The Ultimate Warrior
April 9, 2012 6:44 PM   Subscribe

The clash between The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan that began with WrestleMania VI and continued with Hogan's unflattering comments in The Self Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior climaxed with this epic shoot in which there are - so to speak - no holds barred.

More insight into Warrior's point of view can be found in the "Biography" section of One Warrior Nation.

You may also commission your own Weapons of Warrior Wisdom.
posted by Trurl (40 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Calm, cool and collected Warrior is twice as scary as the maniac. When he chuckles about Hogan's extensions for ten full seconds, it's Patrick Bateman on 'roids.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 6:54 PM on April 9, 2012 [3 favorites]

That is some Ultimate dirty laundry airing...
posted by Catblack at 6:54 PM on April 9, 2012

So amazing. I always liked the Ultimate Warrior more than Hogan. Something always seemed off about him, even when I was a kid. And it's true.. the man, Terry himself.. is a total, degenerate, scumbag.
posted by ReeMonster at 7:21 PM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

A picture of the Ultimate Warrior is inspiration to do steroids. Five minutes of hearing him opine on any given subject even indirectly related to his religeopolitical views is enough to make the most hardened bodybuilder reach for the creatine, instead.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 7:23 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

There were no holds barred last Halloween when my girlfriend and her lady friends all dressed up as classic wrestlers. Here's the Ultimate Warrior putting on her make up, a temporary alliance with Macho Man Randy Savage (aka Samatha), and Rowdy Roddy Piper (aka Kimberly) in the Piper's Den.
posted by peeedro at 7:28 PM on April 9, 2012 [6 favorites]

Uhh.... 52 minutes? That's... pretty Ultimate.
posted by ph00dz at 7:41 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Holy shit peeedro you have awesome friends.

And holy shit is Ultimate Warrior bitter. I totally bet he could get a reality TV show on Fox News. Trust me, it'd work.
posted by Theta States at 7:43 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

52 minutes? TL;DR

But really? "You and Linda han open marriage... Neither one of you had a problem with the other one getting thrills!"

And..? Sounds healthier than what goes on in many marriages these days.

I feel like each awkward pause in between his little stories should be replaced with, "And how do you like THEM apples, huh Terry?"

"Petty" is the word I came away with from watching this.
posted by WaylandSmith at 7:50 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

And it's true.. the man, Terry himself.. is a total, degenerate, scumbag.

A priceless moment in Hogan's first memoir - best encountered when recited by author to the accompaniment of Black Flag - comes at the end of his last WCW match when Vince Russo denounces Hogan to the crowd as a backstage manipulator only looking out for himself.

It took its toll on me. I lost salary, merchandise royalty revenue, and my standing in the wrestling business. But the biggest hit I took was in my own head. ... I started second guessing myself. I started wondering if maybe I was what he said I was, and I became increasingly depressed.
posted by Trurl at 8:05 PM on April 9, 2012

In addition to being petty and unforgiving, the Ultimate Warrior is a far, far, far right wing nutjob.

Here's a lovely speech in which he denigrates feminism, homosexuality, and diversity.

Fuck him.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:10 PM on April 9, 2012 [7 favorites]

(That said, it's pretty funny/sad that he thinks anyone -- let alone all of society -- actually took Hulkamania seriously at all, nevermind so seriously that they've modeled their whole way of life after Hulk Hogan.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:14 PM on April 9, 2012

It's all fake, people. That's the point.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:25 PM on April 9, 2012

I skipped around a bit and at 43:00 he talks about how Terry was not very good at making effective use of bullets because 1. His storied about a suicide attempt were made up to get sympathy. 2. He didn't have the courage to put a bullet in his head. 3. Even if the story is true, real men don't let the world know their whining and bitching about that kind of a thing.

[You can insert you own derisive "more like Ultimate So-and-so" joke here.]
posted by Winnemac at 8:42 PM on April 9, 2012

Next you'll tell me my doctorate from Warrior University is worthless.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:50 PM on April 9, 2012 [7 favorites]

If you're not living Hulkamania, Sys Rq, I just have to wonder what yoooooou are gonnna doooo when all us Hulkamaniacs run wild on yoooooooou, broooother?
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:02 PM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Sys Rq wrote:
In addition to being petty and unforgiving, the Ultimate Warrior is a far, far, far right wing nutjob.

Here's a lovely speech in which he denigrates feminism, homosexuality, and diversity.

Fuck him.
My favorite Ultimate Warrior kookiness is this, where he bitches about George Washington not having his own federal holiday, whereas Martin Luther King does:
Next. Martin Luther King can have his own self-titled birthday recognized as a National Holiday, but not our country’s First President? Should I go on? Should I have to? Do I want to? Will I? You bet your ass I will.

Let’s see if I understand this correctly. Or should I say, let’s see if I can get to anywhere near a “correct understanding” of this piece of nonsense by, first, understanding it sensically using political-incorrectness?

Martin marched a few times from Selma, AL to Montgomery, AL. It’s only about 40 miles and he walked along paved roads with security escorts and modern comforts and conveniences. He wrote a few jailhouse letters, plagiarized a great many speeches, and played up his last name “King” as if he was ONE. He led his best rally amid the monuments of Washington, DC. He preached proper, righteous behavior while he at the same time committed adultery many publicly verifiable times — oh, and he had “a dream.” One to see a race of people freed completely from discriminate oppression.

Washington trekked through miles and miles of uncharted territory on horseback and foot with nothing but his balls, his blankets, his musket and other primitive 18th century means. In his mid- 40’s he left his wealthy wife and secure estate lifestyle and rode off on horseback into a presumably unwinnable Revolution where he threw himself time and time again directly into the line of fire and afforded himself no special privileges. He practiced what he preached and he fell to his knees and prayed for the courage and discipline and restraint to not be so weak in his manliness to fail so again. He wrote eloquent letters, authored his own speeches, and scribbled down his own moral guide consisting of 101 Rules of Civility (at the age of 16), all of them using a bottle of India ink and a bird’s feather while under the light of a lantern or a fireplace fire. He refused to be a King when he could have been, causing even King George III to remark, ““If true, then he is the greatest man in the world.” And those monuments in DC? His name and his life made it all possible. Oh, and he, too, had “a dream.” One to FREE ALL Of MANKIND from ANY kind of tyranny, then and forever.
This makes sense if you forget that Washington owned slaves, he was trying to FREE ALL Of MANKIND from ANY kind of tyranny, right? And it was dangerous too, Martin had it easy, while Washington could have been shot at any time!
posted by Critical_Beatdown at 9:12 PM on April 9, 2012 [3 favorites]

The first ten minutes are kind of fun, in a guilty pleasure "OMG he said what?" kind of way - but he keeps going, and going, and going... Until you've got to stop watching because it's just horrifically bitter. Holy cats.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:17 PM on April 9, 2012

but he keeps going, and going, and going

Shades of his WCW debut.
posted by Trurl at 9:22 PM on April 9, 2012

True fact: He also wrote one of the most insanely, awfully, bad comic books ever in the history of shitty comics. This is a review from a guy who had a regular feature of reviewing awful comics. Relevant quotation from end of review:

I've read lots of shitty comics in my day. . .I mention this so you have a clear perspective when I tell you that this is BY FAR the worst comic I have ever read. The jumbled, incoherent script for this book makes All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder look like fucking Shakespeare in comparison. The artwork manages to capture all the bad qualities of Rob Liefeld while displaying no merits whatsoever. I'd rather read an entire series about Marvel heroes using Office Max supplies to battle supervillains than read one more page of this Warrior shit.
posted by Ndwright at 9:37 PM on April 9, 2012 [3 favorites]

So, to review, Warrior's career was defined by his absurdly 'roided physique, impressive entrance choreography, full-spectrum merchandising, universally abysmal in-ring performances and promos consisting of high-energy nonsensical clichés. Oh and he's a totally mental, misogynistic, homophobic, self-serving, right-wing macho prick. All characteristics which the company nurtures and cherishes to this day.

tl;dw: Asshole factory condemns ex-asshole for excellent assholery.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 9:53 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Describing Jim Hellwig as "right-wing" really, really misses the point. George Will is right-wing.

The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior is an entertaining documentary. It is rather like Trekkies—which is to say, you can enjoy Trekkies without knowing much about Star Trek, and you can watch and enjoy The Self Destruction... without knowing much about wrestling. This is not true of most DVDs that WWE has produced. It's a good story, and it is presented well to a lay audience. It's full of behind-the-scenes stuff, which can always be interesting if presented well.

The "TL;DR" version is that (according to the DVD) Jim Hellwig, aka The Ultimate Warrior, aka Warrior, was a bodybuilder who saw potential for big money in professional wrestling. "Skill" in professional wrestling is defined in large part as the ability to perform moves without injuring your partner/opponent, and the film alleges that Warrior lacked innate skill and never improved much. It portrays him as a selfish person who milked the business of professional wrestling for as much money as possible over a relatively short ride, while being either indifferent or openly hostile to the interests of his fellow performers and/or the audience.

In one of the film's key moments, Warrior is scheduled to perform in the main event of a major pay-per-view. According to Vince McMahon, who runs the company, Warrior approached McMahon shortly before the pay-per-view was about to start and demanded a large additional sum of money, or else he (Warrior) would refuse to perform. McMahon says his hands were tied, having already advertised Warrior's appearance to fans, and so he agreed. Warrior did perform in the main event; and according to McMahon, as soon as Warrior came back through the stage curtain McMahon fired him. McMahon adds that he did pay Warrior the money as agreed.

But here's the moral of the story: Even after something like that, Warrior eventually reconciled with McMahon and was rehired (albeit briefly) by WWE. Wrestling is a business filled with gossip and grudges, but it's also a business where people have exhibited remarkable ability to set aside real, legitimate, and in some cases justified personal enmity in order to make money together. It is sometimes amazing.
posted by cribcage at 9:54 PM on April 9, 2012 [6 favorites]

Isn't it time someone came forward to inform Mr. Warrior that professional wrestling isn't real?

Or is it better this way?
posted by ShutterBun at 11:40 PM on April 9, 2012

Dear Deity of Your Choice, he does ramble on, doesn't he?
posted by Samizdata at 1:07 AM on April 10, 2012

And on and on and on...
posted by Samizdata at 1:17 AM on April 10, 2012

Bret Hart's (surprisingly good) autobiography paints a less than rosy picture of wrestlers in general but Ultimate Warrior comes across as the worst by far, as a wrestler and as a human being.
posted by minifigs at 1:18 AM on April 10, 2012

When I was twelve I got a lot of shit from my friends for daring to suggest the Ultimate Warrior was a dickhead who couldn't wrestle for shit. As far as I was concerned the only thing he was good at was clotheslining a dude and shaking the top belt really bloody hard. I got a *lot* of shit.

Well—I was right! I'm getting on Facebook right now and sharing this link. I was right!
posted by Foaf at 3:20 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]

Bret Hart's (surprisingly good) autobiography paints a less than rosy picture of wrestlers in general but Ultimate Warrior comes across as the worst by far, as a wrestler and as a human being.

Both Jericho and Flair say the same in theirs (although Flair isn't exactly Hogan's biggest fan either).

Was always an Ultimate Warrior fan as a kid, but when I got back into Wrestling again as an adult and started rewatching stuff you could really see just how much everyone else was having to carry him.
posted by garius at 4:34 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior is an entertaining documentary. ... It's a good story, and it is presented well to a lay audience.

I have strongly mixed feelings about it.

It does do well at conveying to the uninitiated that quality wrestling involves particular skills which Warrior lacked. And it's excellent at presenting the context and significance of his wins over The Honkytonk Man and Hogan.

But it's such an obvious hatchet job that it makes Der ewige jude seem even-handed by comparison. Trips - a company man to the end - shows up briefly to say Warrior was one of the most unprofessional ring partners he ever worked with, but doesn't provide a single detail to justify the description. [He showed up late? Gave him a case of jock itch? One's imagination is left to roam freely.]

And they wheel out what's left of Ric Flair several times to say things like "I don't remember his promos, but I would have if they were any good" and "I didn't know he sued Vince, but that shows you what a scumbag he is." Thanks for the inside dope, Naitch.

(And as far as internalizing one's gimmick goes, Hellwig has nothing on "Mean" Gene - who sounds exactly like you would imagine when saying things like "It was an important moment for... [broadcaster pause] The Ultimate Warrior.")

the only thing he was good at was clotheslining a dude and shaking the top belt really bloody hard

And what do you know? He's still got it! [CAUTION: 49 year old man wearing face paint and breathing really, really hard]
posted by Trurl at 5:51 AM on April 10, 2012

Guys like Hogan and Warrior and McMahon are pure carnies, out to make a buck off the rubes by any means necessary (as cribcage illustrates). Which is fine; that's where the pro wrestling business came from, and that's the track it's continued along.

I wonder, though, if the generation coming of age now--guys who grew up with the second golden age, guys in their late 20s and early 30s now, in the prime of their careers--looks at it differently. So many of the younger guys were inspired by these larger-than-life characters not to become jacked-up roid monsters who sell merch better than punches, but to actually excel at the sport and at the storytelling.

You've got to wonder what will happen as this cohort ages into backstage roles. Of course it's still business, you've still got to put T-shirts on torsos, but maybe, just maybe, their love for the business will translate into a more nuanced, longer-view product. But probably not.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:55 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Screw the Ultimate Warrior and Hogan. I rode for the Undertaker.
posted by RedShrek at 5:55 AM on April 10, 2012

He's still got it! [CAUTION: 49 year old man wearing face paint and breathing really, really hard]

Warrior never had particularly good cardio, but jeez, he's done there before he even finishes his entrance.

(Chris Masters confirms; if you're not listening to The Art of Wrestling every week, you should be.)
posted by uncleozzy at 6:09 AM on April 10, 2012

Wrestling died for me when Andre the Giant died.
posted by popaopee at 9:55 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

But it's such an obvious hatchet job

It's one-sided, no question. For one thing, Warrior refused to participate. I think it's fair to extrapolate, from how McMahon handled Bret Hart etc. (another famous scandal), that if Warrior had participated in the DVD then his side of the story would have been substantially represented. McMahon definitely slants his own tales, but I don't think he has a history of censoring other perspectives.

But more importantly, I'm not sure what Warrior would have added to balance things out. I agree with you that Ric Flair shouldn't have appeared on the DVD, criticizing a westler he never worked a storyline with. (My understanding is that they worked a few live shows together.) But that wasn't the damning stuff. The damning stuff was how Warrior never exhibited any significant in-ring ability, how his promos were nonsensical, how Warrior allegedly "held up" McMahon for a large amount of money at SummerSlam '91, how he allegedly no-showed live events, etc.

What would Warrior have countered these with? He's had other opportunities, in shoot interviews. (A "shoot" interview is when wrestlers talk out-of-character about the business, backstage stories, etc.) He has proved that he's capable of talking smack every bit as well as Ric Flair did of him. I even agree with a lot of what he says. But it's always smack talk. It's always, "He said that about me? Well, here's something about him..." That isn't rebuttal.
posted by cribcage at 10:18 AM on April 10, 2012

What struck me about the documentary was that they never once said "WWF." Even when they were talking about the WWF, they stuck to "WWE."

Is that just a branding thing, or does the World Wildlife Fund have their nuts in that tight of a vise?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:32 PM on April 10, 2012

They even bleeped out recorded references to the F in WWF from the archive footage. I'm sure this is part of the settlement with the World Wildlife Fund.
posted by basicchannel at 4:06 PM on April 10, 2012

Yeah, they even have to blur/replace the old WWF logo on re-runs and such.

Next week Vince is releasing a tell-all shoot DVD on those fucking pandas.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 4:06 PM on April 10, 2012

I was really young when Papa Shango came on the scene, but even I knew that was some fucked up racist garbage. Holy crap.
posted by Theta States at 8:36 PM on April 10, 2012

Well, when you consider the usual gimmicks available to African-American pro-wrestlers (jungle savage, inner-city criminal, black militant, anachronistic funkmeister/soul brotha/rapper or, as Charles Wright was later assigned, jovial dancing whoremonger), a voodoo/santeria thing is at least original.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 8:59 PM on April 10, 2012

And it's worth noting that even as recently as two years ago, the only black tag-team in WWE went by the name/gimmick Cryme Tyme. Whatever racism was evident in the Papa Shango gimmick hasn't necessarily improved much in the last 20 years.

To be fair, the current roster includes David Otunga performing as the Harvard Law-educated attorney that he is, and Kofi Kingston and R-Truth performing relatively gimmick-free. It's possible that a lot of the racial and ethnic stereotypes that used to be prominent will fall by the wayside now that, as Jake Roberts has pointed out (and criticized), WWE continues phasing-out the "characters" that used to differentiate performers.

The value of characters (e.g., The Mountie, a corrupt RCMP; Earthquake, a 468-lb. wrestler; The Model, a handsome narcissist; etc.) was that it simplified storylines and made the show accessible to new viewers. If you attend a wrestling event knowing nothing about the performers or storylines, you'll still know immediately who to root for if you hear, "The Patriot versus One Man Gang!" By contrast, if the performers use their real names (Del Wilkes versus George Gray) and they come out wearing tights instead of costumes, then you kinda have to know what's been going on in order to follow along.

Imagine if you had to follow Barnum & Bailey's Twitter year-round in order to understand the show when their circus comes to your town. That's just bad business. When the bottom line is ticket sales, you want simple and accessible.

Unfortunately, the quickest route to developing a character was often taking a wrestler's ethnic background and playing on a stereotype. It was just easier.
posted by cribcage at 9:03 AM on April 11, 2012

Before Jinder Mahal suddenly disappeared from TV, you could practically hear Vince yelling, "Not Indian enough!" after every appearance. I'm sure he'd have come down the ramp atop an elephant if they'd kept him around.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:55 AM on April 11, 2012

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