The WWE paid tribute to the Ultimate Warrior last week with a full week of specials on the WWE Network. Yet it was their documentary, Warrior: The Ultimate Legend that was truly nothing short of ultimate.
The WWE outdid themselves last week, producing arguably the best documentary in company history. The new documentary chronicling the Ultimate Warrior’s career paid an honest, fair, emotional, and classy tribute to the fallen WWE icon. Even more impressive is that the WWE put the production together in just a matter of days.
Sting is included quite a bit in the documentary. Sting was able to give some context into Warrior’s early days as the two broke into the business together. Sting also gave some insight into Warrior’s failed WCW run. One of the more revealing and honest thoughts from the video came when Sting admitted he was jealous when Warrior wrestled and beat Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI.
Vince McMahon is arguably the star of the documentary. Vince offers insight throughout the documentary about the ups and downs in his relationship with Warrior. From my standpoint he came across probably more honest than he has ever been in one of these documentaries. The one thing that was painfully clear was that Vince was hurting. I still don’t know why this one hit him so hard but it has really taken a toll on him. Vince says at one point, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” in reference to Warrior. Quite frankly the man seemed heartbroken.
Warrior’s relationship with the McMahon family was chronicled extensively in the doc. Warrior talked about visiting the McMahons whenever he was in town and staying over at their house whether the family were home or not. He talked about his relationship with Shane McMahon as brotherly and even refers to Vince at one point like a dad. You can’t help but watch and think about the huge weight lifted off of Warrior’s shoulders when he finally buried the hatchet with the McMahons and made peace with the family.
Another relationship that was strained and repaired was Hulk Hogan. He and Hogan have had said some brutal things about each other in the press over the years. Warrior says the root of their heat is from a deposition that Hogan gave when Warrior sued the WWE over the Self-Destruction DVD. Warrior said that Hogan refused to admit to anything. A very cool clip is played of the actual deposition with Hogan in which Hogan calls Warrior a flash in the pan. Hogan gives his side of the story which is that he was ambushed when he came into the deposition by Warrior’s team and quickly chose his side which was the WWE. Triple H says that he told Hogan not to approach Warrior until after the Hall of Fame. The cameras catch Hogan and Warrior making amends at WrestleMania with Hogan telling him how sorry he is and how much he loves him. I know the Hogan cynics will never buy it but he seemed very sincere about it as far as I could tell.
The cameras followed Warrior throughout the Hall of Fame which was very cool. There is some great footage of him and Vince McMahon hanging out before the ceremony. Vince was beaming and looked like he was having such a great time with Warrior. It should be pointed out that when they were talking about his speech Vince told Warrior to say whatever he wants, even negative words in which Warrior responds saying that he wouldn’t do that and it will be all positive.
You can’t help but have your heart break for his family as you watch the documentary. The man is a proud family man and his daughters were real proud of him. Say what you will about Warrior and you know what, some of the criticism is fair, but no family deserves to lose their father this young. My heart goes out to those girls.
It was hard to ignore the health of Warrior during his WrestleMania weekend of appearances. Warrior looked noticeably more tired that weekend than he did when he was filmed at earlier times during the documentary. Warrior looked tired and almost short of breath at times when talking to Sgt. Slaughter and Vince McMahon. At times he walked and looked like he had just finished a 20-minute wrestling match. In comparison to other interview clips with Warrior that were taped months before the weekend, he did not look healthy. This brings me back to those theories many have of Warrior knowing that his time was up, quoting the interview from RAW and his speech. Nobody will ever truly know the answer to that but a keen eye reveals a lot about his well being the last few days of his life.
I still scratch my head at the numerous tributes that the McMahon family are giving Warrior but one thing is clear coming out of this movie. Their intentions do appear to be sincere. Why Vince is so heartbroken over this is another question. The fact that we got this classic documentary out of this tribute makes it alright regardless of the intentions.
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[amazon_link id=”B00HRYH67M” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection [Blu-ray][/amazon_link]