I’m not even sure what to say about the sudden death of the Ultimate Warrior at 54 and how creepy it is that this guy had just been on Monday Night Raw the day before and had been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame after years of estrangement from Vince McMahon.
Warrior, whose real name was Jim Hellwig, was among the most memorable stars of the 1980s and 1990s. Longtime fans will remember he started out with a young Sting as the Blade Runners before he became Dingo Warrior in World Class Championship Wrestling. He switched his name to Ultimate Warrior upon arriving in the WWF in 1988.
He portrayed an animated, out-of-control character who ran through opponents with punches, kicks, and force.
“Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat,” Warrior said this week on Raw. Ultimate Warrior’s final promo is haunting me.
In fact, more than his matches, most fans probably remember Warrior’s promos, which were spaced-out, often incomprehensible rants that seem to pull from fantasy and science fiction. The interviews remain Continue reading
The babyface turn of Jake “The Snake” Roberts in 1987 wasn’t known for a particularly inventive angle or hot feud, but rather for a series of shots that were brutal by even old ECW standards.
And the incident actually legitimately injured Roberts.
At the time, Roberts was hosting an interview segment called the Snake Pit. Original, huh? Typical of wrestling, after the runaway success of Piper’s Pit, the WWF went back to that well over and over. We had the Snake Pit, the Body Shop with Jesse Ventura, the Flower Shop with Adrian Adonis, Blackjack Mulligan’s BBQ Pit, and the Brother Love Show.
Back to my original point: Roberts had the Honky Tonk Man as a guest, and during the skit Continue reading
It’s hard to believe that Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat held a championship in the WWF for only about three months.
He won the Intercontinental Title in the famous match with Randy “Macho Man” Savage at WrestleMania III in March 1987, but then lost it almost immediately to the Honky Tonk Man in June 1987.
I seem to recall that Steamboat took some time off for personal reasons at the time he lost the belt, so that likely explains the short reign. But how is it that a guy who held the NWA World Title and had classics with Continue reading
If you ask someone who was the greatest manager in the WWF, you’ll likely hear names like Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Lou Albano, Fred Blassie, or the Grand Wizard.
But another person you shouldn’t leave off that list is Sensational Sherri Martel.
Martel was a former WWF Women’s Champion who transitioned to the heel manager role when ladies wrestling was phased out for a while. And she was an awesome manager who always played a character who was volatile and generated heat for whomever she accompanied.
She stayed ahead of the game by reinventing herself along the way: She initially got involved managing by briefly seconding the Honky Tonk Man during his feud with Randy “Macho Man” Savage in 1987, when she played Continue reading
It’s been a while in the WWE since we’ve seen a public vote-of-confidence angle. Triple H standing in the middle of the ring at the end of Monday Night Raw, with even the referees and camera crew walking out on him, was at least a unique visual.
But HHH isn’t the only wrestler to have suffered an ill-fated vote of confidence. Back in 1986, it also happened to the Honky Tonk Man. Continue reading
The DDT was one of the greatest finishing moves ever when Jake “The Snake” Roberts would nail an opponent with it in the WWF, and it’s a move well-remembered by WWE wrestlers today such as Randy Orton during his matches on Monday Night Raw.
But what about the 1980s moves that went the way of big hair and Miami Vice that virtually no one uses in 2011? I saw these moves every week, so I’d like to share my top eight most forgotten finishers from the ‘80s: Continue reading
The Miz’s victory over Randy Orton to win the WWE Title on Monday Night Raw made me think about another sudden title switch that stuck with people for years to come: When the Ultimate Warrior barnstormed the Honky Tonk Man to win Continue reading
I remember being giddy back in 1988 when the original WWF SummerSlam rolled around, because for the first time I was able to order the show on pay-per-view on my cable system (shout out to the old Continental Cable in the Boston area).
I certainly remember Ultimate Warrior steamrolling Continue reading