WWE – Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection (DISC ONE)
In honor of the man who will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame tonight, my buddy Slackamania and I will be recapping the latest DVD set. Now the first set WWE released in 2005 clearly set out to make him look like a monstrous buffoon determined to unleash “Destrucity” through his poor wrestling skills and insane promos, but oh how time has healed all wounds. Especially when there’s an opportunity for the WWE to make some money here. Enough of the introduction, let’s get to the man of the hour: the WOYAH, if you will.
Warriors Back!: Warrior welcomes us to this collection and says that this is our collection. He said that they’re just as much ours as they are his and that he’ll never forget that. He appreciates the support and loyalty of the fans that made the Ultimate Warrior legendary. For decades, WWE tried to erase his legacy, but he’s here to tell the truth. He’s gone through the archives of his best moments and top matches for this collection. Sit back, relax, and watch as Warrior slays all the naysayers.
Finding Wrestling: Warrior was a few hours from graduating college to be a chiropractor. He was into bodybuilding and wanted to go professional. He was Mr. Georgia in 1984 and competed in some national events. He went to California to train under a guy and was told about professional wrestling. He grew up in Georgia, knew of Georgia Championship Wrestling, and had worked out with many of the talent. He trained under legend Red Bastein. He didn’t smarten him up and started wrestling after ten hours of training. The two other guys dropped out, but Warrior stayed on there with Steve ”Sting” Borden. They debuted in Memphis as the Freedom Fighters. They thought that wrestling would make them millionaires. They were considered ”greener than green” though by their peers, but were respected since they were nice guys with good manners. Bill Dundee got them into Mid-South Wrestling where they became the Blade Runners: Rock & Sting. They emulated the Road Warriors and had black lips, wore mascara, and had flat-top haircuts.
- The Blade Runners (w/Eddie Gilbert) vs. Perry Jackson & Shawn O’Reilly – (UWF TV, 4/11/86)
The overdubbed music for the Blade Runners entrance is just terrible. Sounds like a movie soundtrack for a fight happening on top of a moving train or something. Anyways, the Blade Runners are part of Hot Stuff Incorporated, which explains Eddie Gilbert’s presence. Rock press slams Jackson a few times before Sting comes in and splashes him for the win in :33. Rock never could get a clean press on Jackson no matter how much help he got. They’re a wild and crazy bunch though, I’ll give them that.
Move to WCCW: Warrior said he and Sting and different personalities as he was a thinker and Sting wanted to be told what to do. So he moved south to WCCW. After several days he wanted to leave the business and go back to school but was broke. He said he even drove a used taxi which had 400-500,000 miles on it. It was mentioned he had a Warrior look to him at the TV taping. He said he was named the Dingo Warrior after someone had a new dog named Dingo and someone who was drunk put the term Dingo Warrior together. He started out as a heel managed by Gary Hart, but eventually became a face due to the similar look, physique, and charisma as the territory’s top star Kerry Von Erich.
- Non-title match: WCWA World Heavyweight Champion Chris Adams vs. Dingo Warrior – (WCWA TV, 8/8/86)
Warrior looked much more Ultimate than he did as a Blade Runner. He’s already got the shape of the Ultimate Warrior logo painted on his face and the tassels hanging from his biceps. Percy Pringle comes out and bothers Chris Adams for a world title rematch with his boy Rick Rude. Adams puts his hands on Pringle, but gets hit with the mic and shoved down to the mat with Pringle’s cane. Shouldn’t have the WOYAH nailed him from behind? He really was green. Dingo presses Adams up and drops him throat-first on the top rope. Adams escapes a choke-lift and SUPERKICKS Warrior through the ropes. As Dingo tries to get back inside, Adams grazes him with another SUPERKICK. He hits Warrior with a piledriver and comes off the top, but gets caught in mid-air. Even though Warrior loses his balance, he lands on Adams. WOYAH delivers a hotshot and covers Adams for the 1-2-3. (4:55) Chris Adams is furious with the outcome. Bill Mercer lays the blame on Percy Pringle for the loss. *
Arrival in WWE: Warrior puts over the WCCW fans on how loyal they were and how it was a unique place to work. Former wrestler/WCCW ref Bronko Lubich heard a phone conversation that the WWF was interested in someone there and told Warrior in secret that he believed it was him. Sure enough a few days later, he got a call to work a match for the WWF in Tyler, Texas for a tryout. WCCW ran in Tyler a lot so he went and the place popped huge. The WWF was impressed with him and invited him to come to the TV tapings in Indianapolis. He said he was on the road all but 43 days a year.
- Ultimate Warrior vs. Barry Horowitz – (WWF Wrestling Challenge, 11/8/87)
Not his WWF TV debut, but one of his first TV matches. He still looks like the Dingo Warrior, but at least now he’s got a color-scheme going. On commentary, Heenan calls Warrior a “poor man’s Rick Rude”. Warrior cuts a promo on the split-screen looking for somebody to challenge him while he’s tossing Horowitz around. WARRIOR PRESS SLAM is enough to put away Barry in 1:50.
- Ultimate Warrior vs. Steve Lombardi – (WWF Superstars, 11/14/87)
Ventura questions the significance of why Warrior wears face paint and tassels on his arms and legs. Bruno is impressed with his strength. Unlike in the last squash, Warrior is able to show he can deliver some basic wrestling moves: hiptoss, bodyslam, atomic drop, etc. We get another split-screen WOYAH promo. He’s going to bust right through the door of the WWF! Turnbuckle smash from Lombardi has no effect. Warrior hits a running shoulderblock and a wind-up clothesline to set up the WARRIOR PRESS SLAM and splash for the three-count at 2:08.
Getting Noticed: The Warrior was getting more popular with the fans so they put him in a feud with Hercules. He puts over that gimmicks back in the day were more popular back then as they were amped up a notch from their real life personas. He kept learning in and out of the ring on the road. He got life lessons from successful people and called the house shows practice. He said he learned from a lot of greats and many started to feel this kid could be something. At a Rochester, NY TV taping he was booked against veteran and former NWA World Champion Harley Race. He snapped his ankle doing a chop to the outside spot, but wanted to finish to match. He never got it checked out and suffered from a staph infection. He’d hide from agents and Harley to not let them know he was injured and would suck the puss out of his wound. He thought his push would end if anybody found out, but Arnold Skaaland did and got him the help he needed. He said Harley was old school but wasn’t bitter over how the business was changing and was just happy to play a role. It was becoming entertainment, not wrestling.
- Ultimate Warrior vs. King Harley Race – (Boston, MA; 3/5/88)
WOYAH getting some ring time with a major veteran here. Harley spends more time being thrown out of the ring and onto the floor than he does inside the ring. Of course, Harley can make bumping out of the ring look pretty cool. After a double-KO, Race staggers off the ropes and falls face down into Warrior’s balls. At least what is left of them after all the steroid abuse. Warrior clotheslines Race back outside, but then Race takes over with a PILEDRIVER. He can’t capitalize with a pinfall attempt though as it’s just a minor inconvenience to Warrior more than anything else. As Warrior goes on the move, Race sidesteps him and sends Warrior out to the floor. When Race tries to suplex him back inside, Warrior escapes and O’Connor rolls Race for the win. (4:57) I don’t know if he learned anything from working with Harley here, but now Warrior can say he wrestled him. *½
Upgrading Warrior: He started changing his attire to different colors and worked out more adding to his bodybuilding background. He also made the Warrior more of a character. He constantly took down notes on promos and ways to enhance his character. He enjoyed gimmick matches especially the Weasel Suit Matches with Heenan. He puts over Heenan for having a good mind and attitude. Warrior was baffled by how Heenan was doing all these bumps and stuff at his age.
- Weasel Suit Match: Ultimate Warrior vs. Bobby Heenan – (Los Angeles, CA; 7/15/88)
Ever since Heenan scored the pinfall on Koko B. Ware at WrestleMania 4, his ego has got the better of him and has now landed him in a weasel suit match with the Ultimate Warrior. Heenan takes about four minutes to duck and avoid Warrior. Eventually, Warrior hides on the side of the ring and pops Heenan with a right hand. Now once he’s got his hands on Heenan, it’s all over. He turnbuckle smashes the crap out of Heenan. When Warrior goes for the weasel suit though, Heenan pulls an international object out of his tights to jab the Warrior in the throat. That allows a short break for Heenan, but Warrior blocks a second stabbing and throws Heenan from corner to corner. Warrior grabs a sleeper and puts Heenan down so he can put him in the weasel suit without any problems for the victory. (7:25) Heenan is SOOOOO embarrassed! Escaping the weasel suit is all very vintage Heenan stuff. *
Intercontinental Champion: Honky Tonk Man was the longest reigning IC Champ of all time and Warrior said there was always backstage rumors and gossip on storylines but never paid any attention to them. Everyone was happy for him when he was informed he’d get a run as the Intercontinental Champion. He felt it was the right time to do it.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Ultimate Warrior – (WWF SummerSlam 1988)
Since Ron Bass did us all a favor and took Beefcake out of action for a while, Honky Tonk gets cocky and sends out an open challenge. Big mistake, pal. America’s hero Ultimate Warrior channels the spirit of Ronald Reagan and storms the ring. Before Honky even knows what the heck is happening to him, Warrior delivers the WARRIOR SPLASH and gets the three-count. (0:31) Thus ends the longest IC title reign to date of 454 days. After taking countout losses, DQ losses and cheating like a mad man to win every title defense, the luck of the Honky Tonk Man finally runs out. Honky’s career would never peak again after this night. He would go back to what he was originally known for: jobbing. As for Warrior, a star was born and he instantly became the third most popular guy in the company outside of Hogan and Savage. Hardly what you would call a match, yet it was a standout moment in wrestling history. ½*
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior vs. The Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart) – (Philadelphia, PA; 12/17/88)
Warrior carries Jimmy Hart back to the locker room so he can get a fair shake here tonight. Heenan cries foul on the whole deal. Honky Tonk goes to help his manager, but Warrior reappears and chases him back into the ring. Warrior applies a bearhug and whips him from corner to corner. He tries for the Warrior Splash, but HTM brings up the knees to block. Jimmy returns to ringside scared out of his wits. Honky Tonk and Jimmy take turns distracting ref Hebner all that they can while the other chokes Warrior or uses the guitar and megaphone. Honky Tonk disguises a chinlock by choking Warrior with some wrist tape. His arm drops once, twice, BUT NOT THREE TIMES! Warrior fights out and starts up with the clotheslines and shoulderblocks. Now because turnabout is always fair play in the WWF, Warrior chokes Honky Tonk with one of his tassels hanging off his knee pad. Jimmy gets in the ring and tries to throw powder in Warrior’s face, but the powder gets knocked back in Jimmy’s face. Warrior presses Jimmy, throws him onto Honky Tonk, and covers him for the 1-2-3. (6:52) Fun over-the-top Memphis-style match here. **
The Macho Man: All the fans got behind Warrior, He said guys wanted to be him, girls wanted to be with him, and kids looked up to him as a superhero. He said he became his character when he entered the building and the Macho Man was the same way. Macho Man hated delays according to Warrior. He remembers spending five hours in a room with agents during promos. He talks about promos meant so much to Savage and he get all jacked up in coffee. He even acted like the Macho Man in rehearsals which inspired Warrior.
- Title vs. Title: WWF Champion Randy Savage vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior – (Boston, MA; 2/11/89)
The WWF champ enters first for some reason. Boston does not like what Savage has done since he last appeared on the famous Main Event show where he attacked Hogan and nailed him with the title belt after accusing him of being jealous of his belt and his woman. A couple guys in the front row bug Savage with a huge cardboard cutout of a heart that says “Hogan Loves Elizabeth”. Looks like somebody got a new refrigerator. Savage jumps Warrior, but Warrior fires back with a jumping shoulder tackle to send him to the floor. Warrior punches Savage up against the guardrail and then throws him back inside the ring. Savage goes on the move outside and lowers the boom as he baits Warrior in the ring. Savage tries a flying bodypress, but WOYAH tries to catch him and loses his balance. Warrior wants Savage in the tree of woe, but can’t even do that right. Warrior takes Joey Marella away and sits him over in the corner (DQ, just maybe?). Savage attacks and avoids a corner charge before giving WOYAH the big running knee out to the floor. As Warrior stands back up, Savage dishes out the Flying Double Sledge on the outside. Back in, the running hotshot gets two. Savage grabs a chinlock, but Warrior elbows out into a clothesline. Flying Double Sledge gets two. Warrior presses him off the pin and hits a suplex. Hey look, it’s Rick Rude out to distract Warrior with his muscles. Warrior pays him no mind though. Big atomic drop to Savage gets two. Savage tries to sneak a schoolboy with a handful of tights for two. Warrior wants the WOYAH SPLASH, but Savage brings up the knees to block. That gets two. Time to WARRIOR UP! Punches and clotheslines follow. Still Warrior has not paid Rude any attention. Okay, now he does. He chases Rude around the ring. Once he gets his hands on Rude, Savage flies down with another Double Sledge on the Warrior. As Savage slides back inside, ref Joey Marella counts Warrior out. (10:35) Afterwards, Rude and Savage shake hands letting everybody know it was all a diabolical plan to screw with the Warrior. Of course, Warrior breaks up the love fest by dumping out Savage so he can press slam Rude. WrestleMania VII, this ain’t. **
Simply Ravishing: Warrior says WrestleMania XXX is a landmark event, but up there at the towers they’re already thinking of WrestleMania 31, 32, 33, etc. That’s how he was looking at things too in 1989 and didn’t feel his Intercontinental championship loss to Rick Rude was damaging to him. He called working with Rude an absolute joy and that he was a good hand. He said Rude would stay up all night in the mirror thinking of ideas almost as if he was his own muse. He said titles didn’t mean much to him like say Bret Hart, but respects Bret for that and understands it is based on his upbringing. The plan was for him to regain the I-C belt from Rude at SummerSlam which he said he didn’t need. It wasn’t until later on that he believed Ultimate Warrior was bigger than championships.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Ultimate Warrior – (WWF SummerSlam 1989)
Rude defeated Warrior at WrestleMania V for the IC title and has tried, along with Andre the Giant of the Heenan family, to eliminate the painted-up crazy man from wrestling throughout the year. Warrior received a rematch and promised victory, so can he deliver? Let’s find out! Rude tries to stick and run to start, but Warrior NO-SELLS and clotheslines Rude out to the apron. Rude attempts a sunset flip back in, but Warrior blocks it and press Rude up and throws him out to the floor for our CRAZY ’80s bump of the night! Warrior follows him out and hits him in the back with the IC title. The ref Joey Marella doesn’t call for the bell because according to Tony, you can do whatever you want when it’s not in the ring. Jesse delivers a classic comeback by saying, “What, you’re going to tell me you can SHOOT somebody as long as its outside the ring? You’re even dumber than Monsoon! Here I thought Gorilla was the STUPIDEST MAN ALIVE!” Great stuff. Warrior slams Rude down on the floor and then brings him back in for a flying double-sledge for 1-2-NO! Warrior whips Rude from corner to corner and then slams him for two. Warrior suplex gets two. Warrior delivers a bunch of atomic drops, but then gets crotched up on the top-rope. Rude begins work on Warrior’s back for a while with a suplex and then sits on his back while applying a rear chinlock. That gets an eventual two. Rude tries for the RUDE AWAKENING, but Warrior powers out. Rude ducks a clothesline and hooks on a sleeper instead! Warrior escapes with a jawbreaker, but then we get a triple-KO spot where meaning even Marella goes down. Heenan wakes up Rude, but really doesn’t do anything that’s downright cheating. Rude starts pounding away, but Warrior starts to WARRIOR UP and hits a bunch of clotheslines! Warrior even connects with a powerslam, but the ref is still not able to make a count. Warrior tries to wake up Marella, but then decides to give Rude a piledriver instead! Wow, Warrior isn’t SUCKING here. Marella crawls over and counts 1-2-NO! Rude got his foot on the bottom rope. Running powerslam by Warrior! Holy crap. He goes for the WARRIOR SPLASH, but Rude brings up his knees. Ugh. Warrior finally screws up and it’s while he’s up in a piledriver position too. A place you absolutely don’t want to screw up in. Rude covers for 1-2-NO! Rude heads up top and connects with the fist-drop for 1-2-NO! Wait a minute, here comes Roddy Piper! Meanwhile, Rude delivers another piledriver and arrogantly covers for 1-2-NO! Now Rude sees Piper and decides to mock him instead of finishing off Warrior. Piper moons him by lifting up his kilt, which pisses Rude off entirely. Rude climbs up on the turnbuckle, but then Warrior comes up from behind with a back suplex. Warrior connects with the Running Shoulderblock, the WARRIOR PRESS SLAM, and the WARRIOR SPLASH for the 1-2-3! Warrior regains the IC belt as the crowd blows the roof off the arena. (16:02) IMO, Warrior has only three standout matches throughout his career. This is one of them. When I say “only”, that’s not necessarily derogatory considering those three matches are great matches that people still talk about fifteen years later. The others are obvious, which are his match against Hogan at WrestleMania 6, and against Savage at WrestleMania 7. ***½
Building Momentum: Warrior puts over jobbers on how they flew in all over the country to take bumps and make the talent look good. He said the fans get a psychological kick going to the shows wishing they were certain wrestlers as they could kick ass and that the Ultimate Warrior was one of those guys. He talks about his unique ways of dominant pins such as not taking off the belt to win or standing on top of someone’s chest to for the three-count. He said many felt he was taking it seriously.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior vs. Bob Bradley – (WWF Prime Time Wrestling, 9/18/89)
Warrior abuses Bradley out on the floor as he sends a message to Andre the Giant. A title hungry Andre cuts a promo on the split-screen hyping their future encounter. Gorilla Press Slam and the WARRIOR SPLASH wins in 2:33. After the bell, Warrior kicks Bradley underneath the ring for some reason.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior vs. Brian Costello – (WWF Prime Time Wrestling, 12/25/89)
Ventura makes a comment about Warrior even painting his pectoral muscles now with the Warrior symbol. Warrior is looking under the ring for something while no-selling Costello’s body blows and punches. Vince thinks WOYAH is looking for his Christmas present. HI-OOOO. Earthquake and Dino Bravo appear on the split-screen as Dino prepares to meet the Ultimate Warrior over the IC title very soon. Gorilla Press Slam and the WARRIOR SPLASH ends Costello in dominant fashion at 1:36. Once that’s over, Warrior carries Costello’s lifeless carcass halfway up the aisle just because he can.
The Brother Love Show, WWF Superstars 7/29/89: Bobby Heenan appears with Andre the Giant. Bobby mentions how some guys need snakes, some use 2x4s, but all Andre needs to do is appear in an arena to strike fear into people’s hearts. Andre mutters something. It was real interesting, I’m sure. Brother Love brings out his next guest: the Ultimate Warrior. He scares Bobby Heenan away and promises that when he and Andre meet, he will beat him 1-2-3. Warrior drops the mic, beats his chest, and storms off. Andre doesn’t seem too happy about this.
Memories of Andre: Warrior found that since Andre was so over as a talent, it was really easy to get a reaction. The whole point of his matches with Andre was to get him over as a power figure. It meant something when Andre would squeal like a pig when Warrior put him in a bearhug. When Andre only did what he wanted to do, Warrior felt honored that he would sell like that for him. Warrior enjoyed working with Andre and never felt he was moody like other people always seem to say about him. Warrior saw that Andre had a personality where he didn’t have time for people who weren’t happy doing what they were doing.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior vs. Andre the Giant (w/Bobby Heenan) – (New York City; 10/28/89)
Finkel announces Andre as the “Ultimate Giant”. He also informs Bobby Heenan that he must leave the arena or be suspended. Monsoon doesn’t feel Andre needs Bobby to win anyways. Warrior EXPLODES on Andre with a series of clotheslines. As he falls onto the mat, the WARRIOR SPLASH takes care of Andre in a matter of seconds. I mean, his music never even stopped playing before he got the win. Clearly angry, Andre grabs the house mic and complains to the ref. Once Andre jumps at the ref, he hightails it to the locker room to try and get away. No rating.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior vs. Andre the Giant – (WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event, 11/25/89)
Warrior only feasts on the fruit of victory, ya’ll. The long Warrior/Heenan Family feud continues with Andre the Giant. Lots of choking to start. Warrior fights out of a standing surfboard and clotheslines Andre to the floor as we go to break. We return as both men trade bearhugs. Warrior makes his comeback and traps Andre in the ropes, but charges into a boot. Heenan grabs the IC belt while the ref’s back is turned and tries to beat the Warrior with the belt. He misses and Warrior punches him back before press slamming him onto Andre for the DQ. (7:46) This was good if you like prolonged choking and rest holds. Honestly though, it’s truly sad to see Andre wrestling in this condition. ½*
Disc two is next!
Posted on April 5, 2014, in Mid-South, WCCW, WWE and tagged Andre the Giant, Barry Horowitz, Blade Runners, Bobby Heenan, Brother Love, Chris Adams, Eddie Gilbert, Harley Race, Honky Tonk Man, Jimmy Hart, Percy Pringle, Randy Savage, Rick Rude, Roddy Piper, Sting, Ultimate Warrior. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.