New on Netflix this week is The Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection, a retrospective on the career of The Ultimate Warrior.
The Ultimate Warrior died in April, just days after getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
The Warrior got a bad rap for being a lousy worker, but his legacy is worth reconsidering.
For a guy who supposedly could not work, he sure had some great, classic matches.
The Warrior took part in two of the greatest matches of all-time: His match with Randy “Macho Man” Savage at Wrestlemania VII and his battle with Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania VI.
The Warrior wasn’t very agile, quick or even athletic. He was strong, ripped and tall. Physically he looked as good as any professional wrestler ever has.
What the Warrior did have that even some great workers don’t have was ring psychology, particularly when he was performing with wrestlers he respected.
Pat Patterson laid out the match between Warrior and Hogan and it’s amazing how the two performed. What the Warrior had was intensity. He looked like he was actually competing out there. Even if he was not good at selling or throwing a right hand, the Warrior never went half-way in any of his matches. Sure he blew up early, but it was because he was going 150 percent, from running to the ring to going all-out when the bell rang.
The Warrior never stalled for time. He was fortunate in that he never played heel, so he never needed to look weak. Against Hogan his moves were timed well and he made us think he was the awesome monster, the equal to Hogan, the man who was about to take his spot.
Against Savage too he seemed indestructible. He seemed important. He wasn’t John Cena out there looking to crack the audience up. He was a beast. Brock Lesnar shares many of the Warrior’s qualities. Lesnar doesn’t talk much either. While he is more athletic than the Warrior, he’s not the best pure professional wrestler, but that’s OK because he gives his all in his matches.
Some of the younger wrestlers, such as The Miz, or Cesaro, or Rusev could learn from The Warrior. You don’t have to be Daniel Bryan to be the best. You just have to take yourself and your character seriously.
It’s too bad that The Warrior had so many problems with Vince McMahon, which limited his longevity in the sport. Watching The Ultimate Collection makes you think that for a little while The Ultimate Warrior was something special and he could have been the guy that carried the sport on his back.