Like many of you, I’m still getting my head wrapped around the highs and lows of the last week and thinking a lot about the death of the Ultimate Warrior just one day after returning to the address his fans on Monday Night Raw.
I saw Warrior fight at the old Boston Garden plenty of times, and he was certainly an exciting guy to see run to the ring. The quality of his matches depended on whom he was in with. Personally, I think Warrior’s bouts with Ravishing Rick Rude were among his best.
Warrior never had a spectacular or particularly historic match at the Garden, but here are three Warrior appearances in Boston that I remember well:
- February 1989 — Warrior, as Intercontinental Champion, fought WWF Heavyweight Champion Randy “Macho Man” Savage in a title-for-title bout. Savage won the match by count-out during a period when champion vs. champion contests actually meant something to fans, as evidenced by estimated 15,000 people in attendance.
- September 1989 — Warrior bodyslams and pins Andre the Giant in about 20 seconds. Even though the hard-core fans were aware of these super-short matches going on at many of the house shows, it was still very exciting to see it happen in person for me. (This was the same night of what may have been the best wrestling bout I ever saw at the Garden, when the Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty defeated the Rougeau Brothers in a 68-minute iron man match.)
- February 1991 — Just a few weeks after a heel Sgt. Slaughter won the WWF Heavyweight Title from Warrior at the Royal Rumble, the two had a rematch in a steel cage, which Slaughter won en route to his main event at WrestleMania XII against Hulk Hogan. I remember the crowd in Boston was really giving it to Slaughter, as there was a general uneasiness about his pro-Iraqi character given that we were in the midst of a real war with Iraq at the time.
I don’t know whether Warrior ever made it out the Kowloon restaurant in Saugus, as many WWE stars do after matches in Boston. If anyone ever caught him there, I’d love to hear about it.