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I'll admit that I was never a huge fan of the Ultimate Warrior. He was
never a great technical wrestler and his physique was way too good to
be true. However, I felt that he was a good entertainer and made a lot
of money for the WWE. When I saw "The Self Destruction of the Ultimate
Warrior", it played out as Vince McMahon's way of exacting revenge on
the Warrior for tying up the WWE in litigation for years and all of the
other stunts that he allegedly pulled. Given that Vince McMahon has a
reputation for being ruthless and he was practically portrayed as a
saint for tolerating the Warrior, it was hard to take this video
seriously. The video is the equivalent of a husband trashing his
ex-wife after she just cleaned him out in divorce court.
During the video, the Warrior is given almost no credit for becoming one of the most popular wrestlers in the business. First, McMahon states that he was responsible for changing the gimmick from Dingo Warrior to The Ultimate Warrior which was crucial in the Warrior's rise to fame. He then stated that the Warrior's opening music was also a huge reason why fans rooted for him. Rick Rude was given credit for helping the Warrior look good in the ring in his first high profile feud. Then, it was later stated that Hulk Hogan allowing the Warrior to beat him at Wrestlemania VI was what propelled the Warrior to super-stardom. The Warrior's credibility was further brought into question when it was mentioned that he had tested positive for steroids, which lead to his departure. Can you actually name a WWE star in the 1980s/early 1990s that didn't use steroids?
Most of the interviews were with former wrestlers and ring personalities that are still employed with the WWE and being paid by Vince McMahon. For example, Triple H's comments about the Warrior ruining his first Wrestlemania experience seem to hold no water given that he is married to McMahon's daughter and will likely inherit the company. While I'm sure that the Warrior was probably no picnic to work with, it would have been nice to hear his side of the story. Since he allegedly refused to participate in the video, it would have been nice to at least hear from someone was at least close to the Warrior. Without anyone defending the Warrior, this was the equivalent of beating a dead horse into the ground.
So the message that they use almost two hours to repeatedly drive home is as follows: The Warrior was a "flash in the pan" who was not successful because of his talent. He was successful because of Rick Rude, Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, a catchy name and gimmick, great entrance music and steroids. He was not liked by anyone especially people who still have ties to Vince McMahon and are most likely still on his payroll.
I was huge wrestling fan from about 1984 to 1995. I got bored over the
idea that I was being told who to cheer for and who to boo at. Do you
want to be a bad guy? Just slap Hulk Hogan and there you go! Just ask
Andre the Giant. As well as really dumb characters such as Doink the
Clown, or Papashango. How about when Demolition Smash disappeared and
six or eight months later we are introduced to Repo-Man! Between Brett
Hart, and The Ultimate Warrior I stuck by them because they didn't sell
out to the fluff.
I really liked The Ultimate Warrior because he was fun to watch. Intense, out of control, totally unique for the day. I always wondered what happened to him and why the WWF/WWE didn't do much with him when he was champion. This video answered many of those questions, although most of the answers really made him look like a total jerk. Maybe he was, I don't know.
The trouble is Vince McMahon is not the most honest person himself. He screwed over many wrestlers including Bruno Sammartino, Dusty Rhodes, Brett Hart, and even Hulk Hogan just to name a few. See for yourself. Just watch 'Brett Hart:Wrestling With Shadows', or the Biography on Hulk Hogan and find out the real reason why he went to the WCW. Add to that, his company men like Bobby Heenan, and Gene Orkerlund backing up everything. In all fairness however, Hulk Hogan didn't have a bad word to say about him.
Maybe this is all true. However I find it interesting this came out after the Warrior sued the WWE, and now that Vince has the only game in town without nobody to challenge him, I have my doubts. Is there more to the story here? I'll let you make up your own mind.
I couldn't wait to hear everyone bombard the Warrior with their
thoughts about him. Their remarks weren't as bad as I thought they
would be. You could tell that Ted DiBiase despised the Warrior. Ric
Flair didn't like him. Bobby Heenan didn't like how dangerous and
careless he was in the ring. If you watch when Warrior gorilla press
slams Heenan at Wrestlemania V you can see how he just lets him drop to
Hulk Hogan for the most part liked Jim Hellwig. Except for of course when he thought he killed the build up to their Halloween Havoc match. I agree it wasn't a good idea to ramble on and brag about how he beat the Hulkster 8 years prior.
Vince brought back the Warrior a few times to try to make some dollars but the Warrior's unreliability and unprofessional ism kept ruining those chances.
Jim Ross' input wasn't really necessary. He was not around for much of the Warrior's career.
All in all if you're curious about other wrestlers thoughts on the man behind the makeup check out the DVD, it retails for around $14.99.
Yes, bruh, The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior is a DVD that
has a bunch of interviews from wrestlers, commentators, and WWF
employees. At first, when I was a lad back in the 90's, The Ultimate
Warrior was, to me, one of the most bad-ass wrestlers out there. He had
the ass-kicking entrance music, the cool face paint, and entrance of a
coke head who just drank 8 and a half cups of coffee. This guy was
bad-ass. His character was bad-ass. But back then, I never paid
attention to his wrestling ability, which turns out to be pretty
crappy, and this DVD showcases some of his worst matches. This DVD also
showcases his hilariously weird interviews, and lots of wrestlers (and
Vinny McMahon) explain his personality and what it was like working
with a crazy person who had a cool gimmick and cool entrance music. I
must say, bruh, this DVD is awesome. It chronicles Warrior's start with
Sting, his rise to bad-assery, and his fall to crazy racist moron (it
doesn't actually mention that, though). This DVD has it all.
At first, you watch this and expect all the interviewees to trash him nonstop. No, people, that's NOT THAT CASE! AHHH! Instead, they actually praise him, but subtly bash him. Then, after about the first quarter of the DVD, after they show his win over Hulk Hogan, then that's where it all goes down. They show a bunch of his backstage interviews, which are some of the funniest things you'll ever see. Seriously, if you're ever constipated, watch these interviews, you'll mess yourself laughing. In those interviews, Warrior just strings together a bunch of words and stories that have something to do with the matches he's talking about. In these interviews, whenever he speaks of another wrestler or an upcoming match, he basically tells a complex premise for a book or a movie.
They also talk about his lack of in-ring ability, and fans of the Ultimate Warrior will say, "Oh, well Vince is just mad because Warrior sued them and won!" That may be true, but that doesn't change the face that this DVD shows some truly bad wrestling on Warrior's part. His timing is off, the moves look sloppy and unconvincing, and his specials look like they wouldn't even hurt an ant. Warrior wasn't horrible, but he definitely wasn't very good. His match in WCW with Hulk Hogan was hilarious, too.
Lot's of fans of the Warrior argue that Vince just threw this DVD together because he was mad that Warrior sued them and won the rights to the name The Ultimate Warrior. That's probably true, Vince was probably mad, but that doesn't change the fact that today, Warrior is a crazy, loony racist moron, and probably was so back then. It also doesn't change the fact that Warrior wasn't much of a wrestler, either.
I should also mention that Warrior changed his name, legally, from Jim Hellwig to just Warrior. Now, obviously, if someone were to do this, something has to be wrong up in the cranium. I have to admit, this guy was a bad-ass character, but as a wrestler and as a person? Well, he's not that great of a wrestler, and as a person, he's a racist. When he was in WWF, he did whatever he wanted (like coming out to the ring in a baseball cap), and when he wrestled, he messed up moves without considering his opponents safety. I know a Warrior fan is reading this and saying, "No, I disagree," but if you watch these matches you can tell.
This DVD's pretty cool overall, but it needed to be a little longer. Warrior's interviews are hilarious, and hearing other wrestler's opinions of him is pretty interesting. It's hard to believe that such a bad-ass character was a racist, egotistical idiot.
Now, I'm going to summarize Warrior's career of sorts in the style of The Warrior: Now...when the molten steel and lava letters pour out of this keyboard as I punch each ambiguous letter key onto the computer screens of the legends of Cold Cutter Bay....you....readers....will be forced to confront your innermost demons....you will have to GRAB THEIR SWORDS!!!....from their COLD DEAD HANDS!!....you hold that sword up to your face...you take that sword....you read this review of awsomeness...which was written by Lando_Hass....then...you understand that the seemingly placid Jim Hellwig...had been morphed and MUTATED into something else....it's because of the winnings....and the TRIUMPHS that he had grasped and pulled from oblivion, and out into the open...after rising to the top, that he had eventually had to go somewhere that was contrary to UP....which was down....from there, after years in the black oblivion of the abyss....he rose to the middle of the abyss...which was a product of Ted of Turner...ultimately it was WCW....from there, he felt that the middle of oblivion did not meet his ultimate standards....from there, he sunk deeper...deeper, deeper...deeper into the even more oblivious abyss of the oblivion...now, he remains in the packed college rooms, spouting racist remarks and making the least bit of sense...and this DVD had been released from the ruler of W to W to E....to truly reveal the nature of the beast that is THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR!!!!!!! LA-LA-LA-LA-AHHHHHHH!!!
Score: 8 out of 10.
You know, Vince McMahon continues to try and hide the fact that despite
his steroid-aided muscles, wealth and power walk that he is a
despicable, ruthless, uncaring rogue with very low self-esteem and who
is uncomfortable with his bisexuality. That he has an army of
50-somethings who will do his bidding and serve as yes-men is even
sadder but this is the truth of what pro wrestling today is all about.
In the WWE, kissing butt and not crossing the boss and his shrunken
manhood is the way to get ahead. Or marrying his daughter.
As for the Warrior, he is a nutcase. He doesn't have both oars in the water. He may have had a history of questionable actions. However, "The Self-Destruction Of The Ultimate Warrior" was made without his participation and while the younger wrestlers who appear here still get a kick out of seeing him when they were young, the aged who appear here (McMahon, Steve Lombardi, Jim Ross, Bobby Heenan, Mean Gene, The Orange Goblin, Ric Flair, etc.) use this DVD documentary to constructively criticize Warrior.
The Ultimate Warrior's career in the ring, his successes, feuds, controversies and infamously hilarious interviews are all documented. We see the rise and fall of one of the most recognized wrestlers ever. The Warrior was a wildman with a massive physique and little wrestling skill but he was all the rage in the late 80's. The music, the running to the ring, the rope shaking and his colorful outfits and face paint made him a star in that era. Many of the aged call him reckless and uncaring to his opponents and that he wouldn't attempt to be better in the ring; instead relying on his clothesline-heavy offense.
While the younger wrestlers featured (including two wrestlers no longer in the WWE in NWA World Champion Christian Cage and the on-hiatus Chris Jericho) still respect the Warrior and are just having fun with his persona, the aged pretty much take the Warrior to task and some are outright brutal in their assessment. They even go so far as to make up lies and falsehoods about Warrior.
Vince appearing this documentary is pretty much proof that this is a one-sided documentary AGAINST the Warrior. Vince has had a long history of lawsuits with Warrior and I felt the story of what led to his first dismissal from the WWE is a blatant made-up lie. That Vince is sore for losing a trademark to him is even sadder. Vince has these useless trademarks that he will never use. Are we ever going to see another Nailz, Papa Shango, Repo Man, Sable or anyone else? This is the same man who tried to pawn off another Razor Ramon and Diesel, though.
Another lie comes from Gene Okerlund when he said the ratings for Warrior's debut segment in WCW were the lowest on that show. Wrong.
How about Hulk Hogan blaming the Warrior for their horrid but hilarious 1998 bout? Hogan only blamed himself for the fireball gone awry. According to Warrior's shoot DVD, Hogan didn't want to get a game plan set for the bout and it was performed on the fly.
Jim Ross, who has very little experience calling Warrior's matches, blasts him early on for leaving Bill Watts and Mid-South Wrestling for World Class because "he couldn't handle it." For years, MSW and World Class have despised each other the way the WWE and WCW did. Why is he even in this documentary? To anger those WCCW alumni? Why is Steve Lombardi here? Just because he jobbed to him 20-25 times? What would a jobber know about him? How about Ric Flair calling him a flash in the pan? That's a little too strong but this is from someone who should be retired and not losing to nobodies as well as being in trouble with the law. Take it as you may.
It goes on but you get the picture. However, the documentary is still worth seeing. The bad wrestling, the incoherent interviews, the friendly ribbing from the younger wrestlers and seeing the aged gang up on Warrior is absolutely funny stuff. It's proof that just like how Don Zimmer has drawn a paycheque from only baseball, you can, after a fashion, draw a paycheque from Vince just as long as you like the taste of GM on your lips.
For the other side of the story, well, the Warrior has that available.
Fun as an overly specific retrospective of the WWF's silliest days, it's mouth-puckeringly bitter and mean-spirited. Although the target of all this vitriol certainly deserves his share of shaming (if even a fraction of this one-sided story is to believed), seeing this collection of yes-men run him through the wringer is akin to a dogpile on the weird kid during recess. A few scattered segments bear ripe material, like Christian's re-enactment of one especially terrible promo, but Vince McMahon and his cronies are really reaching on most of these bits. Typically funny, enthusiastic guys like Chris Jericho and Bobby Heenan seem shy, quiet and a bit embarrassed to be participating. A curiosity on first viewing, in a "I can't believe they just did that" sense, but not remotely revealing, rewarding or entertaining.
THE ULLL-TI-MATE......WARRIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!
Today's generation may have John Cena, Randy Orton, Triple H, and Batista to call sports entertainers....if you all were born after 1990.
SORRY. Not ME!. Andyvee was born in 1985! Yeah! This 21 year old baby was watching wrestling before any of these guys were in the wrestling business. And if your like me, the only wrestler you would probably like to watch was the Warrior, kicking some ASS! Come on Vince McMahon. You're taking to Warrior fans who were too young to understand the problems Warrior was creating. All you're doing trying to destroy the love and support we have for the Ultimate Warrior, and make us want to see your stupid-ass "sports entertainers" who also watched the Warrior perform themselves.
Stop Hatin' Vince. The 80's was the good old days.
WWF sucks ass. The Rock is gone, Stone Cold is gone, and all of the good guys from the past.
Hey, I might be living in the past, but that's when wrestling was good.
I will never watch WWF again. And if you like the Warrior, don't either.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's amazing how intense the vitriol and distaste for Jim "Ultimate
Warrior" Hellwig was during his successful tenure with the WW(F)E. In a
not-so-flattering series of interviews chronicling the years Hellwig
was with the WWF(before it would become WWE) during his three different
phases with Vince McMahon's company, we get a strong sense of just how
ill-felt his presence was for many of the stars who worked in the
business(or still do)during the 80's, and at times, in the 90's.
Very revealing are interviews with such personalities as "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase, a sickly Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Vinnie Mac himself, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, and "Mean" Gene Okerlund. Nothing is held back, and those interviewed rarely have anything positive to say about Hellwig, it's all pretty nasty and bluntly honest.
Anyway, it starts from Hellwig's early days of the WWF and continues through his meteoric rise to the top of the mountain at the Toronto Skydome where he in just three years would defeat Hulk Hogan for the World Heavyweight championship. From this point on, the interviewees really lay on the criticism, taking the character of Hellwig to the woodshed. Hellwig's skills as a wrestler and interview subject are scathingly demonized..this guy doesn't catch a break.
We get insight from Heenan about Andre the Giant's not-so-pleasant feelings for Hellwig, and Dibiase weighs in on how disgusted he was about how the revered veteran had to put the Warrior character over by losing some matches. I mean even when it's recognized what he accomplished for the company, his representation as someone who alienated the other wrestlers, dedicated little to becoming a stronger, more efficient performer, and swelling ego are mentioned shortly afterward..it's plain and simple, the Ultimate Warrior, a wrestling superstar, is presented as a blight in the company who wasn't appreciated or respected by his peers or employers, and seems to have been considered a major a-hole who rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.
Popular WW(F)E wrestling broadcasters Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler even weigh in on Hellwig..JR sure doesn't cast Hellwig in a very positive light, pretty much disparaging towards everything the Warrior was as a wrestler and sports entertainer.
It's kind of sad that the parting of ways between the two parties wasn't more amicable and that both the wrestler and the organization decided to end their relationship on such inhospitable terms.
Other WWE superstars such as Chris Jericho, The Edge, and Christian Cage chime in on Ultimate Warrior, his impact on the sport and their thoughts on the wrestler and character. Certainly established is the ridicule geared towards Hellwig's (lack of)skills as a wrestling orator and how his ramblings were often considered incoherent and embarrassing.
I think fans of the wrestler will find this rather troubling how it seems that this entire documentary is meant to diminish and demoralize what the Ultimate Warrior was in the sport of wrestling, the person behind the personality and the character himself. There is Warrior's side of the story, a very vocal and open Hellwig who comments on his career and the people he came across along the way in an hour long interview you can probably find on youtube.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Make no mistake, Vince McMahon has an ego that would fill 20 Donald Trumps. Still, I can't imagine that he'd have this many people from the Warrior's era in his pocket; many of whom had been distanced from him for many years. I was a big fan of Warrior when he first came out. Any wrestling fan from that era would tell that he brought a unique and intense energy to the (then) WWF. I predicted that he would 'legitimately' pin Hulk Hogan for the World title in Wrestlemania 6, and was actually excited to see what he would give us with it. I can remember how the producers did everything they could to get everybody into excitement by practically merging the Ultimate Warrior's image with their big emblem -- right down to starting the "Superstars of Wrestling" TV show with a sequence showing an animated Warrior in a dark rocky place, but energized with all kinds of lightning and shockwaves. But it was around that time that The Ultimate Warrior suddenly changed in his demeanor. He went from consistent raging powerful dialogue (and I will give him that I had no problem following it) to an annoying softspeak, coupled with a lame snarl. When I watched this documentary, and recollected my viewing experiences, so many things fit together perfectly. Shortly after Warrior lost the World title he suddenly disappeared (of the many things that bothered me about Vince McMahon was that he never said anything about any wrestler's departure. You had find out from some other source after going months asking, "when are we going to see '___' again?"). Then in Wrestlemania 7 we see a big dramatic comeback. After that we saw Warrior go through gimmick after gimmick in revving up his appearance. I stopped watching wrestling shortly after that (not really because of the Warrior's changes, it just faded from me). And Eric Bischoff (WCW owner) and all others in the WCW made a solid case for how problematic Warrior was for them. The title is a bit extreme, and I do see that as a product of Vince's ego, but even before I watched it, I had the sense that the Warrior had much the same problem.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I liked this movie for some informative and entertaining reasons. I
never saw The Ultimate Warrior before, but as a wrestling fan, I've
heard very much about him. This movie gave me a good look into the
career of the man.
He was obviously a very troubled man. I'm surprised some of those promos he did were even used. They were very odd, but so are many of the promos WWE stars make today. I am a little suspicious about whether or not WWE staff encouraged him to be weird. It wouldn't be the first time.
Some of the people interviewed gave very questionable criticism. The thing about Ultimate Warrior's gorilla press on Heenan wasn't as bad as they made it seem. It's called a botched move. Many wrestlers, including those in the WWE, botch a movie horribly by accident. They have to stay in character though; they can't turn to their opponent and start asking if he's okay. Pro wrestling doesn't work that way.
The only other very questionable part was the criticism against Ultimate Warrior for trash talking Hulk Hogan in the WCW. Many wrestlers will look at the person who is responsible for a big chunk of their success and say "You've never beaten me!" in a promo. They are expected to do that. It gets the fans emotional, which is exactly what pro wrestling is all about. It wasn't a "big no-no" as Hogan said, it was completely normal. This is coming from someone who's watched wrestling since he was a kid, and seen many wrestlers do that exact same thing.
The problem is with WWE itself. They tend to make the mistake of pushing guys who have the look and power but none of the talent or desire. Anyone remember Brock Lesnar? In conclusion, I highly recommend watching this. It's an interesting look at a legendary WWF star, and if you're a true wrestling fan, this stuff should be in your library of wrestling trivia.
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