It’s a little change of scene this week for The Write Off as I review a shoot interview with the Ultimate Warrior. This particular item was sent to me by the folks working at Ringside Collectibles and you can buy this item if you are interested at the following address: http://www.RingsideShoot.com . Thanks go out to Jon Hal, the Director of Sales for Ringside Collectibles, for being generous enough for sending me a copy to review. By the way, this DVD it is personally signed by the Ultimate Warrior and is a limited edition item out of 1,000. So get it while it’s hot!
The Shoot Interview:
-Warrior says he wasn’t a fan of wrestling when he grew up, but his stepfather was. He says when he was hanging out with friends he caught him watching it and he’d always quickly turn off the channel. Unfortunately, though, his stepfather died a year before he broke into the business and never got to hear from his stepfather how he compared to the superstars his father watched.
-Warrior says he took up weight training in high school and said it helped guide him on the right path in life. He said he went to school to be a chiropractor while he was weight training, but finished a few credits short.
-Warrior says Ed Connors, one of the original owners of the Golds Gym, called him and hooked him up with Rick Bastman who wanted to take bodybuilders, go to Vince McMahon, and make them superstars. He said Bastman was inexperienced and very naÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¯ve and that he and the group of guys they chose were the same way.
-Warrior says that being in his early 20s he figured he could come back to chiropractic work because the people who took classes with were in their 30s and 40s. He says he thought he’d make a ton of money wrestling, but was starving while trying to break into the business.
-Warrior says Bastman didn’t help him break into the business at all and didn’t help Steve Borden (a.k.a. Sting) either because the guy wasn’t credible.
-Warrior says that he & Borden put together packages to get a job in a territory, with only ten hours of training mind you, and sent one to Jerry Jarrett’s Mid-Southern territory in Memphis.
-He & Borden thought they would be successful quickly in Mid-Southern, but when they arrived they realized that on $25 or $50 a night they realized that wasn’t going to be the case. They were smart enough to know not to ask too many questions and were very respectful of the talent because they hadn’t been wrestling fans when they grew up.
-Jerry Jarrett was a nice guy according to Warrior and he lived in a big house in Hendersonville, Tennessee
-Warrior has no opinion of Jerry Lawler while in Mid-Southern territory.
-He & Borden were open to any advice they could get from other wrestlers and that got them a long way in the very beginning. Warrior says the funniest piece of advice he ever received in the territory was from Rip Morgan who told him that a wrestler will know when they are getting screwed on their pay, but the biggest question of all is what a wrestler decides to do about it. The Fantastics were alright, Tommy was better than Bobby about feeling secure about their job and spot on the card. Warrior says Bobby was afraid that he & Borden would steal their spot in the territory due to their muscular work. Dutch Mantell & Bill Dundee also provided good advice. He credits the territory with using them as effectively as they could, but not simply throwing them to the curve when they were done with them.
WORKING FOR BILL WATTS:
-When Borden got hurt a call was made to Bill Watts because he had bigger guys in his territory and once Borden recovered they left Memphis for Watt’s territory.
-Warrior says Watts’ locker room seemed tenser than the locker rooms he was accustomed to in Memphis.
-Leaving Watts’ territory occurred because of various factors that have become rumors over the last several decades. Eddie Gilbert was their handler in Watts’ territory and he was a company man, which Warrior didn’t like. Warrior says that Borden liked to have his hand held and guided, though, so that started some internal friction. One night, he claims, Watts asked him to get down on all fours to show him how to do a kick properly in the ring. Warrior had heard stories that Watts made talent get down into bad positions and kick the crap out of them, in an attempt to break their ribs. Therefore, he told Watts that if he wanted him to get down on all fours he’d have to do it himself which stunned the locker room. Watts backed off and after he left the locker room, Gilbert said they wouldn’t get very far in the business acting that way. Warrior says that Borden sided with Gilbert instead of having his back which angered Warrior because he & Borden agreed when they started wrestling that they’d always stick up for each other.
Warrior also states that at the time he was the more athletic than Borden due to the fact that Borden didn’t know how to use his power properly yet. He claims that this made Borden insecure because Warrior was always called on to do the athletic power moves.
When he left Watts’ territory he thinks Borden probably felt relived because he could have Eddie Gilbert to himself, could be one of the boys, and he lost a threat to his potential spot in the company. Warrior says he didn’t mind the fact that Jim Ross and other commentators were burying him because that’s what they did with everyone.
-There was no plan for a “Blade Runner” reunion with Borden because the ultimate goal at that point was simply to survive.
-He’s not surprised Sting succeeded in the business later because he was worried about what he could do to be successful in the wrestling world.
WORLD CLASS CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING:
-The Dingo Warrior name he used in World Class Championship Wrestling came from someone backstage who thought that he looked “like a warrior.” However, we never get to hear where the ‘Dingo’ part of the name came into play.
-The Dingo Warrior he claims was the prototype for the later Ultimate Warrior. He said he had experience with face paint because he painted his face with Borden. He came up with the strings due to the fact that they were the cheapest thing he could afford for attire.
-He thought the World Class environment was friendlier and the trips were easier since he lived in Texas and loved that. He says Watts would have the guys on four to five hours trips to do shows and it mentally exhausted the talent. The trips for Jarrett’s Mid-Southern promotion weren’t fun either
-Warrior wasn’t aware of Kerry Von Erich’s prosthetic foot (which was created when Kerry suffered a motorcycle accident) and says that they kayfabed the incident for the locker room.
-He doesn’t remember any particular matches from World Class, but does credit it for helping to develop the Ultimate Warrior character. However, he enjoyed working with Rick Rude in World Class due to the fact that Rude was a professional. Chris Adams was also a great guy working for the promotion.
-Warrior says Matt Borne was a dickhead, Buzz Sawyer was a nutcase, and Bruiser Brody was a crazy guy in the locker room of World Class.
-Warrior credits his success in getting over in World Class had to do with people making comparisons between his physique and that of Kerry. Some people didn’t like the fact that Dingo Warrior was so popular, especially outside the Texas area.
-Bruiser Brody was someone who always tried to bum off of people for hotel rooms, meals, etc. Warrior likens him to a scam artist. Brody said he wished he was a heel when he was working with Warrior as Red River Jack, who was a face character.
-Warrior says that World Class was a shoot type of environment. He said he didn’t mind working stiff, but some people were taking chair shots on him trying to put him out of the business.
-Gary Hart was a nice guy, but says that when people give him credit for having a great mind for the business that is overrated because Hart never truly hit the big time.
-Warrior claims that the talent of World Class got a kick out of giving the Von Erich kids drugs, women, etc. which ultimately led to their demise. However, he says that he has no clue what could have helped prevent the tragedy of the Von Erich family.
-Warrior isn’t sure if there are any big misconceptions about Kerry. He claims suicide was seen by the Von Erich’s as some glorious ideal where they would meet their big brother in heaven. They thought it was a way to a better place.
-Warrior tosses aside the accusation that Fritz von Erich pushed his kids too hard in the business which caused them to have personal problems.
-He went to Fritz to ask for more money when an offer came in from New Japan to suit him up in the Vader persona. At the same time Fritz told him no, George Scott came down from the WWF to book shows as a favor for Fritz. Warrior says that there were rumors while Scott was there that he was calling the WWF saying that there was a guy in the World Class territory with a lot of potential, which turned out to be him.
-WWF called him and they asked him to come to a show in Waco, Texas. He got a good pop from the crowd because they loved his character so the WWF asked him to come to Indianapolis, Indiana where he worked a dark match. WWF kept him in the “c towns” and kept testing him to see how the people would react to his character.
-The Ultimate Warrior name developed at a television taping where they needed him to cut a promo for his match against a wrestler by the name of Terry Gibbs. While in the basement, Vince told him to come up with a different name other than “Dingo” and after yelling out for a while came to the name “Ultimate” Warrior.
-Warrior STERNLY says that all ideas for the Ultimate Warrior character came directly from him. The office had confidence in the talent to build their own characters, which he’s not sure is the same case with the business today.
-The veterans in the locker room didn’t like the creative direction he was taking his character (ex. shaking the ropes).
-In one of the more interesting moments in the interview, Warrior doesn’t feel the need to apologize to fans for being “blown up” after his introduction of running to the ring and frantically shaking the ropes. He says that his physical display before the match showed a lot more emotion than a lot of guys showed when they stepped between the ropes. He doesn’t even try to deny the fact that he wasn’t blown up by saying (I believe correctly) that he’s never on record for saying that he wasn’t blown up. Additionally, he said that if he wasn’t blown up & exhausted by the end of the match he didn’t feel that he gave the fans their money’s worth.
-Warrior says he did more with his finishing moves than other people did in their matches. He says he had a lot more moves that other people don’t like to give him credit for, something that I believe is a very valid argument. He says that it’s a silly rap he gets from people that all he did was clotheslines, a press slam, and a splash.
-According to Warrior, the biggest part of building up a superstar is charisma because that’s what makes people react to a character and it’s what motivates a worker to get better. He says there were wrestlers in the locker room that had “bags” of wrestling moves, but failed to go anywhere simply due to the fact that they lacked charisma.
-Warrior brushes aside the notion of a “smart” fan that focuses on a scientific based approach to wrestling. He says that fans who believe a match is motivated by scientifics aren’t that smart because workers who use that style aren’t the ones people remember. Yikes, have to DISAGREE big time with that one because of Dynamite Kid, Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart, etc.
-Warrior says the best thing he ever did to succeed in the WWF was to not pay attention to the other guys or copy what they were doing. He thinks the Warrior style of wrestling what made him unique.
-The WWF road schedule at the time was twenty-eight or twenty-nine days a month and when he was the WWF Champion he had to go to Stamford to do promo work. At that time the WWF had separate promos that were played for every town they were going to, something that added a lot to the work load. However, he saw it as part of the business and dealt with it in his own way.
-Warrior refutes the Dynamite Kid’s suggestion in his book (which Warrior didn’t read) that doing drugs was the only way to cope with the tough road schedule. Warrior claims he never took drugs and other guys in the locker room didn’t either. He says that he did use things, though, to quell pain he experienced on the road, but didn’t abuse anything.
-Steroids were used by a lot of guys in the WWF, but it was a private activity people took part in. In the early 1990s, you could get steroids administered to you from a doctor. He says he had such work done for him while in Fort Worth, Texas. According to him, there comes a time where an athlete has to make a mature decision about whether they want to take steroids or not. He chose to take steroids as a professional decision and as a sacrifice to achieve a semblance of job security. However, he reiterates the fact that he didn’t abuse other things like alcohol, painkillers, tobacco, etc. and that taking steroids didn’t impact him negatively in other respects.
-He remembers that when he first met Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson he minded his manners, as he was taught as a child, and when he left the meeting he was confident he’d have a job.
-He liked working with Hercules in his first WWF program because Hercules liked to work stiff and knew how to make a match work to help the Ultimate Warrior succeed.
-Warrior didn’t feel any difference in pressure as far as wrestling for a live crowd and a pay-per-view crowd was concerned. He said he didn’t care because usually they had to go to another show the next night so it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Personally, he doesn’t have any particular memories that stand out from his first pay-per-view appearance at Survivor Series in Richfield, Ohio.
-He was a good friend with Owen Hart. Sometimes he got along better with the ring crew and the talent, but that is not to say that he was on bad terms with any of the talent.
-WrestleMania VI stands out, of course, for the Warrior character because that was when he achieved his goal in the business of becoming successful and world champion.
-Warrior said he never paid attention how anyone treated him after he took the championship. He was never intimidated by other guys with talent because it made him work harder to be better, a personality type he says is missing the business a lot of the time. Also, he was never interested in playing political games (although other sources disagree with that such as Brutus Beefcake who claimed that at the 1988 SummerSlam Warrior was threatening to quit the company if he didn’t get the Intercontinental Championship).
-Andre the Giant was a nice guy to work with. Andre either liked you or hated you and fortunately for the Warrior, Andre liked him. Andre didn’t like Randy Savage, though, although the reasons are never explained. He thinks Andre liked him because he saw the Warrior cared about his gimmick and was very respectful.
-He liked working with Rude again in the WWF. He says Rude was always excited to work when he got to the arena and was always optimistic about wrestling in front of live crowds.
-Warrior didn’t mind having a championship belt or not. He just sees a winning or dropping a belt as part of the business.
-Warrior thought working gimmick matches with Bobby Heenan was a night off. He says Heenan is a “two faced bastard” in the business.
-The decision to have Hogan drop the belt to him occurred three or four month before WrestleMania when he got a call to come to Vince’s office where Vince & Hogan met him and told him the plan.
-Warrior gets a little testy when asked to have any “memories” about the 1990 Royal Rumble. He said he doesn’t remember too much from his career at every event because each different town was a different part of his job and he treated it as such.
-Before he had a match he needed to get himself in a mindset. He would do this by being left alone, screaming “f-ck it, f-ck it, f-ck it” to get his head in the right place, and then visualizing how he needed to run to avoid people grabbing onto his strings, etc. He said Greg Valentine’s character was the same both in the ring and backstage so he didn’t need to do too much.
-Warrior laughs at the suggestion that whoever has the WWF Championship is the one to “carry the company.” He says that a lot of talent goes into making the WWF what it is and they deserve their credit as well. He believes when people like Hulk Hogan try to take credit for the WWF success that they are just trying to make themselves look better.
-It was an awesome feeling performing in front of 60,000+ fans at WrestleMania VI. He can’t remember specific details from his match with Hogan, but just having a match on that stage with Hogan (even with a different finish) combined with the chemistry and history surrounding it equaled a lot of magic.
-Warrior wasn’t aware of Hogan’s revelation in his book (which the Warrior also didn’t read) that he gave the WWF Championship to the Warrior in an unplanned moment to get sympathy heat for himself and to distract attention away from the Warrior. This gets the Warrior to allege that Hogan’s entire life has been a work and he wouldn’t put it past Hogan to have something like that planned out well in advance.
-Curt Hennig was a good guy to work with and in the locker room. He loved how he would bounce all over the ring to make another guy look good.
-He enjoys being around Randy Savage. He had great chemistry with him in the ring and feels as if he’s a very stand up guy. He feels Savage gets a bad rap, like he does, in the business because he’s opinionated.
-Working with the Legion of Doom was fun and he was very impressed with their success and treated them with respect because he’d watched them when he was breaking into the business. He did his best to put them over in promos and the Legion of Doom would do the same.
-Warrior says that when the WWF came to him to drop the belt to Sergeant Slaughter he felt that dropping the strap was part of his job and someone doesn’t get to hold championships in a company if they aren’t willing to drop them when the powers that be say to drop them. He also says that he felt his job was secure and it’d be stupid for the WWF to take a wrestler out of a title program and not have a new program set up for him to fall into (which for Warrior was against Randy Savage).
-Warrior said he didn’t have the opinions he has today to criticize Slaughter’s pro-Iraq gimmick during the Persian Gulf War. He doesn’t believe the guys in the locker room had any problem with it, although there are always those guys in locker rooms that complain and never do anything about it.
-Warrior is unresponsive to a question concerning any “memories” he had working with Savage at WrestleMania VII in their retirement match. Instead, he just ridicules the interviewer about his obsession with “memories” and starts singing a song about it.
-He liked the Undertaker gimmick and liked Mark Callous even more. When working with Mark in Albany, New York the gimmick got a good reception. He thinks it says a lot about how good of a worker Mark is that his character has stayed around so long in the WWF.
-Warrior had no problem being locked in a coffin in his program with the Undertaker. Some guys in the locker room thought it was blasphemous that such an angle would happen, but he just laughed it off and said it was the best rest he’d had in a long time.
-The program with the Undertaker was creatively stimulating because of the energy associated with their two gimmicks. He said he was energized with the program and saw it as a challenge to keep himself over and put the Undertaker over as well. He claims he could’ve crushed the Undertaker character if he felt insecure, but had no problem putting Undertaker over.
-Warrior says Jake Roberts is simply a lair, lecher, and a loser.
-Sid Vicious came in after Warrior left in 1991 and never got to know him too well. However, when he returned he says Sid misunderstood what the Ultimate Warrior gimmick was all about and how the gimmick made money. Sid probably felt insecure and offended that Warrior was around, but Warrior wasn’t surprised when Sid left the company.
-Working in Wembley Stadium at SummerSlam 1992 was really cool. Seriously, that’s all that’s said here.
-According to Warrior, Ric Flair is a two faced person and when Flair claimed he couldn’t work with him that showed that Flair wasn’t that great and looks poorly on Flair. He doesn’t admire how Flair continues to wrestle in the business and says he views it as rather pathetic. He thinks Flair should use his talents to do something outside of the business.
-Warrior doesn’t remember he was supposed to be in a program with Nailz, but did remember when Nailz attacked Vince McMahon backstage. He says the locker room was always angry with Vince, but the guys just ate it and ate it. However, he doesn’t seem to remember being shocked or appalled by the incident either.
-Warrior says he left the company before the 1992 Survivor Series because McMahon started implicating him in the steroid scandal swirling around the WWF to save his own ass. Vince used Warrior & Davey Boy Smith as scapegoats, claiming that their drug tests identified high levels of illegal substances. He says Vince used the steroid scandal to push him out of the WWF thinking he could control Warrior and bend him to his will by making the termination of his contract make it appear that Warrior did something wrong. Warrior says that the WWF medical staff told him his drug testing levels weren’t off the charts and weren’t indicative of steroid or drug use, but that didn’t matter to Vince because he was going to do what he wanted anyway.
-Warrior said he wasn’t interested in wrestling for independent shows. He says he’s contacted a lot to appear at shows by fans who have a remote control to their TV, think they know the talent, and think they can be a promoter, which makes most messages he gets a joke.
-At the end of 1995 the Warrior had his gym in Scottsdale, Arizona and closed it for retrofitting for private keyholding membership and a respectful wrestling school (ala “Warrior University”).
-He was contacted to appear in a program with the Honky Tonk Man for National Wrestling Council (NWC) shows in Las Vegas and thought it was fun because of the close location and the money was able to make off of it.
-He was interested in co-promoting NWC because it was drawing some great crowds, but the other promoter didn’t come through with the expected agreement (evidently over the percentage of revenue from ticket sales) and the Warrior ditched the project.
-Warrior says he used his character to branch into entrepreneurial projects such as comic books and a fitness video (which I believe have both ended up now on wrestlecrap). The ultimate project for him was to create an animated movie. He even had a pro shop in his gym for hats and t-shirts, which split into a mail order business.
-He believes his projects could’ve taken life and been greatly worth his while had the WWF fulfilled the agreement it made with him in 1996.
-He says Vince tried to visit him to return towards the end of 1995 and showed up at his gym when he wasn’t there one day with Kevin Nash. When Vince finally got in contact with him, Warrior said he didn’t want a generic wrestling contract because he had other marking projects that he didn’t want to give up. Several days later Vince sent him several generic contracts which the Warrior said were unacceptable. Linda McMahon called him and after meeting with her he felt everything would be fine and he resolved to work with Linda as a go between with Vince.
The agreement was that Warrior would plug his merchandise through the WWF media machine and come back as a wrestler with profits from his merchandise going to him. Four months later the WWF started to cheat the separation between WWF merchandise and his merchandise, which later led to him leaving the company.
-When he returned to the WWF for WrestleMania XII he wanted to come back and make an impression since he had been away from so long. He told HHH (who was his opponent) how the finish was going to go and HHH said fine. A few moments later, Gerald Brisco came to him (summoned by HHH), took the Warrior into the shower, and started throwing out some ideas. Warrior cut him off and looked over to HHH to tell him that if he had anything to say to say it to his face and ended the conversation about the match. He thinks his snub of HHH (although not intended he says to happen maliciously) may have caused HHH to develop a “we’ll see” attitude. However, he says that if HHH wants to tell the story differently then he’s a puny little sh*thead just like he was in early 1996.
-The “Clique” (who he calls scumbags) were the big difference between the WWF he returned to from the one he left in 1992. He says the Clique was all about damaging other performers rather than using their own talents to help the company.
-He thinks Shawn Michaels is an incredibly talented performer. He may be bad backstage, but no one can deny that he knows how to work a match.
-He wishes Davey Boy Smith would’ve learned to stop his immature behavior with drugs that later led to his death. He has a soft spot in his place for Davey, though, because he and the Dynamite Kid helped guide him on the right road when he first came into the company.
-He noticed that Steve Austin was a dedicated worker and liked his ring mannerisms. He had no idea Austin would become a great star, but says he didn’t think Austin wouldn’t ever become a great star either.
-He had no problems with Bret Hart and was good friend with the Hart family because that’s where he stayed when he was in Canada for shows. He liked Stu, Bret’s kids, etc. He treated the Hart’s with a lot of respect and he doesn’t know why the Hart family has come out and said bad things about him. He says Bret would’ve felt better about what he did in Montreal if he’d pursued litigation.
-He has his suspicions about the Montreal screwjob, thinking that some of it may have been a work due to the camera for the documentary “Wrestling with Shadows” being in the right place too much.
-When Warrior realized that there were cracks in his 1996 contract he tried to work the funds in the right direction with Linda. He says he helped teach the WWF in the direction of having a marketing wing for the general public to lessen the stigma of professional wrestling (ex. selling comic books, music CDs, wrestling books, etc.), although he doesn’t take credit for it. When the marketing department told him not to come to a licensing show in New York (which was odd because all of the talent goes to the licensing show to make an appearance and give the federation good PR), but he decided to check it out anyway and found that they were using his copyrighted phrase “always believe” as the theme for it, which went against the terms of his contract. Linda called him back two days later and said she didn’t know and Vince brushed aside Warrior’s argument that the WWF had lied to him with the words “people lie to me everyday.” After a while, the WWF started with their argument that if Warrior was going to come back he’d have to post an appearance bond, sent Gorilla Monsoon on TV for an angle to bury Warrior, and lawyers on both sides argued back and forth until the entire affair ended up in a courtroom.
-Warrior sued WWF for breach of contract and the WWF came back with the argument that they owned the Ultimate Warrior name and Warrior couldn’t use it. He blames Vince & Linda McMahon for having the contract fall apart because they could’ve stepped in and resolved the problems easily.
-Warrior changed his name officially to “Warrior” in 1993.
-Warrior says he went to Hollywood to get into action movies, but after six months he left because he found Hollywood too fake.
-He got into public speaking and political theory after reading classical history books. He says he’s raised his family by classical ideals with a coat of arms, code they agree to live by, etc.
-At the end of the five year lawsuit, Warrior says he’s lawyers did a complete 180 on him by caving in to the WWF’s lawyers when the judge came down from the bench after dismissing the jury and tried to negotiate a settlement. A settlement was reached when Warrior totally lost confidence in his attorneys, but he did win the rights to the Ultimate Warrior name.
-He last had a conversation with anyone in the McMahon family in 2001 when the court settlement was finished and he refused to shake Vince’s hand.
-The WWF hasn’t approached him since 1998 to come back. The 1998 offer he says was huge and arrived to him in his fax machine, but he decided not to accept it because of the previous disrespect given to him.
-He found out that the Renegade was being used by WCW in 1995 as an Ultimate Warrior ripoff, but it never bothered him because he was the real deal. He didn’t appreciate the gesture although it gave him a good laugh. He figured Hogan & Jimmy Hart did it and calculated that Warrior would show up at an arena to wrestle for the company to “preserve his honor” or some crap like that.
-Hogan called him in 1997 and said Warrior should show up to go along for the ride in WCW to which Warrior said he was having a fun time outside of wrestling. He said Hogan claimed he controlled the checkbook and could do anything he wanted, albeit with stipulations.
-Eric Bischoff contacted him or his attorney to actually bring him to WCW. He knew the entire time that Hogan was bringing him back to get his WrestleMania VI job back, which he thought was hilarious. He believes the incident shows how silly and insecure Hogan is.
-He thinks the difference between McMahon & Bischoff is that McMahon is a leader who executes a plan while Bischoff was a lunatic showing up just several hours before a TV show deciding to organize matches.
-Backstage WCW was pure chaos with no direction being organized for the company at all.
-Warrior said his WCW run was brutal. He said his match at Halloween Havoc with Hogan in 1998 was one of the worst (if not the worst) of his career which he thinks is funny because he considers his WrestleMania VI match with Hogan one of the best of his career.
-After the Halloween Havoc show, the next Monday Nitro was in Phoenix, Arizona and he appeared and cleared the ring. The next week it was in Kansas City, Missouri and no one expected him to be there, which he thought was odd considering that he signed a six month contract. He said showed the stupidity of WCW because the front office had been the one sending him the plane ticket! He tried to get in touch with Bischoff, but he wouldn’t respond. All he wanted was to work matches, but WCW didn’t even want to use him for the last two months of his contract regardless of the large sum of money they were paying him.
-Warrior says that the first fifteen minutes of his program with Hogan could’ve turned into something great. He thinks OWN (One Warrior Nation) was a good concept. He tore his bicep and four weeks later wrestled at Halloween Havoc and there were guys on the WCW payroll, had the same injury, and were out for six months collecting a check.
After he did his fifteen minute opening program with Hogan on Nitro, exited under the door, and went backstage at the end of the evening, the ring crew said that they really enjoyed what he was doing and wished him the best. However, the office was unresponsive and on Friday, Hogan called him and said that his appearance “went over their heads” leading Warrior to conclude that Hogan was offended that he was working his gimmick.
-He thought the trap door appearance mechanism was only supposed to be used once, but true to WCW form they did the same thing over and over again. He says the only plan WCW had in store was to job him to Hogan and make him look like a fool after they realized the crowd was very responsive to his gimmick.
He wasn’t aware of the wrestlers not being told of the trap door on the ring although he says Davey Boy was gone well before he took a bad fall on a trap door.
-Warrior can’t remember what the drug scene was like in WCW since he doesn’t participate in that kind of behavior.
-Sting was cordial when he was able to talk to him briefly backstage at a television taping. He says Sting was very welcoming to him since Warrior was the new guy in the company. The match they teamed in was thrown together at the last second (typical) so it had no chance to be anything special.
-He treated Goldberg very respectfully backstage. He says Goldberg was a mark for the Ultimate Warrior and was too insecure to admit it when respecting to a fan on the Internet. He told Goldberg to stay out of the political games, even though Hogan and the gang were fooling with him because they knew he had talent.
-He saw Scott Hall & Kevin Nash as sh*t stirrers backstage. He makes a good analogy where he says they spend more energy being destructive than they do giving the fans a good show in the ring.
-He kept to himself in WCW and said that when he left the WCW was headed into the toilet.
-He thinks the OWN concept could’ve worked as a way to rebel against the degenerate establishment that is influencing kids today. However, he figured it wouldn’t have worked in WCW because it would’ve required too much work from everyone who didn’t want to put time into it.
-He blames the poor match at Halloween Havoc on Hogan because he said Hogan didn’t want to put any work into it. While he was working a rubber hose to recover from a bicep injury sustained at Fall Brawl, Hogan was just sitting around.
-Even with the bad stuff Warrior doesn’t feel bad about going to WCW and he doesn’t think his tenure there hurt the aura of the Ultimate Warrior character.
-WCW could’ve been saved if they’d gotten someone in there who was willing to work seven days a week and make it successful.
-Warrior was never planning on going to ECW and says that Paul Heyman and his associates disrespected him by dropping his name on a hotlines
-He had no yearning to be a part of ECW. He would’ve been willing to listen to an offer because he’s a businessman and Bob Ryder sent him a few tapes to watch, which he did, and it was wild stuff, but he’s wasn’t at the ready with a gear bag ready to wrestle.
-When talking to Jeff Jarrett he told him not to be offended by his rhetoric when putting his “agent” cap on and negotiating. When Jerry Jarrett called him he simply didn’t get the Warrior gimmick and what Warrior was about so the idea of entering the company went down.
-Warrior was interested in the initial idea the Jarrett’s had of making TNA a family oriented show, but got even more turned off when they turned degenerate.
-He claims that Jimmy Hart lied when TNA started tapings in Orlando by going on the radio saying Warrior was looking to go to TNA. The Warrior said it’s quick to tell if people are lying about him appearing somewhere because he doesn’t call them, they call him.
-He was unaware of the comments made in Jerry Jarrett’s book (which he also didn’t read) and says that Jarrett’s complaints about him changing contracts and things are lies. He also says that Jarrett always complained about what McMahon did to people, but never did anything about it.
-He says that if TNA came to him with the right offer (which he says would be a lot of money) and there were legal obligations that protected his interests then he’d go into the ring. He says that goes for any wrestling promotion out there.
-Warrior isn’t interested in watching professional wrestling at home anymore, doesn’t flip through channels to find it, and hasn’t watched wrestling since 1996.
-To stay in shape he’s currently doing ballet with his four-year-old daughter Indiana and he still works out everyday.
-He reiterates how he thinks it’s embarrassing for older starts to continue to wrestle. He thinks it’s time for older wrestlers to start acting their age and start mentoring younger people. He claims that the wrestlers who aren’t in our presence anymore never grew up and they left behind families who have to pay the consequences of their decisions. The only thing that is going to fix the business is for guys to clean themselves up and reach the challenges life throws at them which means they need to stop pretending like their 20 when they reach their 40s and 50s and be better family men.
-Warrior doesn’t keep contact with anyone else in the business and he has no idea who he’d like to face in one last match.
-Warrior says there is still a way he’d accept an offer from Vince McMahon, but there would be a lot of terms in such a contract.
-He thinks it’s great that his image still appears in action figures and in video games and he doesn’t believe that Acclaim went under (although I can because they made bad games). He mentions something about THQ coming to him, which might mean that in the next Smackdown v. Raw game he could be in there. He says he had an idea to give the Ultimate Warrior its own video game.
-He says the biggest misconception of him is that he doesn’t fulfill his obligations and is hard to work with and while the complete opposite is true.
-He does have regrets about his career, but says he has an agreement with his regrets in that he will acknowledge them but won’t allow them to disempower him.
-Warrior says he appreciates everything the fans have given him and he’ll never forget that.
BONUS MATCHES (FROM WORLD CLASS):
-The Dingo Warrior & “Maniac” Matt Borne (w/Gary Hart) vs. The U.S. Express
This may be Warrior’s first World Class match as the ring announcer identifies him as the latest acquisition for Gary Hart. Borne and Brad Baton start off the match. By the way, the U.S. Express are Brad & Bart Baton and they are identical twins. Borne gets double-backdropped by the U.S. Express, but Borne works Bart into the corner, only to have himself Irish whipped into the other buckle and monkey flipped out. Gary Hart’s commentary to Warrior can also be heard over the commentary, which can be fine in some parts but terrible in others. After an armbar that lasts forever, Brad gets tagged in and Warrior comes over to lay into Bart on the apron. Brad tries a monkeyflip again out of the corner, only to get hit with an inverted atomic drop and a bodyslam. Ah, see it doesn’t take a lot to add a bit of wrestling psychology in a match, ya know? Tag to the Warrior and he dominated Brad with a raised choke, clotheslines Bart when he comes in, hits Brad with a gorilla press drop, and tags in Borne who hits a Matt Smash (an elbowdrop) for the win at 4:16. The twins didn’t even try to switch in and out illegally, but I guess they were the faces in this match. Purpose of the match was to showcase Dingo it seems and the action is alright, though nothing to take your breath away. *
-Handicap Elimination Match: The Dingo Warrior (w/Gary Hart) vs. Perry Jackson & Chico Cabello:
Jackson & Cabello don’t even have to tag each other in and out. More like triple threat rules, but it’s a handicap match. Jackson gets hurled to the floor after getting hit with a kneelift (and I barely call it that since the Warrior just barely lifts his leg off the canvas) and Cabello is tossed off when he tried to choke Warrior. Yea, like a small guy Cabello’s size would have any chance at choking out a monster like the Warrior. Warrior hits Cabello with a clothesline and a spikeslam for a pin at 1:10. Jackson comes back in and he gets hit with a kick. Weak elbow off the ropes and Dingo hits some knife-edge chops in the corner. Gorilla press drop to Jackson and a camel clutch gets the submission at 2:23. This is what you call as sq-sq-sq-sq-SQUASH! Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½*
*******There is also a Q & A session with the Warrior at a Ringside Fest show. A lot of the questions from the fans, though, are the same as the ones in the shoot interview. There are some compelling questions in that about who was the stiffest worker the Warrior worked with and what he thought of the “Bone Crunching” Figures the WWF released during his 1996 run, but I just don’t review this portion because a lot of the questions/answers would seem repetitive.
OVERALL TAPE RATING (BUST-****): ***. I applaud Ringside Collectibles for being able to get the Ultimate Warrior to give his fans a shoot interview where they can learn why he was in and out of the WWF three times, what he thought of WCW, and what he did to break into the business. One can arguably say that no other figure in professional wrestling has had to deal with so many rumors and questions concerning his departures from certain federations, whether or not he was dead, and where he happens to be living now. Also, with the Warrior’s new political habits and speaking tour around the nation it offers an interesting insight into the transformation of a bodybuilder turned professional wrestling turned businessman turned political activist and moral crusader. While it’s disappointing that the Warrior wasn’t able to elaborate on specific matches of his career (like the Savage match at WrestleMania VII or the 1990 Royal Rumble) this shoot interview is more interesting than most in that the Warrior answers questions honestly and holds nothing back. Sometimes shoots have the tendency to be watered down because the guy is searching for a new job, but with the Warrior’s different business interests he has no need to suck up to anyone. I only deduct * off of the item’s rating because the bonus matches aren’t that good (although I know they couldn’t break into the WWF tape library to obtain them) and the Ringside Fest Q & A seems a little boring after you watch the entire shoot interview that is about two hours and nine minutes long. Still, though, a high recommendation for this item which I believe any wrestling fan would love to have in their tape library.