Who is the Ultimate Warrior"
November 15, 2005 by Avi Krebs
When the average wrestling guru thinks of the Ultimate Warrior nowadays, it wouldn't come as a big surprise to see that they wouldn't have many complimentary things to say about the man who is now passionately known as the Warrior. Without going into too much detail, it might however come as a surprise to some, that the Ultimate Warrior has a DVD out now. The title is the suspiciously dubbed "The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior". Now usually when the WWE brings out a DVD about one of its superstars past or present; you are usually expecting it to be paying homage to that superstar. This DVD seems to address more what other people in the business think about the "Ultimate One". Couldn't they have just used a segment on their internet program Byte This instead of making a full fledged DVD" Oh wait, if anyone actually tuned into the latest edition of that program, you would have seen one of the (in my opinion at least) most disrespectful and quite possibly juvenile acts to just dump on a guy who may have not been perfect for the wrestling business, but certainly did more than his fair share to turn the sport of wrestling into the international dynamo that it has become today.
So with that in mind, I'd like to take a look into the man behind the face paint, the tassels, the colourful wrestling attire who just last year was given the honour of being named one of the WWEs 50's greatest wrestlers of all time. Does this mean he's going to be elected into the hall of fame" Even if he is to be abducted you can almost guarantee that in no way, shape, or form is the Warrior going to be making any acceptance speeches anytime soon. If you were to frequently visit his internet site you'd have a pretty good idea that the Warrior will have nothing to do with the WWE and with good reason as well. Or so the Warrior believes is the case. Is he the victim" Or is he just another disgruntled individual who lost his marbles somewhere along the way in what can be considered a checkered past" So without further ado...
Before shedding light on the Ultimate Warrior, I would like to make it clear that back in the heyday of the WWF, I was a huge Ultimate Warrior fan. He just seemed like the type of wrestler who was capable of getting an entire audience out of their seats and all he had to do was have his theme music hit and make a mad sprint down to the ring. Once he was inside the squared circle it looked as if you couldn't contain the man, what with his excessive rope shaking and all. His physique was a rare specimen. He had muscles upon muscles; his body looked toned in just about every area imaginable. You could practically see the veins pulsating out of his forearms, shoulders, thighs, you name it. He was an intimidating individual. Did I forget to mention he was one of the good guys" This from someone who was 275 pounds, and hailed from parts unknown; the WWF must have been blind if they didn't realize they had something special here. The only question is what on earth could you do with a man of this stature" It would not take long for fans to identify the Ultimate Warrior as becoming known as a house hold name in the WWF. His first intercontinental title win would be the beginning of what could be considered the decade of the Warrior. Skeptics are welcome to point out that this decade wouldn't even last even half of its duration as the Ultimate Warrior would find himself in and out of the WWF on a few separate occasions. His individual highlight considered by many was his heavyweight championship win at WrestleMania 6 in Toronto over the immortal Hulk Hogan. This win put the Ultimate Warrior in rare company as one of the best of the business (in that time). Whether the WWE would choose to admit it or not, during his championship reign there was no wrestler out there that was raking in the money for the WWF than its champion. You could look at any WWF magazine and see at least a page and a half of Ultimate Warrior memorabilia. The Warrior's popularity transcended new heights when WCW would create a wrestler with the blatant intention of him coming across as being "An Ultimate Warrior substitute". This farce known as the Renegade would be just one of the blemishes on WCW but that is worth an entirely different article all together. While we are the subject of failures, does anyone remember the Warrior University" I'm sure there are a few people out there (me included) who would have been first in line to enroll there. It would seem that the Warrior would be the one to carry the WWF into the next generation, or so it would seem until he dropped the belt at Royal Rumble 1991 to Sgt. Slaughter and shortly afterwards disappeared from WWF programming.
So what happened" Rumours were rampant that the Ultimate Warrior was dead, or was let go because he was using drugs, or because he had got himself arrested. Considering the WWF was much more secretive about its personal affairs back then, (also keep in mind there was no Internet during this time either) you had to pretty much be a part of the business in some form to get an idea on what the hell was actually going on. You can ask ten different people what they think were the worst traits of the Ultimate Warrior and they'd probably give you ten different responses. So for your reading pleasure, here are three of the most common knocks against the Ultimate Warrior when it came to his contributions to wrestling.
1. Wrestling Ability. Okay, let's get it right out into the open. The Ultimate Warrior is not going to be confused with the excellence of execution in any way, shape, or form. Of course there is a long list of wrestlers past and present of championship caliber who don't wrestle all that well. The Warrior wasn't exactly a connoisseur of technical or mat wrestling. His fighting style can be best summed with one word; brawling. Now for the avid wrestling fan, this wouldn't be a cause for concern. Wrestlers strive on being repetitious. That way fans can identify with the wrestler and their usual mannerisms. This was a staple to getting the fans into what was usually the climatic finish of a match. Who doesn't get engaged when Hogan's "hulking up", the finger waving, the punches, the boot and conclusion with the "devastating" leg drop" Nowadays though, fans like to be entertained and shown things that haven't been done before. If the Warrior was to be wrestling today, he would have to incorporate some new moves into his rather bland repertoire. Would anyone love to see the Ultimate one bust out doing the worm" Or maybe a 6-1-9 or maybe an F-5 is more likely for someone of the Warrior's stature and physique" No matter how you look at it, the Warrior didn't get his legion of fans by executing one heck of a Figure Four leglock.
2. On the microphone. Nowadays, how a wrestler cuts a promo can be a career killer maker, back in the glory days of wrestling however, it wasn't considered as big a requirement. On the Ultimate Warrior DVD, there are more than a few references in relation to the promos that the Warrior would do. In most cases, no one really has an idea what the hell he's even talking about for most of the segment. Now this was part of the Warrior persona to come across as wild and unpredictable, but it was these same traits that unfortunately made the Warrior come across as more of a buffoon than anything else. Although I will be quick to admit that his anti smoking promos played a big role in my personal choice not to smoke, but that's another story entirely. One could pick an assortment of Warrior promos gone askew, but for your reading pleasure I will announce my top 3 Warrior promos.
#3 The Pose Down vs. Ravishing Rude: Royal Rumble 1989. In a nutshell, this more or less might have been the brainchild to what was suppose to be the World Bodybuilding federation. I'd like to think that both participants were given the time here to just improvise the whole sketch because there is no way the writing could have been that disastrous for this to have actually been scripted. For those of you out there who don't know what this is about then let me sum it up for you in one fragmented sentence, a series of poses. You have Ravishing Rick "sell" one pose, and then you'd have the Warrior follow suit and the crowd would naturally get behind the Warrior. Of course the Warrior looked pretty foolish as opposed to intimidating but I'm sure the fans weren't really looking at him in that way. For what it was worth however, the Warrior did what he continually was able to do during his heyday, and that was get the fans out of their seats. Although I'm sure there would have been a lot of us wanting to clobber the Warrior like Rick tried to do at the end of the pose down because the Warrior just made the whole pose down thing just plain cheesy.
#2, The Warrior cutting a thanksgiving promo: Survivor Series 1989. 1989 was a good year for bad Warrior promos. This promo was part of a montage of promos that were popular in the WWF where a series of wrestlers would one after the other cut a short promo, usually this was done during the Royal Rumble events when each wrestler would talk about how they would win. The subject of these promos was giving thanks, since the event was on/near thanksgiving. The real highlight of these promos actually was when Rick Rude gave thanks for being the sexiest man alive, and Piper followed by saying thanks for not being Rick Rude. So this medley goes on throughout the course of the event and then we get to the Ultimate Warrior and what he is thankful for. Whether you've seen it once, or have watched it a dozen times over all I can conclude is that I have no idea what the Ultimate Warrior was thankful for. On a side note, why was he yelling" Okay he has to stay in character so that makes some sense, but really he was like a cross between a Neanderthal and Ned Flanders during his thanksgiving
#1, The Warrior's interview prior to Royal Rumble 1991: Saturday Night Main Event" Ah yes, this is the Warrior promo that far and away exemplifies how bad the Warrior was on the mic. If we are again putting into consideration that the Warrior was not popular for what he preached, (assuming we had an indication what he preached exactly) then we can forgive the Warrior for this particular disaster waiting to happen. The Warrior was the world champion at this time and it looked as if the Macho King, Randy Savage was attempting to ratify himself as the #1 contender for the belt. He attempted to do this with the aid of his queen (term to be used loosely) Sensational Sherri. The Warrior would be in the middle of an interview when Sherri would casually make her way down to where the Warrior was and began to try and "pursue" the Warrior into granting her man a title shot. The Warrior would not be easily swayed by this and when it was finally time to reply he did it in a rather typical Warrior fashion, "No!!!" Granted this actually would sound more convincing if you actually had the seen the footage but what resulted afterwards was a good few minutes of hilarity what with the Warrior towering over Sherri and the Macho King throwing a convincing tantrum without slinging out the provocative language. It is promos like these that make it seem clear why the Warrior will never be confused with someone like the Rock.
3. Professionalism These wrestlers are wrestling because it is their job; this is not to say that it is the cushiest profession seeing how you spend roughly 300 days of the year on the road from your families, and there is a risk when you put your body on the line everyday and anyone who has seen the promos on not to try this stuff at home, you can believe there are some grave repercussions if a move is not done correctly. There hasn't been much written about the Warrior injuring his opponents in the ring, but there sure has been more than your fair share of criticism on working with the Warrior when it came to wrestling in a match. You can take your pick; jackass, uncooperative, arrogant, unwilling to do what is best for the business, the list goes on and most of the list can be heard in its entirety on the Ultimate Warrior DVD. If there is one thing that stands out about the Warrior and his professionalism, it would be that he wasn't a fan of traveling. It was so bad that he would miss not just single events, but he'd go for weeks not appearing at events thus making the WWF creative booking team "insert snickers here" have to come up with some last minute replacements which usually resulted in whoever was taking the Warrior's place squashing his would be opponent. You can bet the Warrior's reasoning for missing these events was about as easy to decipher as what he's talking about most of the times in his promos. The WWF would fire him not once but twice because of this ongoing problem. When the Warrior was gone for good from the WWF he made his way over to rival WCW where we would get a Warrior way past his expiration date. It was a disappointing (to some and refreshing to others) way to close the book on one of the most mystifying characters to ever strap on the boots in the world of professional wrestling.
What is there left to say that hasn't been said about the Ultimate Warrior" One could say that he was a great professional athlete, however then you would have people arguing he was neither great, professional, or an athlete. Is there anything that everyone would be able to agree on when it comes to talking about the Ultimate Warrior" Probably not but no matter how you think about him, whether it is the Warrior as a wrestler, or the Warrior as a human being, there really wasn't anyone quite like him before or during his time. There very well might not be another person like him to ever step into the squared circle. I leave it up to you whether you consider that a damn shame or a little slice of heaven.
by Avi Krebs..
Jesse Lee wrote:
I admit that Warrior wasn't a great mat technician nor the best at giving promos during a time where talking wasn't a huge deal. I believe he was supposed to be the pre-Goldberg of the day. Think about it, four moves, finish, back in the locker room in seven minutes (main events.) I don't it's fair to judge Warrior on his wrestling and promo skills to today's time. Wrestling changes and evolves because people change. Do you think there would be a black U.S. Champion in the 1800s" I'm not trying to sound racist with that comment, but it sets a point to the change theory.
As for his unprofessionalism, it's funny to hear Triple H, Goldberg, Austin, HBK, and just about any other backstage politician say that.
First there's Trips, whom is probably stillangry at the fact that Warrior beat him in, like, thirty seconds. Triple H is also accused of using his "marriage deal" as a backstage pull. Could anyone be on the top since 1999" Six years now without ever fading out unless you count injuries and two months of being in the sidelines, I don't think that can "just happen" in today's times. Even when he wasn't champion, he still had more time than the champs.
Second is Goldberg. I didn't watch the Destruction DVD so I don't know if he's on it or not, but I heard he disliked Warrior due to backstage incidents. Goldberg allowed the business get to his head and disliked the thought of ever losing while in WWE. He did as much as he could to get out of losing that he decided to leave WWE. His last match, he won, but it was poor as hell.
Third is Stone Cold. The greatest merchandise seller since Hogan's prime. I'm sure you've heard the stories; such as him walking out due to his dislike in the storylines. Apparently, he accuses some wrestlers of being immature but thinks it's alright to up and leave.
Fourth is my favorite of all time, Shawn. I admit it, he's my favorite, but that doesn't rule him out. Days when the Kliq was around, he did the same stuff Goldberg did. He forfeit titles over "injuries" to avoid losing and just about any other case where he'd be put in the backseat. Now, I think he's matured, but can you compare two years since his comeback to four or five years of backstage politics"
Clay Kareem wrote:
As to be expected there have been quite a few articles concerning our "favorite" Warrior. Now I can't say that I was a big fan of the warrior, because I grew up in NC and the major promotion there was NWA (the golden years, ah the memories). I did buy the video and did enjoy it. The Warrior did exactly what was expected of him in the ring, squash opponents. Back then, 275lbs was big. Today it's merely considered above-average. He couldn't be expected to come off the top rope, or be super technical. He was a bruiser. As far as his promos go, I thought they were definitely interesting. I actually enjoyed those more than the matches. Warrior came from "parts unknown" (like many masked wrestlers) to compete in the WWF/E. How can you not like a guy who talks in his own language" Yeah, he made no sense but that was what was cool. He was from "parts unknown" where ever that may be (another planet, dimension, plane of existence"). Most of the wrestlers interviewed said it was absolute nonsense, but they remembered it. Remembered is a key word. I think HHH is one of the best wrestlers around, but I don't remember any of his promos because it's typical wrestler bragging. Now, to the point. Yeah, he was mediocre in the ring. You couldn't understand a thing he was talking about. He may have had a crappy work ethic, and been hard to deal with in a business sense. Yet, beyond all of this he was entertaining when he did his thing. It's a shame guys like him are out and Hulk Hogan is still around, and I even enjoy Hulk from time to time.
Gina T! wrote:
the Warrior did everything that was required of him. like getting the wrestling fans all hyped up. Jim Mcman doesn't like it when one of his superstar's goes out of bounds but yet look at the Montreal screw job that Jim Mcman gave Bret the hit man Hart" I was a loyal fan of the WWF until that day. the DVD that Jim Mcman made of the Warrior only shows Jim Mcman's intelligence when any superstar's of the WWF or WWE doesn't want to be a hey Boy!Jim Mcman gets his revenge. its only a money making deal for the WWE that's why I stopped watching any of the WWE( Raw, and smackdown) shows! Good work on your web site
David Temrick wrote:
There's no denying that Warrior has and had great success getting fans into
the matches with his high intensity style. Let's face facts though. He was a
pre-madona. As far as I'm concerned his was just the predecessor to Bill
Goldberg. He wouldn't lose a match unless there was a bonus ($$) in it for
him, or would make him more money at the end of the feud. Stings
documentary/movie covers how Warrior treated him when they were the Blade
Runners, Jake Roberts DVD covers how hard it was to deal with him during the
Undertaker feud. Hell, even Undertaker has said numerous times how hard it
was to work with the guy.
Plus he would dump out of matches at the last minute, or hold Vince (by the
way it's Vince McMahon, not jim mcman) up for more money. He definately got
the crowd into his matches, but he was and still is a pompus egotistical
jackass. If anyone were to take the time to read the old posts from his
website they would see it for themselves. Being shuffled from one fed to
another because of his lackluster dedication doesn't seem to have made a
difference to him. He still thinks he's the best.
The best is what guys like Bret Hart, The Rock, Mick Foley, Ric Flair, Shawn
Michaels and Benoit are. Guys who are great, but they're willing to put over
the young guys and help them become better. Guys like the Warrior, Goldberg
and Brock Lesnar are there for the money. Plain and simple. There's no
higher power they serve other than themselves and they couldn't give a damn
about the fans who put money in their pockets either.
nkosi kwezituka wrote:
The Ultimate Warrior, in my view, is and was one of the greatest wrestlers and perhaps the greatest. Despite his intensity level in the ring, the guy still couldn't get more publicity. This man was the most reckless individual to ever step foot into the squared circle. He was amazing when he enters the ring, everyone would be electrified. Yes his way of speech was hard to grasp, but I think it fitted with this characnter and helped the federation become even more popular. His style is of a high dimension and I think for that he deserved more money. The Federation(WWE or WWF) would prefer talk more about other wrestlers such as Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and others I think because they were easy to work with. But that
's the Warrior's style, he may not have been a great technical wrestler, but he did what was required of him. Bret Hart was great, yes perhaps the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be, but he couldn't shake the ropes, electrify the
crowd like the Warrior did. The Warrior simply liked what he was doing no matter what people thought of him.And I think he deserved to be a multiple time WWF champion instead he won it only on one occasion but the way he retained that belt was satisfying and that proved it.
Jeremy R. Thompson wrote:
Ahh!, The Ultimate Warrior. Maybe I don't speak for everyone when I say this but I am so sick and tired of the ignorantly negative comments made about the Ultimate Warrior. He did what he was paid to do. Ok. He wasn't expected to be a "technical" wrestler. It would not have fit his gimmick. You have all these wrestlers like Undertaker, Jake Roberts, Bobby Heenan,etc. just regularly saying the "same" comments about Warrior. Geez, since they all say it, it must be true. Put on the brakes here, nope. They're just being Vince's little bitches. They don't like the warrior because he was himself, he had the fans that they wanted to have root for them, and he had the balls to stand up to Vince and speak his mind. HHH's comments on the Self Destruction DVD, hahaha, if it hurts him that bad, he needs to put a gun to his head and pull the trigger. He's suppose to be all big and tough and there he's crying like a little bitch. Aww, poor thang. I guess it's ok because not everybody is capable of handling such issues as being upstaged by an established, and selling, gimmick. You know here's a concept. They've done all they can to down the man, and he'll still be remembered longer than they ever will be. They all don't want him back. Well here's another concept, he didn't want to do it anymore. Where's your argument" They've all been busting their asses over a goal they won't never accomplish. They want to be respected for "wrestling technicalities" and such. Here's a clue.. The audience who is watching could give a damn. So how could anyone expect to be respected. Besides, it's all staged, coreographed and whatever. I think the funniest comment though was from Bobby Heenan calling the warrior stupid. Lets see. Hmm!!! The Ultimate Warrior was an established bodybuilder and chiropractor. Bobby Heenan, a 7th grade education at the max. Sounds to me like someone's a little jealous that they weren't blessed with the genetic superiority to do the same as Warrior, so he's just trying to use politics to make him look better. Well there's the stupidity right there. When you do stuff like that, nobody likes it exept for other insecure, self-confident insufficiant pussies like yourself. There's the clue as to why the Warrior was and always will be more popular and revered than any of those oversized bitches behind the wwe stages. Ok I've spoke my mind enough now. Just one question. I heard all this hype between the WWE and Warrior Shoot videos is all promo for a match between Warrior and Vinve McMahon anyway. Is this accurate or just a rumor. Thanks for your time.
I doubt I can add much more that hasn't already been said regarding Ultimate Warrior. Personally though like many other of his fans from back in the day, I think he's one wrestler that gets a bad rap just for the sake of getting a bad rap by people in the business. A lot of the things they condemn Warrior for are a lot of things many other big stars in the business failed poorly at as well. They condemn him for not being a good mat wrestler. Well he was a body and most bodies in the business didn't know how to mat wrestle. At least not to the level of someone like Ricky Steamboat or Bret Hart. And let's face it back in the 1980's the WWE didn't pride themselves on finding a steady stream of talent on the roster that was full of athletic ability, to put on extremely exciting looking matches. They had some guys that could, but not as many as the NWA or WCCW had for instance. It was all about glitz, glamour and mic skills that got your foot in the door. Be real Hulk Hogan will always be the one and only household name in the business, but he was not a great mat wrestler by any stretch of the imagination. My point is Warrior fit in perfectly with that era of the WWE. He was a character personified.
But they looked Warrior up and down and sized him up and trained him to excel in areas he was strong in, no pun intended. He did nothing but mostly power moves because he was a muscled up wrestler......where's the surprise in that? The DVD that WWE made for him was a bunch of bullshit. I knew they would do nothing but talk trash on his name and try to bury him, since he is at odds with them. Could you really expect a lot of objective talk about him from a bunch of guys that didn't like him? I doubt they went out of their way to find guys that actually did like him in the business, like Kevin Von Erich for instance that I'm sure would have been happy to give him some praise. The bashing on his interviews was unnecessary as well I felt. He had some of the most unusual and interesting interviews the world of professional wrestling ever saw and heard. Warrior was just a character to me that was obsessed with folklore and philosophy. And I never thought his interviews were that hard to understand. Were they direct and to the point? No. But not hard to understand. They all had the same basic gist of a meaning saying "I am strong and full of courage, and destiny is why I live and no one will knock me off my path." You can sum up all his interviews in basically meaning that at the end of the day. But if WWE REALLY thought his interviews were as crappy as they claim, then why didn't they demand to write his lines for him then? They could have opted to do it, but they didn't. And the reason why they didn't was because his unique interviews in addition to other things about him, made them a lot of money and made people want to tune in to the shows and who would be dumb enough to kill off a good thing like that?
I remember a few years back they did a one-hundred greatest wrestlers of all time list or most popular wrestlers of all time list (can't remember the specific title), and they left Ultimate Warrior off of it. Whether the name of the list is one or the other you'd have to be pretty fucking foolish to leave him off of either one. Warrior is a legend one way or another whether people like it or not, and it's about time people start to deal with the facts. Many claim he was hard to work with, which is a common thing a lot of people say about wrestlers to bury them. It's probably true on some plains, but I don't think totally that is true. I read Undertaker say it and I felt he was an ingrate for it. His feud with Warrior did more for his career than his half shoot feud with Hogan later did.
I guess Undertaker is rather sore that during their steady run of house show matches that he never got the duke on Warrior in beating him in a match. But he got reimbursed other ways. The Undertaker is the only guy that Warrior ever showed fear to on camera, more than once at that, and to me that speaks volumes for how flexible Warrior was behind the curtain with ideas to push Undertaker into superstardom. Not to mention he came back eight years later just to give Hogan's whiney insecure ass the victory he didn't achieve at Wrestlemania XI so he could feel good about himself. A guy that's hard to work with would protect his persona and reputation at all costs, and obviously Warrior didn't do that with then. But oh yeah Warrior is REAL unreasonable and hard to work with obviously (sarcasm). But oh well...as Christian Cage said like it or not no one ever forgets The Ultimate Warrior.
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