When Warrior won the WWF Title from Hogan at Wrestlemania 6, he never really got the chance to carry the company on his own. Instead of shooting movies, Hogan stuck around for the feud with Earthquake, which was given a main-event build, and Hulkamania never really stopped running wild. Do you think Warrior could have been The Guy if Hogan had stepped out of the way? Say, if Earthquake is built up as the unstoppable monster for Warrior to beat at SummerSlam 1990 while Hogan takes time away from the product? If the show tanks, without the almighty Hulk, they can always audible back to a Hogan-Warrior rematch or go the Slaughter route (which we got), but it seems Warrior should have had a chance to carry things alone as champ. If not, then why bother with the clean Hogan job to begin with?
Because they thought he was The Guy, but much like Sting, once he got there they discovered that he was not. I was as big of a fan of the guy as anyone, but with Warrior the money was in the chase, and once he got there his story had been told. Even 16 year old me, who was as big a supporter of the guy as anyone, could tell that something was missing, especially in feuds like the Rude one where it wasn't a particularly captivating program. I think that if they had a better feud for him earlier, like the Macho Man program BEFORE he lost the belt, they could have made people care. But beating up generic heels like Dino Bravo every night and trying to use him to rebuild Rick Rude just wasn't going to make him into a giant money-making machine. Say what you will about Hogan, but he had charisma by the buckets and really came across as a champion. Warrior just never did.