The SmarK DVD Rant for Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection
One of my faithful readers bought this for me a while ago, and I figured it was an interesting counterpoint to the Randy Savage documentary, in that Savage didn’t live long enough to come crawling back to Vince and thus got a begrudging DVD set and Hall of Fame induction. Plus the guy has been waiting very patiently for me to find 7 hours to do this one, and since I was working Easter weekend while the others in the family went out of town for festivities, I figured tonight was perfect. Well, plus Furious 7 was sold out tonight anyway. So anyway, whereas Warrior gave them the narrative of the guy changing his ways and worldview and coming back home, and so now he gets a friggin’ STATUE and yearly award named after him. Yeah, he was always one of my favorite guys growing up, but Randy Savage ate steroids and shit money for the company year in and year out, and always did business when asked. Warrior was such a nutjob that they dedicated an entire DVD to talking about what a cancer on the sport he was, and now suddenly he’s a saint? Come on, man. And he’s getting ANOTHER set later this month! (That one is still sitting on my shelf waiting for review at some point in my life.)
I think this set was available on Netflix a while back, by the way, although I haven’t looked for it in a while.
Hosted by WARRIOR. This is a “show and tell” set, with Warrior introducing matches and telling his story. His introduction basically says that this DVD set is to set things right again after the previous hatchet job.
Warrior talks about studying to be a chiropractor and getting into bodybuilding, but getting lured into wrestling by some of the guys at the gym. They started out as the Freedom Fighters: Jim Justice and Flash Borden. If you ever read Meltzer’s old Observers from that time, his burials of them are legendary. And the footage is hilarious here, as both guys were doing ALL of the steroids and were greener than grass.
The Blade Runners v. Harry Jackson & Sean O’Reilly
From the UWF in 1986. Whatever terrible music they were using is clearly overdubbed here. So at this point they were Sting and Rock, as Jim’s hair was starting to regrow and Eddie Gilbert was managing them. They do a quick Road Warriors style squash and flex a lot. A lot a lot. Rock presses one of the geeks and Sting finishes him with a splash at 1:00. These guys made the Ascension look like the stars of the future. DUD
Warrior talks about all the money he was losing in the UWF, so he moves to World Class and reinvents himself as the Dingo Warrior.
The Dingo Warrior v. Chris Adams
From World Class, later in 1986. The Warrior look is starting to take shape now, with the tassels and facepaint added and the steroids toned down a lot. Percy Pringle stops by to cut a promo on Adams and really up the depressing death factor of the match. Adams goes to attack him and gets whacked with the cane as a result, and Warrior presses Adams onto the top rope to take over. Warrior chokes him out and Adams fights out of it and hits the superkick, putting Warrior onto the floor. Back in, Adams grazes him with another superkick and adds a piledriver, but he goes up and gets caught in a shitty powerslam. Dingo drops an elbow for the surprise pin at 4:55, which was a pretty big upset considering Adams was World champion and all. Warrior was just terrible here, sloppy as hell, but he looked like a superstar. ½*
Warrior talks about getting the call from WWF, and he was on his way.
Ultimate Warrior v. Barry Horowitz
From Wrestling Challenge, in 1987. Warrior quickly finishes with the press slam at 1:33.
Ultimate Warrior v. Steve Lombardi
From Superstars, November 1987. Another quick squash as Warrior beats Lombardi all over the ring and does an inset promo as well. I actually remember going to a house show in Vancouver around this time and getting this match. Press slam and splash finishes at 2:00.
Warrior talks about practice, practice, practice as his philosophy. And then a gross story about sucking the pus out of a staph infection in his leg because he was worried about losing his push. He talks about working with Harley Race and how Race saw what the business was becoming but wasn’t bitter or angry about it.
Ultimate Warrior v. Harley Race
From Boston, March 1988. Warrior was starting to become a really big deal by this point, although the yellow and green color scheme here makes him look like Billy Jack Haynes’ slightly less crazy cousin. Warrior overpowers Race and dumps him. Race takes a funny bump, as Warrior punches him on the apron and Race kind of slides down the stairs in slow motion. Back in, we get the usual Race spot where he “accidentally” headbutts Warrior low to take over. Warrior shakes it off and chops away on the ropes until Race goes over the top. Back in, Race hits a piledriver to take over again and then tosses Warrior out and suplexes him back in. Warrior lands on his feet, rolls Race up, and gets the pin at 4:50. Not much to this one. *1/2
Warrior talks about upgrading the look and feel of the character, going more over the top with the superhero styling and altering his body shape to be more chiseled and cut. He had a lot of fun doing the weasel suit matches with Bobby Heenan.
Ultimate Warrior v. Bobby Heenan
From July 1988 in the Los Angeles Arena. And is that Dave Meltzer in the aisle when Bobby Heenan runs away to start? We get an astonishingly long stall to start, as Heenan runs away for the first 3:00 before Warrior hides behind a post and catches him. Back in, Warrior takes Heenan and runs him into three of the corners, but Bobby finds a foreign object and uses it to gain the advantage. Finally Warrior just grabs it away from him, ragdolls him all over the ring, and finishes with a sleeper at 7:25. Poor Bobby gets stuffed into a weasel suit and doesn’t deal with it very well, sadly. Just a goofy comedy match, but that’s fine. *
Warrior moves onto the IC title win over Honky Tonk Man, and thought it was a really cool time.
Intercontinental title: Honky Tonk Man v. Ultimate Warrior
From Summerslam, of course. You know the drill here. Still one of the all time greatest payoffs to a storyline ever, as Honky escaped every challenger for 18 months and then stupidly puts his title on the line with an open contract and gets destroyed once and for all. Say what you will about Honky, but when it came time to do business, he put Warrior over like the biggest killer in history.
Intercontinental title: Ultimate Warrior v. Honky Tonk Man
From Philly, December 1988. That is one empty arena, although the results show attendance of 5,000 so it’s an OK crowd. Warrior attacks Jimmy Hart and hauls him back to the dressing room right away, and takes over on Honky with a bearhug before throwing him around the ring. Jimmy Hart emerges from exile and nails Warrior with the megaphone on the floor, and Honky adds a guitar to the back for good measure. Honky continues cheating outrageously in the ring and choking away on the ropes with any object handy. Honky chokes him down with tape, but Warrior makes the comeback, blocks Jimmy Hart’s attempt to throw powder, and tosses Honky into Jimmy for the pin at 7:10 to retain. Honky had to go to crazy lengths to get any kind of believable heat on Warrior. ½*
Warrior talks about his relationship with Randy Savage and how much coffee that Macho used to drink. I am so not surprised. Warrior absolutely loved his intensity and gonzo demeanour. I am so not surprised by that either.
Title v. title: Randy Savage v. Ultimate Warrior
From Boston, February 1989. So yeah, this was just after The Main Event and Randy Savage was a massively hated heel, suddenly on fire as champion and the biggest star in the industry again. Warrior wins a slugfest and puts Savage out with a shoulderblock, then chases him out and presses him back into the ring again. Savage keeps running and tries a flying bodypress, but Warrior catches him and drops him with a powerslam that looks exactly as bad as the one he did to Chris Adams at the beginning of this disc. Warrior keeps beating on Savage in the corner, but misses a charge and gets put on the floor. The heat for this match is just crazy, with the crowd booing everything Savage does and cheering everything Warrior does. Back in, Savage necks him on the top rope for two and chokes away for two. Macho goes to a chinlock and drops an elbow for two. I’m no fan of Rod Trongard to say the least, but he’s selling this like the biggest match in history, which I appreciate. Warrior fights out of a chinlock, but runs into a clothesline and Savage gets two. Double axehandle gets two, and Warrior makes the comeback with a suplex for two. This brings Rick Rude down to the ring for some posing, and Warrior gets an atomic drop for two. Savage rolls him up with a handful of tights for two. Warrior gets the splash, but hits knees and Savage gets two. Rude continues posing while Warrior makes the full comeback and lays Savage out with clotheslines. Now Warrior finally goes after Rude, and Savage hits him with a cheapshot from behind and wins by countout at 10:35. Rude and Savage do their own Megapower handshake (with the crowd chucking garbage at them) and Warrior comes back and destroys both guys afterwards. Too bad they never went anywhere with that Rude-Savage deal. This was a hell of a match, by the way. ***1/2
Warrior never had a problem dropping the title to Rude. “This too shall pass” was always his motto. He didn’t need the belt or really care about it.
Intercontinental title: Ravishing Rick Rude v. Ultimate Warrior.
From Summerslam 89. So of course Rude screwed Warrior out of the belt at Wrestlemania V, in what was Warrior’s first good PPV match, well, ever, so they had a lot to live up to here. Warrior was already starting to feud with Andre and Rude was programmed with Roddy Piper, so it was obvious that this feud was over one way or another after tonight. This matchup was kind of like the Batista-Undertaker of its time, as they just had freakish chemistry against each other for whatever reason. Rude tries slugging away to start, and gets nowhere. Warrior clotheslines him to the floor, but Rude comes back in with a sunset flip, which Warrior blocks by punching him. Gorilla press follows, and Warrior opts to dump Rude on the floor for a nice bump. They brawl outside and Warrior hits him with the belt, triggering a classic rant by Jesse Ventura about whether it’s legal to shoot someone outside the ring and how Tony is even stupider than Gorilla Monsoon. But tell us what how you really feel, Jesse. Warrior brings him in, then changes his mind and tosses him again. Back in, Warrior goes up with a double axehandle for two. He whips Rude into opposite turnbuckles and slams him for two. Suplex gets two. Warrior gets an inverted atomic drop, giving Rude a chance to do his tailbone sell, and Warrior drops him on his ass for good measure. Back to the top for LUCHA WARRIOR~!, but Rude brings him down the hard way to take over. Rude starts working on the back and a suplex gets two, then he goes to the rear chinlock. He stomps the back and goes for the Rude Awakening, but Warrior powers out of it, so Rude goes with a rare sleeper instead. Criss-cross and the ref is bumped, but Heenan manages to shake Rude out of it first. Warrior hulks up and powerslams Rude after the three clotheslines, and of course there’s no ref. Piledriver, and that gets two. Running powerslam sets up the big splash, but Rude gets the knees up to block. Rude gets his own piledriver, almost a powerbomb, for two. To the top for the fistdrop, and that gets two, but now Roddy Piper joins us. Another piledriver gets two and Rude gets all distracted by Piper, who moons him in response. And that was six years before Braveheart! Warrior suplexes the distracted Rude, and it’s shoulderblock, gorilla press, big splash and we have a new champion at 16:03. The reaction for this was GIGANTIC and anyone who wouldn’t have taken a shot with Warrior as World champion after seeing this is nuts. Even more than Warrior! And this one of the few times, I might add, where Rude got what was coming to him and did a clean job. Definitely one of the best matches of Warrior’s career. ***1/2
Warrior talks about how great all the jobbers that put him over were. He wasn’t trying to be disrespectful when he was doing stuff like pinning guys with one foot or leaving the belt on, he was just asserting dominance.
Ultimate Warrior v. Bob Bradley
From Superstars, September 1989. This would be an example of the previous notes, as Warrior leaves the belt on, beats on Bradley all over the ring area before taking the belt off. Press slam and splash finish at 2:32 as Warrior strikes a Comic Book Guy-as-Lorne Greene pose while making the pin.
Ultimate Warrior v. Brian Costello
From Superstars, December 1989. Another example of jobber abuse, as Warrior chases the poor guy all over the ring and finishes with the press slam and splash at 1:33, complete with barbarian pose this time.
Brother Love presents Andre the Giant, from July 1989. He dislikes Ultimate Warrior, you see.
Warrior talks about his brief feud with Andre and how it was set up to get Warrior to the next level in preparation for the World title run. Warrior has an entirely different view on the feud than Bobby Heenan did on the previous Warrior DVD.
Intercontinental title: Ultimate Warrior v. Andre the Giant
From MSG, August 1989. Heenan gets thrown out of the arena before he even does anything. That seems a bit unfair. Andre decides to mock the rope shaking, so Warrior hits him with three clotheslines and splashes him to retain at 0:30. Andre protests that the timekeeper never even rang the bell, but it falls on deaf ears. Nothing to it as a match, of course, but I’m glad they put one of these on a DVD for historical sake.
Intercontinental title: Ultimate Warrior v. Andre the Giant
From SNME, November 1989. This is pretty legendarily bad. You can actually re-enact this classic in the Warrior DLC for WWE 2K15 if you’d like. Andre chokes him out on the ropes and they actually edit the match to cut to the crowd! Are you fucking kidding me? Warrior comes back and misses a clothesline, landing on the floor. Back in, Andre works on a surfboard hold, but Warrior fights out and clotheslines him to the floor, and we take a break. Back with Andre finally crawling back into the ring, but Warrior goes to a bearhug until Andre escapes with a headbutt. Andre goes back to the corner and just totally ignores Warrior’s attempts at offense and then goes to his own bearhug, as he obviously wants no further part of this match. Warrior fights back and Andre cuts him off again, but Warrior ties him in the ropes and Bobby Heenan runs in for the DQ at 7:46. A giant mess, one of the worst matches in SNME history, as Andre wasn’t selling anything properly and Warrior had no idea what to do with him out there. -**
Onto the World champion era now.
Warrior was in Stamford doing some stuff when Vince presented him with the idea of doing the Wrestlemania match with Hogan.
Ultimate Warrior v. Mr. Perfect
From MSG, March 1990. Non-title match, apparently. Hennig tries to interrupt Warrior’s entrance and ends up taking a stunt bump over the top as a result. Perfect tries to match strength and goes flying again, and Warrior drags him around the ring by the hair and ragdolls him. Random note: Who seriously thought that a commentary team of Gorilla Monsoon, Hillbilly Jim and Lord Alfred Hayes was something that should happen? Perfect gets a cheapshot and blocks the splash with the knees to take over. He gets some heat on Warrior on the ropes, but Warrior slingshots in with a sunset flip for two. Perfect goes back to working Warrior over with a lengthy rear chinlock. Warrior fights out and hits his clotheslines before finishing with the press slam and splash at 10:03. They couldn’t have been phoning this one in any more without actually paying two other guys to wrestle the match for them. *
Warrior talks about the Hogan match and annoying Vince by running to the ring instead of riding the cart.
WWF World title v. Intercontinental title: Hulk Hogan v. Ultimate Warrior
The heat for this is UNREAL, with the crowd divided 50/50. Staredown to start and they do the shoving match, and then the lockup, which Warrior wins to start. Another lockup, and Hogan wins that one. The crowd is popping for everything. Warrior wants a test of strength, so they do that, and Warrior gets the advantage, but Hulk fights up from one knee and powers him down again. Warrior fights it off, so Hogan legsweeps him and drops an elbow for one. They do the CRISS-CROSS OF DOOM and Hogan slams him, but Warrior no-sells it. So they try it again, and this time Warrior slams him, and Hogan stays down. Clothesline to the floor, and Hogan whines to Hebner about hurting his knee. Hulk Hogan: Bumping Maniac. The selling is Oscar-worthy material. Warrior smartly goes right after the knee, as Hogan bravely fights off the fake pain and they head back in. Warrior goes for the knee, but Hogan rakes the face to hold him off, and they choke each other as the knee injury disappears for good. Hogan slugs Warrior from behind and clotheslines him in the corner, then hammers away on him. Hogan drops a pair of elbows for two. Front facelock, as Warrior is now blown up and Hogan has to carry the match. Let me repeat that: HOGAN has to CARRY a match. He gets the small package for two and hits the chinlock. He hammers on Warrior while down there, and then slugs away in the corner and chops him down. Axe Bomber gets two. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Back to the chinlock, as Warrior is sucking wind. Hogan works on the back and gets a backdrop suplex for two. Back to the chinlock, as we wait patiently for Warrior to join us back in the world of oxygen-breathing mammals again. Warrior fights out with elbows and they clothesline each other and both guys are out. Warrior is the first up, as he shakes the ropes to recharge his batteries, and Hogan is FLUMMOXED. Warrior slugs away on him and gets the THREE CLOTHESLINES OF DEATH and some chops in the corner, and Hogan is begging for mercy. Suplex gets two. Guess he’s feeling better. And now it’s bearhug time. But man, once you’re not watching it live with a coliseum full of people on closed-circuit TV, the drama is reduced a lot. Ref is bumped on another criss-cross, and Warrior goes AERIAL, baby, hitting Hogan with a double axehandle. He misses a shoulderblock, however, and Hogan faceplants him, but there’s no ref. Warrior recovers with a backdrop suplex, and the ref is still out. Man, criss-crosses are a hazard to referees everywhere. The ref finally recovers and Warrior gets two. Hogan gets a rollup for two. Hogan slugs away and elbows him out of the ring, and they brawl outside. I was getting visions of a double-countout at this point in 1990, but it just ends with Hogan hitting the post as they head back into the ring. Warrior hits him with a clothesline and botches the gorilla slam (I mean, how do you screw that up?) and the big splash gets two, as it’s Hulk Up Time. Punch punch punch, big boot…but the legdrop misses, and Warrior splashes him for the pin and both titles at 22:46. I can actually appreciate Hogan’s efforts in carrying, and really the rest spots don’t hurt it that much compared to the awesome drama of Pat Patterson’s intricately booked spots here. And after all these years it’s still one of my personal favorite matches of all-time, regardless of the star rating. ***1/2
Warrior thought it was neat to see how far he could push himself on the road while touring with the title. Here’s a randomly nerdy note: The clips between the matches are all done 16×9 instead of the original 4×3, but the ones backstage at WM6 look like they opened up the frame on the sides instead of their usual cropping. I don’t think that would be the case because they wouldn’t be shooting film, obviously, and they definitely didn’t compose for widescreen until 2009.
WWF World title: Ultimate Warrior v. Ted Dibiase
From the Tokyo Dome, April 1990. Now where is THIS show on the Network? I’ve never seen the whole thing and I’d love to because it’s such an oddity, mixing New Japan and All Japan guys. Attendance was 53,000, but with exchange rate it was closer to 70,000. This was on a previous Coliseum video but I forget if I’ve reviewed it before. Warrior puts Dibiase on the floor and throws him around the ring to start, but Dibiase takes over with a cheapshot and gets a clothesline for two. The crowd is of course completely behind Dibiase, cheering along with every punch. Dibiase with a snapmare and fistdrop, and a suplex gets two. Piledriver gets two. Warrior comes back with the press slam and splash to finish at 6:10. Whole lot of nothing here. *1/2
WWF World title: Ultimate Warrior v. Rick Rude
From SNME, July 1990. I didn’t like this match on my first review, so we’ll see how it holds up. Rude attacks and Warrior whips him around the ring and clotheslines him to the floor, then sends him back in for a clothesline that Rude sells like death. Warrior to the top with a flying axehandle, but the splash misses and Rude grabs the belt and nails Warrior with it to take over. Back in, Rude goes up and gets caught and Warrior tries a corner clothesline, but misses that. Rude takes over again, but Warrior blocks a slam attempt and Rude tries a sleeper instead. We get the weird deal where the ref checks Warrior’s leg and he fights out at two, so Rude drops elbows on Warrior’s neck and tries the Rude Awakening. Warrior blocks it and fights back, but Rude gets it on a second try and gets two. Warrior makes the comeback with the shoulderblock and splash, but Bobby Heenan breaks up the count and Warrior beats on him outside. Rude saves his manager and Warrior presses him onto the floor, then beats up Heenan in the ring and wins by countout at 9:43. This was supposed to make us want to see the cage match at Summerslam? No wonder his title reign was such a flop. Good, fast-paced match that I enjoyed way more here. ***
WWF World title: Ultimate Warrior v. Ted Dibiase.
From The Main Event #4, November 1990. Warrior was tanking badly as champion by November and a title change was imminent, while Dibiase was a non-factor by this point and was reduced to feuding with his own hired help by Wrestlemania VII, so that shows you how well this one was destined to do. Warrior powers Dibiase into the corner to start, but he slugs back, so Warrior dumps him with a clothesline. Back in, Warrior clotheslines him off the top and slugs away in the corner. Blind charge hits knee, however, and Dibiase takes over with the middle rope elbow. Piledriver gets two. Another is reversed and Warrior shoulderblocks him down, but gets dumped. We take a break and return with Dibiase dropping a fist for two. He grabs a side headlock, and clotheslines Warrior down. Warrior comes back with a backslide for two, but Dibiase suplexes him for two. Another is reversed to a sunset flip for two by Warrior, and Dibiase tosses him. Back in, Warrior reverses a suplex and starts no-selling, and they collide for the double KO. Warrior recovers and comes back with some rope-shaking, and the clotheslines and shoulderblocks follow, so Virgil runs in for the DQ at 9:50. Pretty energetic effort from Dibiase here. ***
WWF World title: Ultimate Warrior v. Sgt. Slaughter
No talking head from Warrior about the whole Iraq angle? You’d think he would be ALL OVER that shit. This is from a Superstars taping in January 1991, not the Royal Rumble match. I guess they didn’t want the Warrior loss on the set, because they’re weird like that. Slaughter pounds away in the corner to start, but Warrior chases him out of the ring and slingshots him back in. Slaughter takes his trademark bump to the floor and Warrior chops away in the corner, but he misses a blind charge and hits the floor himself. It’s like rain on your wedding day. A free ride when you’ve already paid. Back in, Slaughter pounds away in the corner, but Warrior comes back with a backdrop that nearly misses completely due to Slaughter not being able to flip over for it. Warrior catapults him into the post, but Slaughter gets a neckbreaker for two and a backbreaker for two. Slaughter drops elbows on the back, clearly blown up at this point, and gets two. Slaughter with the camel clutch, but Warrior is in the ropes and makes the comeback. Shoulderblock and splash finish at 9:22 to retain. Kind of a dull mess that mostly seemed like a walkthrough for their PPV match. **
OK, Warrior finally talks about the Slaughter deal here. He liked the retirement match angle and didn’t give it much more concern.
Cage match: Ultimate Warrior v. Randy Savage
From MSG, March 1991. Warrior goes crazy and beats on Savage all over the floor and then sends him into the cage and beats on him some more. Finally Savage sends him into the cage in desperation, and that puts him down. They collide off a clothesline and Savage gets two, but Warrior fights back until Savage runs him into the cage again. Savage pounds on him and goes up with the big elbow, but Warrior tosses him off at two and makes the comeback. Big splash hits knee, however, and Savage climbs out of the cage, only to be foiled by Warrior grabbing a handful of hair. That’s a dubious gameplan at this point in Savage’s career. Sherri decides to run in and help, so Warrior drops Savage and goes after her instead, giving Savage the win at 10:35. Well Warrior owed him a bunch of jobs anyway. This was pretty cookie cutter for them, but totally fine. **1/4 And then Warrior puts an epic beatdown on Savage in the cage until the Nasty Boys run in and make the save, trying to calm him down. Finally Sherri gets back in the ring, hits Warrior with the scepter, and gets Savage the hell out of there. And then Warrior beats the hell out of HER, too. What a maniac.
Brother Love interviews the Ultimate Warrior, March 1991. Brother Love thinks that Warrior is just a has been, so Warrior puts an end to the Brother Love Show and destroys his set, then grabs the fleeing Love and chases him to the ring, beating him to a pulp and sending him into (nearly) permanent retirement as a character. Poor Bruce just got MURDERED with clotheslines here. And with that, the Funeral Parlor replaced Brother Love. After three years it was time to kill off the character anyway.
Retirement match: Randy Savage v. Ultimate Warrior
From Wrestlemania VII, of course. Hey, isn’t that the lovely Elizabeth at ringside? More importantly, who’s her date? Man, that guy is about to get cock-blocked in the worst way. Warrior’s entrance is pretty reserved as compared to his usual, which was kind of the point. Savage goes with the cheapshot to start and pounds away, but Warrior puts him down with a shoulderblock and follows with a clothesline. Warrior chokes him down and gets an atomic drop from both ways, then tosses Savage into Sherri before slugging Savage down again. Macho gets tied in the ropes, but gets free and puts Warrior down with the hooking clothesline, then goes up with the flying bodypress, but Warrior catches him and sets him down to really egg him on. Oooo, BURN. Savage gets frustrated and tosses a chair in for the distraction, then blindsides Warrior, but Warrior calmly pounds him down and stomps a mudhole in the corner. Blind charge misses, however, and Warrior hits the floor, giving Sherri a chance to torment him. Savage follows with a flying axehandle to the floor, and sends Warrior into the post. Another shot from Sherri and they head back in for a Savage kneedrop that gets two. Warrior gets a backslide for two and Gorilla informs us “we’ve just been informed that this is the largest audience in the history of pay-per-view”. Really? In the middle of the show they got those numbers? Warrior tries the flying shoulderblock, but Savage moves and gets two. That was a weak spot, actually. Savage goes to a sleeper, but Warrior fights out of it and they criss-cross into the double-clothesline. Warrior reverses a slam into the small package, but the ref is distracted by Sherri and it only gets two. Ref is bumped and Sherri gets more directly involved, but hits Savage with her shoe by mistake. Warrior goes after her, allowing Savage to get a rollup for two. Warrior slugs him down, but Savage sends him into the turnbuckles and it’s looking bad for Warrior. Slam gets two and Savage drops the big elbow, then gets really dramatic and drops FOUR MORE of them. You’d think that would do it, but it only gets two. Warrior powers up and makes the comeback with the three clotheslines and gorilla press, but the big splash only gets two. Maybe he should have done FIVE of them like Savage did. Warrior appeals to the gods for help, or maybe just the photographer in the rafters, who knows with this guy. No answer is forthcoming so he decides to walk out of the match and think it over, but Savage makes the decision for him and attacks. Savage tries to drop an axehandle onto the Warrior’s throat ala Ricky Steamboat, but he misses and splatters himself on the railing. And Warrior apparently has his message (perhaps God had voice mail and was just on another call at the time) because he heads back in and spears Savage out of the ring. Back in, second verse same as the first. One last shoulderblock and Savage is retired (with a bazillion more World titles yet to come) at 20:45. Still awesome, although the occasional goofed up spot and slightly anti-climactic ending leave it well short of perfection. ****1/2
And of course, Machiavellian Sherri attacks her former meal ticket afterwards like Lady Macbeth, leaving Elizabeth to make the unlikely save, finally getting physically involved on behalf of Savage after years of being the distraction and nothing more. And so they are reunited again and would have been the happy ending to Savage’s career, had it actually been the ending. The retirement proved to be pretty inconvenient because suddenly Savage was the #2 babyface in the promotion again and could have easily carried the belt. Anyway, I think I have dust in my eye, let’s move on…
Warrior talks about his program with Undertaker and how people were going nuts for Undertaker, which worried Mark Callaway because he was supposed to be the heel.
The Funeral Parlor with Ultimate Warrior, as Warrior insists that he’s not scared of Undertaker or the creepy Warrior casket with his paint on it, which prompts Undertaker to pop out of another casket and attack Warrior. And then he locks Warrior in the Warrior-themed casket and seals the lid, and that’s…pretty squicky. Especially considering Warrior was dead shortly before this was released. I think I might have deleted this segment from the DVD if I was them. They’ve delayed DVD releases before for far stupider reasons. Anyway, we get the awesome braintrust of Rene Goulet, Tony Garea and Jack Lanza trying to open the casket with a crowbar and chisel and failing spectacularly. Were I trapped in an airtight container with two minutes to live, that would not be the team of experts I would want rescuing me. Anyway, they finally break in and Warrior is unconscious after trying to claw his way out. Hebner tries to give him CPR and Warrior revives. OK, this is very, very wrong to watch for so many reasons and definitely should have been taken off.
The Undertaker v. Ultimate Warrior
From Toronto, June 1991. Warrior clotheslines Taker to the floor, but gets necksnapped from the apron. Taker casually grabs him in a smother hold and that goes on forfuckingever. Taker misses an elbow but doesn’t sell anyway, and Warrior makes the comeback while Taker sits up after every clothesline and then catches Warrior with the tombstone for two. Undertaker gets frustrated and grabs the urn for the DQ at 7:50. Undertaker was such a unique and bizarre character for the time. And then we get ANOTHER uncomfortable bit, as Taker seals Warrior into a body bag until he fights out and sends Taker back to the dressing room. DUD They should have left this one off because it SUCKED.
Warrior talks about the big return at WM8 and how fun it was. Kind of skipped over a pretty important piece of the story there, no?
Macho Man and Warrior have an interview showdown leading up to their Summerslam match…which isn’t on this set. Admittedly three Macho Man v. Warrior matches on this DVD might be enough, but that match was one of the best they ever had! Anyway, Ric Flair comes to the ring and gets the line of the DVD set (“I’ve been beating up guys in face paint since you were in diapers! I specialize in it!”) Savage charges in and gets beat up by Perfect and Flair, and Warrior saves…but he gets a Gollum-like look in his eyes when he sees the belt on the mat and that triggers a fight between them.
Warrior talks about how he was going to get the title back again, but, you know, stuff happened. Warrior doesn’t know where the Survivor Series thing was supposed to go because he left and didn’t care what happened after that.
WWF World tag team titles: Money Inc. v. Randy Savage & Ultimate Warrior
Big brawl to start and the, ahem, Ultimate Maniacs clean house and toss the champions twice. This gives Bobby a chance to work in a lame telestrator joke, and we’re back with Savage getting two on Dibiase. Necksnap and it’s over to the Warrior as the canned crowd noise is REALLY obnoxious here, like something from the early 80s. I mean, the crowd isn’t even MOVING and yet the sound is off the charts. Warrior suplexes Dibiase for two, but misses a shoulderblock and lands on the mat. IRS comes in with a sleeper to take advantage, which gives us a chance to hear from Razor Ramon and Ric Flair backstage, as they hype Survivor Series. So they’re using the tag champions to warm up the babyfaces for another team. That’s swell. Dibiase comes in and gets the Million Dollar Dream, but Savage breaks it up with a knee to the back. Warrior and Dibiase clothesline each other, but it’s hot tag Savage. And now at least the crowd is excited to see him for real. Clotheslines for Money Inc and he drops the big elbow on IRS, but Dibiase breaks it up and we’re BONZO GONZO. Warrior dumps Dibiase with a clothesline and IRS goes out from an atomic drop, and they’ve had enough tonight and walk out at 6:10. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Ramon and Flair and Perfect beat the crap out of the Maniacs on the way back to the dressing room. They might as well have put this together from a store bought kit. **
So Warrior leaves again at that point and goes off to run a gym and his other business ventures. Years later, Vince tries to woo him again and Warrior gets a funny line about that (“So he sent me a contract that was the basic normal contract and I told him to F off or whatever I said at the time, and it’s always funny when I tell Vince to F off…”) but obviously they worked out the details.
Ultimate Warrior v. Hunter Hearst Helmsley
From Wrestlemania XII, as we jump ahead 4 years. You have to wonder if HHH would have as much of an inferiority complex as he ended up having if this hadn’t gone down the way it did. The story is pretty famous, as Hunter went to Warrior before the match and laid out all kinds of ideas and potential spots and Warrior completely shot him down and said they’d do a one minute squash, done deal. And Hunter carried a LOT of bitterness over that for a lot of years. And as promised, Hunter attacks and hits the Pedigree, but Warrior pops right up and squashes the shit out of him with the usual at 1:30.
Warrior claims that he didn’t care about getting the title back, which conflicts with what most others said at that point about how he was whining and wanting Vince to promise him the belt back around the time of his departure.
From RAW April 1996, Warrior returns and tells Goldust that he doesn’t give a shit about what Goldust is into.
From RAW June 1996, the infamous baseball cap promo where Jerry Lawler presents Warrior with a framed picture and breaks it over his head, then bitches about it on the first Warrior DVD because you couldn’t see the picture breaking properly with the cap in the way or some stupid shit. This feud was a huge waste of both guys.
Ultimate Warrior v. Jerry Lawler
From King of the Ring 96, a show we’ve all been trying to forget aside from one notable promo. I guess there’s not really much else you can choose from for his 1996 comeback. Lawler insults most of the front row on his way to the ring and attacks Warrior on the floor, then chokes him out with wrist tape. Piledriver is no-sold and Warrior comes back to finish Lawler with the usual at 3:35. DUD
I feel like they should have just stopped at 1992.
And now we’re off to WCW, as Warrior talks about Hogan talking him into making a deal to come there, and how the first night was electric and then they just had no ideas for him to follow up. Well, aside from Hogan getting his win back after 8 years, but then it’s not like they cared about anything else.
From Nitro, August 1998, Hulk Hogan cuts his usual promo about how he’s the greatest and no one can beat him, and that brings Warrior back from Parts Unknown to challenge him. Hogan’s “I thought you were dead!” is a nice touch. The crowd goes crazy for Warrior but this promo is WAAAAAY too long and he loses the crowd the longer it goes. And then it goes LONGER as Warrior’s words get bigger and bigger. Dude, this DVD is only three hours long, wrap it up already. I’ve seen New Japan PPV shows that were shorter than this promo. This makes the Authority look efficient and selfless with their RAW segments by comparison.
Warrior talks about how the only idea they had for him was to pin him, pay him, and had he known what a shitshow it would be, he never would have bothered.
From Nitro, October 1998, another Warrior promo, this one addressing the loss at Halloween Havoc. Unlike John Cena, he is quite angry at losing a big match and wants revenge. Sadly, he wouldn’t get it, because this was the end of his WCW run. The nWo comes out to confront him, but he beats them up by himself and that was that.
Warrior wraps things up, and notes that his full story is yet to come. One week after this DVD was released, he was dead of a heart attack at 54.
Well obviously this was worlds better than the Self Destruction DVD, although in this case they probably should have put the two Savage matches onto the first two DVDs in this set and just scrapped the third disc all together, because this one goes off a cliff after the retirement match. Still, it was an enjoyable watch and I didn’t regret sitting through it, so I’d call it recommended.