Class of 2014
Hall of Fame Rating
9 out of 10
This day was never supposed to come. Since the Hall of Fame’s return in 2004, there were three highly deserving names, who were labeled persona non gratis for induction- Ultimate Warrior, 2013 inductee :Bruno Sammartino and Randy Savage. Two of them are now in and that’s amazing.
This induction is amazing for an endless line of reasons. The rift between World Wrestling Entertainment and The Ultimate Warrior has been very wide. On both ends, it has always come down to money and respect. Warrior, while he may look like a crazy man, whose spouted nonsense is the stuff of a roided up madman…
…Jim Helwig, the man is none of the above. He is a man who is smart enough to view the wrestling business as a business. He knew what product, The Ultimate Warrior, was potentially and with Vince McMahon brought sheer energy, focus, and force of will onto to the fans , and the fans lapped it up….for a time. Warrior and WWE disagreed regularly on money, specifically on how much Warrior should get paid for being Warrior. Bare bones, their argument is on how much is the Ultimate Warrior worth?
- At Summerslam 91, Warrior was accused of holding up the WWE for more money to perform in his tag match with Hogan. (against Iraqi Sympathisers Sgt Slaughter, Col. Mustafa & Gen. Adnan). The Solomonster, explains it best.
He was supposedly fired for holding WWF up for more money, something which he never did. WWE fired him because, well, he was too big for his britches and was asking for too much money.
- Warrior returned at Wrestlemania 8, saving Hogan from the completely logical team of Sid and Papa Shango. His return was off. For starters, he was looking slender.
And the truth is he didn’t do as well. 1991-1992 was the beginning of a traditional time in WWE. The superhero types were going out of vogue with most fans. Hulk Hogan himself was starting to wane in popularity. Enter Warrior into this equation and he just isn’t as big as he was. Maybe it was his look; maybe he loss of muscles or maybe just the time away; regardless it was not the same. He wasn’t worth as much and certainly not as much as Warrior was asking for. He was fired some months later due to steriod and illegal substance use along with Davey Boy Smith, charges which Warrior challenged in court and were generally proved to be false. Vince fired Warrior because he needed scapegoats to appease public opinion during his Steriod Trail and because Warrior cost to much. If Warrior’s contract was terminated, he was owed nothing. Win-win for WWF.
3. Warrior returned into the WWE in 1996. His agreement was all about money. WWE was desperate for any talent since the rise of WCW and Warrior jumped on a chance to help market his external ideas to wrestling fans. He had a comic book and a “wrestling school”, named Warrior University. The University might have taught wrestling, but its purpose was never really clear.
WWE quickly became disappointed when Warrior did not help ratings. With the creation of the NWO, WWE was beginning to fail; something the Ultimate Warrior could not help. This was yet another case of WWE beleiving Warrior could bring in a certain audience size which he couldn’t actually do. WWE, in their continuing effort to be scumbags, found the first excuse they could to fire Warrior and he was gone within four months.
And that was 18 years ago. He has not appeared since.
It was all about the benjamins until the mid-2000s. Warrior had retired from wrestling after his terrible WCW run, so he was never going to come back to wrestle. He could have done a DVD, so in 2004-2005, WWE approached the Ultimate Warrior, he asked for a boatload of money and was told to screw himself.
This isn’t the first time WWE had a disagreement with talent over money, let alone Warrior’s first go of that argument. Sable came back in 2003, Hulk Hogan continues to amazingly show up every five years or so, and even Eric Bischoff appeared on WWE television. Warrior was different. He was different because of this.
Never before or since has WWE ever released a DVD, whose sole focus was to shame and degrade a superstar. The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior was 90 minutes of Bobby Heenan, Ric Flair, Ted Dibiase and Hulk Hogan tearing Jim Helwig to pieces. As a piece, it is vindictive and beneath the great documentary wing of WWE Home Video. They have done better and they should be ashamed.
Up until last year, Warrior was the best example of Vince allowing personal feelings to get in the way of business. No one has ever said that Warrior was easy to work with (Neither were Shawn, Bret, Hulk or the Rock), yet Warrior was treated differently. That is because Warrior, out of all those previously mentioned, was not in LOVE with the business.
This puts him in a select group of superstars that the WWE Brass didn’t know how to handle. How do you screw around with someone who regardless of what you do, will still believe in their importance and in their monetary worth? Simply put, this is the man you do not work with and therefore Warrior has been separated from wrestling for almost 20 years.
Warrior’s self worth has always been the issue. Warrior believes he transcended the wrestling industry as one of its greatest acts. WWE believes that Warrior shoved all he gave them in the collective face of the WWE Universe (otherwise known as the WWE Board of Directors and Creative Staff). What changed? Why has WWE changed their tune? Simple. Almost all of their criticism is bullshit.
According the 2005 DVD, The Ultimate Warrior couldn’t wrestle. This is mostly true, if the bar of wrestling ability is Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels. Warrior was a product from the first real sports entertainment generation. He didn’t need to wrestle a clinic. He needed to run to the ring and shake the ropes and win the IC title in 30 seconds. He was more over due to what he did than Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels were during their respective eras. The best part is the original face of the WWE, Hulk Hogan, also couldn’t wrestle , if one is to follow the “rules of a good wrestler”.
Warrior has been called insane and incoheriant. He didn’t know how to talk. This is a complete farse. A person who can’t talk sounds like this:
Warrior was his character in every promo he ever did. When he spoke of Rocket Fuel, or crashing Hulk Hogan’s plane, he was completely in character and beloved for it.
The Ultimate Warrior is one of roughly 20 legitimate Main Event superstars in the history of the WWE. Think about it. The Hulkamania Era was headlined by Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior- that’s it. In 1990, The Warrior rivaled Hulk Hogan for the crowd adulation, the easiest definition of being over -as were they split approx 50 percent at Wrestlemania 6. There is no denying his importance and contribution. Its great that the WWE has finally admitted this.
Warrior is in the Hall of Fame due to two reasons: Triple H and the WWE Network. Triple H began his quest to right the wrongs of the Hall of Fame (can we de-induct members? Drew Carey anyone?) last year with Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund and Mick Foley. Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior are natural extensions of this idea.
Even more importantly, Warrior proved that he could function in the modern WWE world. . His intense and hilarious WWE 2k14 promo video proved that he was an asset. He could talk to press and build a repore with outside entities. WWE loves it, and most likely will use Warrior during promotions for the WWE Network throughout the year.
It is finally prudent to have all the big names back in the fold. Sammartino was first, and Warrior second.
Opens Door For?
Randy Savage, Goldberg or any other main eventer who had issues with Vince. Triple H has proved an ability to contract the unexpected and overdue. Its a great time for the WWE Hall of Fame.
Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.
Too many spaceship references..