Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Intense Ultimate Warrior Passes

Today's news of the death of former wrestling champion James Brian Hellwig, better known as the Ultimate Warrior, is a sad pill to swallow.  It was through cheering on the Ultimate Warrior that I got back into watching wrestling in the wrestle-mania crazed era.

What I liked about Warrior is that he didn't say much, didn't act out much in interviews, but when he came to the ring to fight it was all energy and excitement.  His passion bordered on that of a crazed, caged animal being released into the wild to hunt down and destroy anything in its path.  Warrior was ultimate because he had the muscle and determination to take on anything.  As intimidating and intense as his primal warrior scream was when entering the ring, he always seemed to be fighting for honor and justice. He represented that deep down, ultimate warrior in all of us.

There was rumor in 1991 that the real Ultimate Warrior had died and the new look returning Warrior was a replacement.  I'll admit that the returning Ultimate Warrior seemed a bit watered down and less intense, more commercial than what I'd remembered.  Maybe it was the blonde hair. But nobody could duplicate that gritting mug of the Warrior during his ring shaking, rope rattling battle cry.

The Ultimate fight for me wasn't when Warrior took on Hulk Hogan, defeating him in Wrestlemania IV (1990). Ultimate Warrior would save Hogan's a$$ from a double-team a year later. No, for me it was when Warrior took on The Undertaker with the late great manager Paul Bearer, who passed away a year ago. 

You do remember Bearer don't you?  He was the creepiest manager that ever stood ringside in promotion of a fighter. The Undertaker was gruesome scary, but Paul Bearer and his deathly demeanor was down right spooky to look at. Bearing ashes urn, body bag and all, Paul Bearer was as vile a villain as ever there was. And the Ultimate Warrior tagged and bagged the deadly duo.

RIP Ultimate Warrior 
Hall of Fame Legacy

No comments: