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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Man, The Myth, The Warrior
July 30, 2007 by J.P. James


Editor's Note: The author of this column can be contacted via the OWW Forums, where this submission was first posted. Feedback can be posted automatically by clicking here - but remember you must sign up for the forums to post feedback on a column. Thanks you!


When you think of paint, streamers and excitement what comes to mind? Maybe a Christmas parade or a child's birthday? For me its the man, the myth, the legend, the Ultimate Warrior. It pains me to see that we have a whole new crop of wrestling fans that never experienced one of the Warrior's runs with a major company. All they know of him is the "Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior" DVD or the ramblings of the eltist wrestling fans of today. Maybe the Warrior is a bit......off.......but he didn't need to be...on...to hold a wrestling audience in the palm of his hand.

First let's discuss the wrestling ability. Granted I have seen a monkey with down's syndrome pull off more wrestling holds than Warrior but to that I simply say "so what". Now the obvious eltist fan's response of course is going to be "uhm.....its wrestling" as they adjust their glasses and take a puff of their inhaler. But first of all lets remember the years that the Warrior thrived. In the late 80's early 90's version of the WWF a wrestler trying to use an actual wrestling hold would be like seeing President Bush give Michael Moore the DX crotch chop. Sure we had a few technical oddities but the main focus of the WWF at this time was "Let's find another fat guy for Hogan to fight." You have to give the people what the want to see. I mean remember when Corey Feldman was in movies? Believe it or not that's because people at the time wanted to see him. So yeah the Warrior had his clothesline, Warrior Splash and Guerrila Press and not much else. So yeah the Warrior was generally only in the ring for a few seconds. But even with that limited move set, even though he was in the ring for a blink of an eye he captivated everyone. Our elitist fans of course want hour long drama full of holds and counter holds and that's fine but isn't wrestling about excitement? And if the Warrior can generate the same level of excitement in 5 minutes that some wrestlers can in an hour then who is the most efficient at their craft?

The next area that the Warrior was famous for was the promos. I'm not going to pretend I had the slightest clue as to what he was talking about only that I was on board for wherever he was taking me. I can remember sitting cross-legged in the floor with my friend watching an episode of Superstars where the Warrior was cutting a promo on Rick Rude. After a five minute speech we yelled and beat our chests and for a second just a second we locked eyes and we could both see the look of "what the %$&@ did he just say" in each others eyes before we decided to yell and scream some more. It was one of those things we just didn't talk about like that crazy uncle no one in the family wants to acknowledge. But lets face it, whatever he had to say he obviously was very passionate about it. His ramblings added to his mystique. Could I not understand him because he was a babbling fool or was it because he was that much smarter than myself? But lets face it a promo is just what is sounds like, a promotion, an advertisement. He is selling himself to the viewers and even though we may not of understood the pitch we were buying it in droves.

The Warrior was the man that many felt Hogan would "pass the torch" to. And pass the torch he did at WrestleMaia 6. It's just unfortunate that the WWF yanked the torch back from him and gave it to Hogan. The Warriors title run in 1990 was considered by most to be a failure. To be honest I can't really argue that point. But I think the finger needed to be pointed somewhere other than the Warrior. Let's take a look at his reign shall we. His first feud came from Rick Rude. Now I'm a Rick Rude fan and seeing him make a run for the World title was ok by me. But you have to consider that he hadn't really been used in any significant way for several months, not to mention that he had just come off of a months long feud with Warrior the previous year. The two feuded until their main event match in a cage at SummerSlam 90. But of course they had to share main event status with Hogan vs Earthquake which had a storyline that got far more attention than Warrior vs Rude. After then who did Warrior feud with? Well no one really. He was booked in tag matches with Kerry Von Erich against Demolition and that was pretty much it. When 1991 rolled around a match with Sgt. Slaughter was thrown together and that was it for the Warrior's title reign. I've always said that a champion is only as good as his challengers. Who would Hogan have been without Andre? Who would Shawn Michaels have been without Bret Hart? Who would Steve Austin have been without Mr. McMahon?

So in conclusion could the Warrior wrestle? No. Could the Warrior present a coherent promo? No. Could the Warrior say he had a successful title run? No. But can anyone say that despite leaving wrestling almost a decade ago that he has been forgotten? Absolutely not. Its easy to judge a wrestler out of context and based on hearsay and smear campaign DVDs. But keep in mind that, despite the flaws that the elitists will always bring up during a Warrior discussion, he captivated millions. Keep in mind that while many wrestlers have come and gone the Warrior is still discussed on a regular basis. So I say we should all have a Warrior appreciation day. Lets paint our faces and tie streamers around our biceps and run like mad through the nearest mall or super market. I'm sure at least somewhere you will see a glimmer of recognition.

by J.P. James (View/Submit your feedback here)..




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