SLACKAMANIA DVD REVIEW – WWE: Ultimate Warrior – Always Believe DVD Recap (Disc One)
WWE: Ultimate Warrior – Always Believe
Three-Disc DVD Set
When Matt wrote his final thoughts reviewing Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection he said he couldn’t see a third Warrior DVD happening despite Warrior mentioning it at the end of the program. However, fate took a unexpected and tragic turn the very next night when Warrior passed away. The WWE Network honored Warrior with a Warrior week of specials and at the end of 2014 Dana Warrior and WWE announced a joint book and DVD project together as a tribute to Warrior. The book will be out later this year.
We start out with Warriors final promo and news clippings regarding his sudden passing.
A Message From Dana Warrior: We get a special message from Dana Warrior from a WWE event in New Orleans in January 2015. She thanks the fans for loving and supporting him and never giving up & that his legacy lives on through his daughters and her too despite being behind the scenes. She says he’s in Parts Unknown now shaking the ropes there in a different kind of arena but he is always in our hearts and she always believes. She thanks the WWE, the Ultimate Warrior fans, and those that knew him personally and those that have had them and the girls and made them stronger. She believes the spirit of the Ultimate Warrior will run forever.
Dedicated To The Memory Of Warrior: A Man Wo Inspired Millions: A Spirit That Will Live Forever.
Always Believe: We start out at Warriors return to WWE Headquarters on March 19th 2014. Warrior admitted himself he didn’t think it would ever happen. HHH calls him one of the biggest WWE stars ever, John Cena was a fan growing up, Cesaro calls him a real life action figure, Steph says that he was the most passionate character and intense man in WWE and in existence. Sting says he was not one to shy away from his opinions. HHH said he lived by a moral code and didn’t care We see Warrior comparing himself to him as Mickey Mouse is to Walt Disney. Vince talked about how Warrior put his heart, soul, and lungs into the character. We see Warrior looking at various merchandise ideas. Warrior says the Ultimate Warrior character brought him into life and be himself.
Beginnings: Warrior was studying to be a chiropractor and living in Atlanta. He was also into bodybuilding and wanted to become a professional bodybuilder. Georgia Championship Wrestling was popular at the time and Warrior was aware of the stars like Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and The Road Warriors. He assumed they were making a lot of money as they were on TV. He won Mr. Georgia in 1984 and moved to California. A man named Ed Connors asked Warrior would he be interested in pro wrestling. Sting said people gasped at how impressive Warriors physique was. There were 4 bodybuilders trained by Red Bastien to become pro wrestlers and Sting and Warrior were among them as they learned the technical part of the business. Sting says ripping into deli meats at the grocery store became food and the car many of nights became the address, but they didn’t want to run away with their tail between their legs. They took photos and flyers out and caught the eye of Memphis Promoter Jerry Jarrett, but he couldn’t take all 4 guys, but he was interested in the 2 guys to the left of the picture (Sting and Warrior) They took off from California to Memphis with ideas of how rich and famous they would be. Jerry Lawler said they were impressive looking young men. At the home of Ed Hendricks they couldn’t hook up properly and declared greener and green, but they were considered nice guys with manners and they were put on TV as faces called the Freedom Fighters. We get grainy footage of their first ever appearance in Memphis in 1985.
The Blade Runners: Their manager was Dutch Mantel (Zeb Colter) who suggested they paint their faces and have a futuristic look and become the Blade Runners. Dutch says they both had the passion and the desire and the body. Shortly thereafter Bill Dundee informed them that Bill Watts was interested in them coming into Mid-South which they did. JR said Warrior even had a vision of the future back when he was a Blade Runner. Dutch said he was strong AND strong willed wanted to do things on his terms. Warrior and Sting talked about how they had different personalities and parted ways. Sting said that Warrior had wanted to be on his own.
Dingo Warrior: Warrior goes to World Class solo and said the guys believed he had the look of a Warrior and as a joke of someone drunk that had a dingo, dubbed him the Dingo Warrior. He was heel, but had an All American Look and had longer hair that resembled their top star Kerry Von Erich. We get a Dingo Warrior World Class promo, and yes you can tell he was in the Ultimate Warrior character before he was ever in WWE. Warrior puts over the World Class fans for helping him get over. Former World Class Star Bill Irwin put Warrior over for his interviews and the paint and appeal to the children. Warrior enjoyed his experience but didn’t make a lot of money. Warrior was interested in going to Japan for a tour as he heard how great the money is but he was informed by World Class referee Bronko Lubich that he overheard former WWF Official George Scott that they were interested in bringing him to New York. Vince and Pat Patterson got on the phone with Warrior, who asked him what a Dingo Warrior was, which Warrior admits what a way to put him on the spot.
Ultimate Warrior: We get exclusive footage of Warrior backstage at WrestleMania XXX and hugging Vince. We then go to Warrior talking about his WWF debut match in Green Bay Wisconsin on the October 24th, 1987 episode of Wrestling Challenge. Hogan puts over Warriors look and appeal to kids. Various guys talk about the Warrior entrance with the music and sprinting to the ring, shaking the ropes and being full of energy. Warrior even mentions his interviews which many couldn’t understand. Batista said he thought Warrior was insane, HHH said it was a fantasy character come to life. Warrior said backstage agents would tell him to stop shaking the ropes etc. but he still would do it despite telling them he’d stop. The 2 reasons he continued was it was getting over and Vince had never told him to stop doing it.
SummerSlam 88: Dolph Ziggler tells the story how Warrior squashed Honky Tonk Man and ended the longest Intercontinental Championship reign at SummerSlam 88. Warrior said fans were so excited they nearly tipped his car over and said New York is awesome and to get over there was really cool.
Competing For A Spot: Warrior said by that point he felt he could be one of the best in the business. The merchandise sales were through the roof, and Heenan confided to him in Montreal that it was outselling Hulk Hogan and that there was rumors he was going to face him at WrestleMania. Warrior said he was on the road really getting over and Hogan was really hearing about it. Warrior said Hogan was old school and kept his enemies close. Hogan said Warrior liked to travel, dress, and be alone which many of the guys didn’t understand. Vince talks about the competiveness of the top spot and the rivalry between Hogan and Warrior was in and out of the ring.
WrestleMania VI: Hogan would headline the ”A” Shows and Warrior would headline the ”B” Shows when travelling and would only cross paths at television. About 3-4 months before WrestleMania Warrior was doing promos and Vince asked to meet with him and Hogan was there and the idea of WrestleMania VI. Kofi said it was hard to pick who you wanted to cheer for. Cesaro mentions it was a dream match, and not the typical face vs heel matchup. Warrior talks about how he wanted to sprint to the ring instead of riding a cart to the ring and confirmed it to Vince. Ambrose said it was 2 top guys with the biggest egos on the biggest stage. Warrior defeated Hogan cleanly to win the WWF Championship. HHH mentions the first time Hogan had been defeated clean and that it felt like a torch had been passed. Hogan says many people tell him on social media saying that was their favorite match ever. Sheamus says that was the defining moment of his career. Sting said that was the Ultimate and admitted he was jealous. Warrior says he was a kid back then (30) and didn’t realize at the time how awesome it was.
What’s Next: Warrior was telling Pat Patterson backstage at the time how he was a kid and full of himself at the time, but a day or 2 after WrestleMania VI was wondering what is next? We get Warriors first appearance on TV as the champion? We get a reunion of Warrior and Slaughter who says it was long overdue of him getting into the Hall Of Fame and gave him a gift of a potato.
WrestleMania VII Warrior talks about how he dropped the belt to Sgt. Slaughter at Royal Rumble 91 and loved the idea of facing Savage in a Retirement Match at WrestleMania VII. Savage was Warriors favorite guy to get into the ring with and how intense he was. Warrior said it meant a lot to him that Savage let Warrior place one foot on him to defeat him.
SummerSlam 91: Warrior said he didn’t know at the time SummerSlam 91 would be his last match. Slaughter says he was preparing for the match when Vince came up to him and informed him that there was a problem that Warrior held him up for $500 grand but he’s gonna to pay him as they need to have the match as it was live on PPV but that he would also be fired. Warrior says he was informed of it after the match. (Not mentioned here but Warrior allegedly held Vince up for $500 grand for money that he was owed, including his WrestleMania VII payday)
Back In The Spotlight: Vince said they had big plans for Warrior and lots of $$$ vested into the brand despite the differences. Warrior returned at WrestleMania VIII and was promised he would get the Championship match. Warrior said he wanted to get his body in tip top shape but there was a steroid scandal going on. Vince said Warrior and the British Bulldog were experimenting with HGH to get in tip top shape but Vince with all the matters going on suspended them and not to come back and was suspended in 96 (for no showing dates) Warrior didn’t mind though as he was doing other things,
The Ultimate Love: Warrior and Dana dated for 5 years and were married for 15 years. She had just graduated from Arizona State University. She was into aerobics and wanted to run an aerobics program at Warriors Gym as she had seen a flyer for it opening. When she approached Warrior about it he joked that she should marry him. She had won his heart, but he had to work harder to win hers. She said he was a gentle bear and it was easy to fall in love with him. Linda said he glowed about Dana and it was really he was soulmate. They got married at a tribe in New Mexico and had 2 children Indiana and Mattigan. We see Warrior introducing them to Vince and HHH. Indy says he would be the only dad there at ballet and gymnastics. Mattie talks about how Warrior would personally draw and write things with them and we see examples. Warrior really could write and draw. Dana says those are things that are valuable beyond measure.
WCW: Warrior and Scott Hall are shown reminiscing over Bischoff and the NWO. Cesaro talks about how WCW spent big cash on talent and Hogan/Warrior II was a dream rematch. Warrior said talks had been ongoing for a while. Hogan kept telling Bischoff he wanted to bring Warrior in and they did after agreeing to a lucrative short term deal. Warrior debuted on the August 17th, 1998 edition of WCW Monday Nitro. Sting said he was excited and it was a big opportunity. They did different twists like Warrior in the mirror but it didn’t have the magic like it did in the WWF. Warrior blames it on lack of management and no final decision maker. Sting believes politics played a role in why Warriors WCW run didn’t go so well. Warrior believes he was solely brought in just to lose to Hogan, which he did at Halloween Havoc 98. Hogan says it’s a top 10 worst match he’s ever been in but blames himself for it. Warrior said it was just horrible, and wouldn’t have went even for all the money he received.
”Self Destruction” Scott Hall tells Warrior they were always cool and people always asked him did they have beef which they didn’t and people always asked Hall ”Did you see that DVD?” In 2005 WWE made its most controversial DVD yet with ”The Self Destruction Of The Ultimate Warrior” which was a Warrior bash fest. Warrior said it hurt his feelings and ticked him off, Dana admits he never really got over it. Vince said many guys didn’t understand that Warrior liked to be a loner. Warrior said they should of had to left him alone and let the character. Dana is in near tears talking about how hurtful it was. Warrior mentions that he rejected the Hall Of Fame offer at WrestleMania XXVI in Phoenix still being upset over the DVD, and that other DVDs could have been made on other guys called Self Destruction (No names are mentioned but clips of HBK and Hall are shown) Dana admitted he didn’t want to ever look like a hypocrite if he ever returned as he was a man of integrity. Warrior sued the WWE over it. Litigation went back and forth over Warrior and WWE. Hogan mentions how he denied wanting to break his legs and yet it is shown to break his legs. Hogan wasn’t even working with WWE at the time and was siding with WWE over it. We get footage of Hogan’s deposition. Warrior said he refused Vince’s handshake in the courtroom and even though he felt disrespect from WWE he admitted it bothered him not shaking his Vince’s hand. They reached an undisclosed settlement out of court. It was wrong for WWE to make a slanderous attack DVD like they did on Warrior, but he did accept royalties from the DVD.
One Warrior Nation: Dana says he knew the character was key in making his lives matter. We get clippings of Warriors online messages and him meeting fans at an autograph signing promoting WWE 2k14.
The Journey Home: It started back in July 2012. Steve Wilton a friend of Warriors had friends within WWE who kept relaying to him Warrior needed to come home in WWE. Triple H admitted it was an 18 month process. Dana puts HHH over for listening and hearing out Warrior being upset. Warrior wanted WWE to show him a new climate and new leaf has turned. HHH said the last few months of talks that he got personal to the Warrior where he would consider him a friend. Dana said there needs to be more actions besides ”I’m sorry” and truly that’s what happened. We see Warrior touring WWE HQ and HHH’s office.
Hall Of Fame: Ultimate Warrior was announced as a 2014 HOF inductee. Hogan said he deserved it as he was completely different and a part of history, Dana said it was full circle. Cena said he went whoa and wondered what kind of attitude he’d bring and the speech he’d have. We see Vince and Warriors reunion who tells him the Hall Of Fame is about fun. Warrior ponders to drop any F bombs. Steph said ”who will Warrior get to induct him?” HHH ”your mom” and he chose her due to a personal connection. Warrior talked about how he would play wrestle with Shane when he’d stay with them as he was always welcome. Linda was also the sole reason he returned in 1996 and like a motherly figure to him. Dana said he understands the value of women as glue that keeps a family together. Steph says it was truly an honor for her mom. Warrior gave Vince a signed copy of his favorite book The Little Engine That Could and Vince said he thought of Warrior as the same way. Vine gets emotional thinking about it. HHH told him the whole process was worth it seeing him smile at his daughters and gets emotional of himself. Indy and Mattie talk about how much it meant to them that their dad got his ‘little divas” instead of the actual divas. Warrior gave a great speech. Vince said Warrior made the right decision and it was a wonderful thing. Dana says the WWE grew and Warrior grew as well. Linda said Warrior really matured over the years but kept is passion and intensity.
Back Home: We see Warrior reminiscing with old colleagues and meeting the current roster. Dana said many told him, her, and the girls how much they idolized Warrior. Indy says it showed it belonged there.
The Apology: HHH said he personally asked Hogan to not talk to Warrior till after the Hall Of Fame so it doesn’t spoil a great moment. At WrestleMania XXX though Hogan went up to Warrior and apologized to him and bury the hatchet which we see on camera. Hogan said he loved Warrior and please forgive him. HHH said Warrior shared with him a very long text message about apologies and forgiveness and that he had closure on everything. (Sadly though Dana wasn’t as pleased with Hogan talking about
An Incredible Weekend: Warrior returned to RAW for the first time in almost 18 years the night after WrestleMania. It was then he gave his now infamous final promo. We see backstage footage of that night. Steph talks about the final picture Vince and Warrior and how happy they both looked, and that Warrior told Vince he thought of him like a father. Vince said he didn’t know when he’d see him again and it was the extraordinary end to a wonderful weekend. Vince said he thinks it was the last picture Warrior ever took (actually the last picture was Warrior with a fan at the airport the morning he passed away. Warrior says he was looking forward to the future.
April 8th 2014: Dana says they left New Orleans for an early 5AM flight to have rest and relaxation in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dana says he got a standing ovation when he boarded the plane and that had to mean a lot to him. She says shortly after they landed as fast as he ran to the ring he collapsed and passed away. HHH got a text from his assistant on what happened and it blew him away. He announced it at around midnight on Twitter (which many on social media at the time thought was hacked until many other personalities started tweeting it too) HHH said it was a hard thing to tell Vince. Vince emotional said it was surreal and couldn’t believe it, especially the timing of it like it was destined. Dana talks about how tough it was for him and the girls but the destiny and they were blessed to have the dad they did and they had to sustain it going forward.
Outpouring Of Support: Dana and the girls wanted to thank everyone in WWE from the wrestlers to make-up artists for all their love and support and she’ll always be thankful and loyal. We see HHH greeting Dana and the girls at RAW in New Orleans in January 2015.
Nattie: Dana and the girls say Nattie is an angel, as she has sent letters and calls and gift baskets. Nattie said Warriors death hit her the hardest of anyone outside of her own family (we see how emotional she was at the Warrior tribute) and she kept thinking of Dana and the girls. Dana praises Nattie for how strong she’s been from her family tragedies to supporting them. They talk about the house show in New Mexico just a few months after Warriors passing as they invited the girls in the ring. Nattie surprised Mattie who wants to be a WWE diva her WrestleMania 25 ring gear jacket. Nattie along with HHH and Steph surprised Mattie with her custom ring gear. Nattie says Dana and the girls have the spirit of the Warrior in them.
Future Diva: Dana talks about how the WWE divas are sweethearts. We see her personally thanking Alicia Fox for her graciousness to the girls. She says they work so hard and talented and have hearts of gold as much as their beauty. Warrior mentions that Mattie had wanted to get into martial arts. We see Mattie in the ring wrestling with Nattie who puts her over and even plays the Ultimate Warrior music and shakes the ring ropes for the win. You can teach moves but not teach sparkle says Nattie and Mattie has that. Mattie says she’d love to continue to carry her dads legacy in his home.
No Greater Tribute: HHH believes that weekend was the highlight of Warriors career sans his WrestleMania VI title victory. Linda believes despite the sad passing he had no greater tribute. Indy and Mattie say he was the best dad and always made them happy and strive to be like him. Vince said Warrior wouldn’t want sympathy but a celebration of his life. We see HHH and Steph present Dana and the girls with the Slammy Award. Cena said his legacy is go out there, do the work, and be a better person. Warrior says he’ll inspire generations for a long time to come. HHH said his wife and kids was everything he was about
Final Letters: In an emotional ending: Dana and the girls read personal heartfelt letters to Warrior.
The Spirit Of The Ultimate Warrior Will Run Forever: A music video set with Warrior highlights and fans sending in their tributes. We end with Dana and the girls releasing 3 balloons in the desert.
”You must show no mercy nor have any belief whatsoever in how others judge you; for your greatness will silence them.” Ultimate Warrior
NOW TIME FOR THE EXTRAS, BRUH.