I’ve often been a critic of Warrior, saying a lot of the same things most people said. His promos were pointless, and his grand body of work wasn’t very great. On top of that, he didn’t appreciate the business and was usually a dick to everyone behind the curtain.
However, he is truly Hall of Fame material, and made one of the biggest, and most original impacts on pro-wrestling.
Will this set change my mind as far as Warrior’s body of work?
Head on into the Caliber Cave, because it’s time we review the first disc of The Ultimate Warrior’s Ultimate Collection.
The BladeRunners vs Perry Jackson & Shawn O’Reily – UWF – April 11th, 1986
The BladeRunners’ music sounds exactly like what you’d expect to hear if someone was facing the shark from JAWS. It’s actually pretty damn original & works very well. Warrior does two gorilla press-slams on Jackson, tags in Sting who then splashes Jackson and pins him. Works for me.
Jackson eats a splash & a pin from the Stinger at .41 seconds | *
Dingo Warrior vs Chris Adams – WCCW – August 8th, 1996
Even though the name is explained [they’re nomad & vicious], Dingo Warrior still stands as one of the all time dumbest. Percy Pringle The 3rd, known best as Paul Bearer, comes out and trashes Adams, saying it’s time for a rematch with whomever he was managing at the time. He ends up nailing Adams with the mic, and Dingo takes advantage. He gets a couple superkicks on Dingo, and is eventually pinned after a simple stun-gun, although the pin looked suspicious, so I could see them going with that later on in the show, since he was champ and all. Really, not much to say about it, but necessary.
Chris Adams is pinned after a stungun at 4:51 | *
Ultimate Warrior vs Barry Horowitz – Wrestling Challenge – November 7th, 1987
Basically, he chops Barry, then hits him with a GPS, and pins him in a way that has him sitting on his face. Ultimate bummer for Barry.
Warrior pins Barry in the worst way at 1:47 | *
Ultimate Warrior vs Steve Lombardi – Superstars – November 14th, 1987
Another squash match, but you can see him devloping his character as he ads the flying shoulder tackle to his move set. After that he does his ridiculous thing I’ve always hated in which he winds up his clothesline by swining his arm like a windmill, which makes ZERO sense. It’s like reveing up for a superkick by cutting your hair. Anyway, GPS and splash ends it. Pretty fun squash, actually.
Warrior pins the Brawler after a splash at 2:08 | *1/2
Ultimate Warrior vs “The King” Harley Race – Boston, MA – March 5th, 1988
For me, The King gimmick just didn’t jell at all with Race. He’s a bad-ass, and the purple, the crown & robe along with Jerry Lawler’s eventual music didn’t work at all. This is Harley Race we’re talking about, the guy’s precense is so burly that being around him can cause you to die from 2nd hand smoke. And he doesn’t smoke. He does end up head-butting the Ultimate Warrior in the Ultimate Hangdang though. This match moves at a much slower pace than most of Warrior’s bouts, but honestly, Harley is making it work. He eventually gets a fluke roll-up on Race, which is how it should be. Race should not be getting squashed. Actually a pretty fun match, glad it’s here.
Warrior pins Race with a roll up at 4:52 | **1/4
Ultimate Warrior vs Bobby “The Brain” Heenan – Weasel Suit Match – LA, CA – July 15th, 1988
It’s awesome seeing Warrior run down the ring with the weasel suit wrapped around his neck like a cape. Pretty much what you’d expect. Bobby runs around a lot with Warrior giving chase, Bobby uses a weapon on him, and finally Warrior knocks him out and slaps him in the suit. Bobby wearing the Andre The Giant outfit was fucking brilliant.
Heenan is put in a sleeper and slapped in the suit at around 7 minutes [stop watch app kept screwing up] | No rating, because it’s more of a segment. But it’s fun.
Ultimate Warrior vs Honky Tonk Man © – SummerSlam 1988 – August 29th, 1988
C’mon, who hasn’t seen this? One of the coolest moments in wrestling, absolutely awesome. Jimmy Hart is so great in this, as he’s jumping around screaming, trying to calm down the situation before the worst happens. Also, Fink takes a huge bump while trying to get out of the Warrior’s way, and I think this is the best flying shoulder tackle Warrior has ever done.
Warrior pins HTM after a splash to win the IC title at .29 seconds | *****
Ultimate Warrior © vs Honky Tonk Man – Intercontinental Championship – Philadelphia, PA – December 17th, 1988
I’ve already given this match a star for the fact Warrior carried Jimmy Hart to the back while wearing Jimmy’s piano key sunglasses. Wow, the entire second level of this arena is completely unsold. What was the advertised main event, 2 Cups 1 Andre? Jimmy eventually comes back out, and they do a great job of double-teaming Warrior, as Hart distracts the ref & Honky does things like smash his guitar on the Warrior’s back, and chokes him out with a lace. It’s awesome to see the people get so riled up, and yell at the ref “HE’S CHOKING HIM!”. They weren’t big on choking back then either apparently, as every time either one does it, the camera pans to the crowd. Hart tries the ol’ powder-in-the-eyes gag, but Warrior hits his hand, causing it to go into Jimmy’s face before GPS him into HTM, and getting the win. Again, another fun match. Honky & Jimmy were great here, and make this other very worthy inclusion.
Warrior pins Honky after throwing Jimmy Hart at him at 6:57 | **1/2
Ultimate Warrior © vs “The Macho Man” Randy Savage © – Title vs Title – Boston, MA – February 11th, 1989
Haha, a couple guys made a sign that looks like a giant heart and says “Hogan Loves Elizabeth”, then brought it up to the front row, which causes Randy to LOSE IT. These people are so into the match they’re literally cheering & booing every single move. Savage controls the first half before Warrior is finally able to get some steam behind him, when Rude comes out and just poses on the outside of the ring, which is the most awesome thing ever. I can only hope he did things like that else where too, such as weddings, house appraisals, other people’s DR check-ups. You’re just enjoying yourself, and boom, Rick Rude is suddenly there with a double-bicep pose in your face. Warrior finally can’t take Rude’s awesome posing, so he chases after him. Macho hits him with a double-ax handle when he isn’t looking, then jumps back into the ring to beat the count. A pretty decent match. Not near the level of their other two classics, but still a lot of fun, and Rude’s random posing made the whole deal.
Warrior is counted out at 10:30 | ***
Ultimate Warrior vs “Ravishing” Rick Rude © – Intercontinental Championship – SummerSlam – August 28th, 1989
Warrior has his run in the beginning, keeping it simple with suplexes & double axe-handles. He even takes Rude outside & hits him with the title belt, and suplexes him on the mat. Rude finally gets his turn at bat and tries to weaken the Warrior’s back. I must say, if there’s one thing that has cemented Rude’s legacy is that NOBODY takes a shot to the hangdang like him. It’s an art when Rude does it.
At one point there’s a ref bump, and that’s when things pick up in terms of drama, really helping to elevate the match. Piper comes out and distracts Rude, allowing Warrior to give him the full deal, finally pinning him with a splash. The crowd was absolutely insane for the last 4 or 5 minutes. Rightfully so, as it was pretty well done. It took a bit to get going, but delivered once on track.
Warrior pins Rude after a splash for the IC title at 15:47 | ***1/2
Ultimate Warrior vs Bob Bradley – Prime Time Wrestling – September 18th, 1989
Bradley’s a damn good jobber, selling in a lot of original ways. GPS and splash for the win. Afterwards he stuffs the guy under the ring, which I have to say is pretty funny.
GPS & splash for the pin at 2:39 | **
Ultimate Warrior vs Brian Costello – Prime Time Wrestling – December 25th, 1989
This is another really entertaining squash, as Warrior treats Costello as more of an annoyance, and something that’s just in his way while he walks around the ring. Squashes can get old, but these were so entertaining & original, glad they’re here.
Warrior pins Costello with the GPS & splash at 1:34 | **
Ultimate Warrior © vs Andre The Giant – Intercontinental Match – MSG – October 28th, 1989
No joke, this match is so fast that his entrance music is also his exit music. Exactly how it should be, really. Nobody wants to see these two go 60 minutes. They do have a pretty good excuse though, because the bell never rang, so really, Andre never lost.
Warrior hits a few clotheslines and a splash for the pin in about 8 seconds | *
Ultimate Warrior © vs Andre The Giant – Intercontinental Match – Saturday Night’s Main Event – November 25th, 1989
Not as slow & plodding as I was expecting. Pretty damn amazing, actually, given Andre’s condition at the time.A lot of punches & clotheslines, along with power-out spots. Match ends when Bobby interferes, and Warrior throws him into Andre, drawing the DQ.
Warrior wins via DQ at 7:50 | *1/2
Alright, that does it for disc 1. There’s also promos thrown in here and there, and I won’t cover those, save for the real important ones. That said, this disc was so much fun. Warrior himself has a few talking heads before & after the matches, really helping to flesh out his story as things go along. I know I just said this, but really, if I had to describe this first disc in one word, it’d simply be fun. Great stuff.
Tune in tomorrow, same Caliber time, same Caliber channel for part 2.