knows what a burrito is. He had to go ask people. Of course they know what a burrito is. He was so out of touch that he didn't know.
That's what happens when you're a billionaire.
B/R: Guess that's a good problem to have, though.
Guerrero: Right? Exactly. I wouldn't mind having that problem.
B/R: What else are you up to? You've done a few stops at Vendetta Pro Wrestling recently and you were working in Mexico just last week, right?
Guerrero: Yeah, I'm still doing a little bit of wrestling. Really, the only reason I left WWE is because of the schedule. My kids are getting to the age that they needed me now, you know? They needed their dad home. And that schedule is so hard. So now, I'm not really going to wrestle that much. I wrestle here, there. A little bit.
I really do enjoy it. It's something that is always going to be there, going to be a part of the Guerreros. At the same time, it's hard to go back to wrestling all the time. It's something I'm definitely trying not to do, to not be gone so much anymore. If I do any time wrestling, it's going to be very, very short.
B/R: Would you be interested in just doing something short-term for WWE or TNA if the opportunity came up?
Guerrero: No, not TNA. I don't like that product. It's just...not good. I do not want to do something with them anymore. WWE, that's a tough one because that schedule is just tough.
B/R: What were some of the differences in working for those two companies? TNA gave you a lighter schedule?
Guerrero: A much lighter schedule, for sure. But WWE knows how to make money. That's what they do. TNA, they are owned by a billionaire and they have gotten kind of piss-poor.
B/R: You're definitely not the first person to think that, but it's interesting to hear that from you.
Guerrero: I would say whenever a wrestler is working for a company and is talking about that company, you never get the full story. You get the watered-down version. They say what they gotta say.
I've done WWE, I've done TNA. I've worked for them. You don't bite the hand that feeds you. Now that I'm independent and don't work for anybody, now you get the real story.
I enjoyed working for TNA. The first six months were great. I thought at the time when I got there that their locker room was the best in the world. And there was a 30-second window that I thought they were going to compete and really give WWE a run for their money.
Then whatever happened and they went on the road and after that, they just couldn't pay anybody anymore. They just dropped everybody.
But it was fun. I have fun everywhere I go. If I don't have fun then I'm not going to be there. I just want to get in that ring in front of those fans.
B/R: So there's still that pull to the art form for you? You still hunger for the crowd?
Guerrero: Absolutely, man. That's what it's about. Those fans are the best gift. You can't get that high anywhere else. In front of that crowd and having a great match and all the world is coming out, it's pretty amazing. That's why we do it, you know?
B/R: What match or rivalry or moment are you most proud of in your career?
Guerrero: I've been asked that a whole bunch of times, and I've had so many different matches. There's not one match that sticks one out. They were all great in their own sense. Working with Rey Mysterio, working with Eddie, working with CM Punk and with Kane, they were all great.
I can't narrow it down to one match. There were matches where we just beat the crap out of each other, matches where we would tear the house down in Mexico.
B/R: How much does all that blur together after doing all those house shows, those matches week after week?
Guerrero: People would think that. But I have a pretty good memory still. I can remember almost every match. There are certain times when it blurs together, but for the most part, they don't. I remember something about each match.
B/R: How much do you watch the current product, either WWE or TNA?
Guerrero: Not so much, man. To be honest, I really don't. You don't get the true regional, awesome match too much anymore. If I do watch it, I watch it for a specific match. I can't sit through all the B.S.
I taped the channel that Raw was on, and this was before Wade Barrett got hurt, I saw when he faced Dolph Ziggler. They put on a pay-per-view quality match out there. They tore the house down. They stole the show.
I texted them both and said, "Wow, that was awesome." It was fun. You don't get to see that too often that guys go out there and have time and make use of that time.
B/R: Did you see the Vickie Guerrero send-off?
Guerrero: I did. I liked that lot. I really liked how Vickie stood for the family and when she said to McMahon, 'There's one family, one name that means as much as the McMahons, and that's Guerrero.' That was awesome.
People they know, everywhere I go, they know that name Guerrero. It transcends wrestling. I can't say it's bigger than wrestling, because wrestling is pretty big (laughs), but bigger than WWE.
They know it in different countries. When I went to India for Ring Ka King, people were going "Chavo! Chavo!" I'd never been to India and people were recognizing me on the street.
B/R: Was the Guerrero name ever a burden at all? Do you feel you were wrestling in a shadow?
Guerrero: No, it was definitely not a burden. This is what happened: You got that name, you get the door opened for you faster and easier, but you have to live up to the people that have been there before you. But you can't. It's impossible.
When my father broke in, they all said, "You're not going to be as good as your father." And they were right. When Eddie broke in, you're not going to be as good as your brothers, Chavo, Hector, Mando or your dad, Gory. They were right.
You can't be as good. You can only be yourself. That's all you can be.
Every one of us is unique and every one of us does things better and worse than the others. There's only one Eddie. There's only one Chavo. There's only one Chavito. There's only one Gory.
Once you realize that then the pressure's off. Then you go out and do your own thing. There are things that we do collectively as a family that we do better than anybody.
B/R: That's a positive way to look at it.
Guerrero: There's always haters out there who will put you down no matter what. You'll never be as good as or you'll never do what so-and-so did. But those haters are the ones that sleep on their moms' couches and go work at McDonald's.
The most successful people that I've ever met have been extremely wealthy people. Never did any of those guys hate on me. They say, "You can do it. You can do anything you want. Go chase it." Because they had the same people telling them that they couldn't do it.
Successful people are the ones pushing you on, telling you that you can do it. It's the haters that tell you you can't do it because they've never been successful and will probably never be successful.
If you believe in yourself, if you believe in what you do, you can achieve it. You may not achieve it exactly the way you want it, but you can achieve it better than you think in other ways.
B/R: That's good advice for everybody. Back to Warrior's Creed for a second, are there going to be appearances from other Guerreros in the series?
Guerrero: My family is in it. It's actually about our whole family having that whole warrior's creed in us, having these superpowers that we've unlocked. We're able to fight off this evil syndicate that's like the Mexican mafia almost. They're all trying to get this Guerrero DNA because that will change them also.
The concept of it is pretty amazing. I gave them an idea and they totally ran with it.
B/R: How much do you contribute beyond that initial idea?
Guerrero: They didn't just come out and say "Here's your story." They asked me what I think. I said, "Look, Guerrero means warrior." It really does. That's a real name. It's not something made up. There are lot of different kinds of warriors and Guerreros in Mexican wrestling, Lucha Libre style. But they're called the Black Warrior or Gran Guerrero.
This is our actual name. We've been warriors our whole lives. We've been boxers and wrestlers and matadors, Olympian judo champions and you can trace our bloodline all the way back to the Aztec Indians.
All quotes were obtained first-hand unless otherwise noted.
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