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
While 1988 wasn’t the year of the first Royal Rumble (the little-known original version was a flop in 1987), the ’88 Rumble was the first one nationally broadcast. It was a free show on the USA Network, which was great news for wrestling fans, but in reality the move to make it free was an assault against the NWA and Jim Crockett Promotions (which later morphed into WCW).
The story starts in 1987, when Crockett and Vince McMahon both promoted pay-per-views on Thanksgiving night (the first Survivor Series and Starrcade ’87). McMahon made a power play Continue reading
One of the frequently discussed topics coming out of TNA Impact Wrestling’s Bound for Glory pay-per-view earlier this week was the performance of Hulk Hogan in his fight with Sting.
As many of you know, Hogan’s body is a wreck, with multiple knee and back injuries having plagued him over the years. A guy that big doing leg drops every night in the 1980s is probably what started the long journey to a physical breakdown. Hogan won’t even take bumps any more, and as he says, he won’t wrestle, but he’ll fight — which, in the case of the match with Sting, meant blading, outside interference, and other tricks to move the bout along.
But let’s not forget Hogan’s seemingly innate charisma and his sense of connecting with a crowd. Back during his first big run in the WWF in 1984, it was clear he wasn’t the most gifted athlete or worker. But he carried Continue reading
My friend, Tom – a loyal reader of the this blog – passed along a link from the Aggrogate website that features a fun quiz about troubled actor Charlie Sheen and the Ultimate Warrior. Continue reading
Questions about which pro wrestler is in the mysterious 2/21/11 video airing on WWE Monday Night Raw are stirring debate among pro wrestling fans, particularly those who are active on the Internet. Does the video promote the return of the Undertaker? Does it herald the arrival of Sting? Is it teasing a WrestleMania match between Undertaker and Sting?
The excitement makes me think back to some of the great mysteries from the WWF in the 1980s, such as the following: Continue reading