Wednesday, April 09, 2014

My Goodbye to the Ultimate Warrior

This guy gives a similar tribute to mine:

Warrior (he officially changed his name to Warrior) was always regarding as a very odd guy.  Few friends, certainly not a favorite of promoters.  His schtick was that he was a huge steroid-pumping guy from Parts Unknown.  Fortunately for him and the WWF, it was a huge hit with the fans.

Unfortunately, he really couldn't run or move quickly for more than 25 seconds without being winded.  So his matches were all basically "squash" matches where he came out, dominated an opponent, allowed the opponent to counter for no more than 1-2 minutes, then slammed the opponent, jumped on top of him, and got the win.

He famously beat the HonkyTonk Man for the InterContinental title in around or under 2 minutes.  This was supposed to establish his dominance.  The true reason, of course, was that the Warrior really couldn't wrestle for 5 or 10 good minutes. 

His greatest match was his defeat of Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI at SkyDome.  The match is timed at 22:51, but I would estimate that 12+ minutes of that were either both men posturing or one guy using a head lock while the other rested.  Yet almost 23 minutes of ring time was amazing for the Ultimate Warrior since he generally struggled to catch his breath after running to the ring.

At his WWE Hall of Fame induction this past week he discussed the respect he and "Steve" had for the veteran wrestlers in the sport when they were coming up.  Steve = Steve Borden = Sting, the Ultimate Warrior's old tag team partner when they were in the UWF. 

Much like coaching in college is half recruiting and half actually coaching, pro wrestling is half personality and half actually ring work.  Ultimate Warrior was one of the worst ever at ring work (and, in fact, was twice named by Pro Wrestling Illustrated as the "Worst Wrestler of the Year").  As a personality, however, he had a tremendous appeal.  I don't quite know why, perhaps it was because he so much resembled a super hero come to life and wrestling fans are so stupid that they are unable to follow any serious story line, so they loved his empty-headed ramblings. 

He has two small children and a wife.  So I am sad to see him go, and I hope he had his affairs in order when, walking out of a hotel with his wife around 6 in the afternoon, his body that had survived so much abuse for 54 years just gave out and he died.  RIP.

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