Jimmy Jacobs spent about 2 1/2 years as part of WWE's creative team, but his first significant experience with WWE came back in 2005 when he wrestled Eddie Guerrero in a squash match on the May 12, 2005, episode of Smackdown.
The lessons learned from Guerrero during that experience still resonate with Jacobs, who is now back on the independent wrestling scene as a competitor after being fired by WWE.
Jacobs, who recalled working with Guerrero on a recent episode of Chris Jericho's Talk Is Jericho podcast, said it came about almost by accident. He attended that Smackdown taping just to hang out with Paul London, a friend of Jacobs' who was on the Smackdown roster at the time, and WWE ended up needing someone to wrestle Guerrero that night.
"It was an awesome experience. I was 21 years old. I went to the show not even expecting to work," Jacobs said. "I went up to Eddie and I said, 'Hey, I'm Jimmy, I think we're working together tonight.' He goes, 'I just want to thank you right now for your professionalism in doing this for me and I want to apologize, this match needs to be all me.' Like I was doing him a favor! This guy, he was the man and I was just a kid. He said, God willing we'll work together some day under better circumstances but to me at 21 that was the best circumstances I could work with him under."
Guerrero was in a feud with Rey Mysterio at the time and, during the match with Jacobs, put one of Rey's masks on Jacobs.
"He was so gracious and grateful and it was one of the greatest lessons I ever learned in wrestling. It had nothing to do with wrestling. I was working with Ring of Honor and I was an indie guy at the time but in the grand scheme of things I was as low on the totem pole as you could possibly be. My first time working with WWE, this guy had been, he'd been the champion at WrestleMania [the year] before and he treated me not just as an equal but he was even humble toward me. And it taught me that it doesn't matter where you are in wrestling, it doesn't make you better than somebody else. It never gives you the right to treat somebody else like they're less of a human being than you."