Highlights of the Ultimate Warrior's Media Event During SummerSlam Weekend
Young wrestling fans have only seen the Ultimate Warrior wrestle in clips on YouTube. Without the benefit of having seen him during the 1980s and 1990s, it is hard to understand how big of a deal he was in professional wrestling.
As far as intensity and presence go, Warrior was at or near the top when it comes to the elite performers in the sports entertainment history.
His look was legendary. Equipped with a physique that would inspire even the most-ripped stars of today, wild 1980’s hair, face paint and strings tied around his biceps, the Warrior was a spectacle. The fact that he arrived in the ring like he was shot out of a cannon only added to the overall entertainment value.
As a kid, he was one of the most awesome Superstars in the business in my eyes. After I got a little older, I realized the Warrior was only adequate in the ring as a technician and his mic work was best appreciated by a 13-year-old.
That said, it was too late to change my opinion of him. The impression had been made and none of those mere mortal technicalities weren't going to knock him off the top turnbuckle in my mind. Because of the unwavering spot the Warrior holds for me in wrestling, it was especially cool to spend some time listening to him speak.
About 100 of us wrestling geeks/journalists were attendance for an event called the Ultimate Brunch. The purpose of the meeting was to further advertise the Warrior’s upcoming appearance in the WWE 2K14 video game by 2K Sports.
It took place during SummerSlam weekend in Los Angeles, just hours before the memorable pay-per-view event.
Much of the weekend was about WWE legends. The symposium took place on Saturday and featured the likes of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Ric Flair and Mick Foley.
Warrior seems to be leading the charge of wrestling greats from the WWE’s past who are mending fences with the company’s brass. In a variety of capacities, legends like the Warrior, Flair and Goldberg are now associated with the WWE again. As a long-time wrestling fan, it is great to see.
At the Ultimate Brunch, the Warrior gave almost everyone in attendance more than they bargained for. You can hear the entire speech here, per Patrick Hickey of ReviewFix.com:
Anyone who has ever heard him speak knows he still brings some of the intensity he brought to the ring 20 years ago. However, his approach at the brunch was especially attention-grabbing.
The Warrior began his speech with an F-Bomb. It wasn’t dropped within a sentence. It was just a dangling, lonely F-Bomb left in the wind to make everyone—except the Warrior—uncomfortable, or at least on the edge of their seats.
He explained that the usage of the word was due to receiving instructions from those in charge not to drop any F-bombs. Of course, now it makes sense. Nobody tells the Warrior what to do, even to this day.
That opening appropriately set the stage for a 30-40 minute session filled with more F-Bombs, awesome stories and one not-so-subliminal message: the Warrior is exceedingly proud of the character he created and rode to stardom.
He stared up at the 20-foot roster photo of himself and 90-inch monitor that was looping his career highlights with a third-person admiration. He often referred to the images of himself as "that guy" and "him."
To say the Warrior wears his emotions on his sleeve is like saying Jim Ross tends to get a tad excited during a Stone Cold match.
While some may have been put off by the Warrior’s abrasive approach, I hearkened back to a Bible scripture I often refer to when I hear an unconventional message. The King James version says in 1 Thessalonians 5:21: “test all things; hold fast to that which is good.”
Translation: weed through the Warrior's F-bombs and find the positives.
There may not have been redeeming value in some of what the Warrior said—though it was all entertaining—but when he talked about his critics and path to success, I was all ears.
Just as I realized the Warrior wasn’t the most-skilled in-ring performer when I got older, those in charge at the time had similar criticisms. People said he was just a bodybuilder. The Warrior said he was even told not to do his signature rope shake when he got in the ring.
Which legend are you most excited about in WWE 2K14?
In typical Warrior defiance, he said: “When I got in the ring, I just couldn’t help myself. I had to shake those ropes.”
I’m glad he did.
He used that message to springboard into my biggest takeaway from the event. The Warrior talked about thinking outside of the box. He stressed not allowing critics and conventional thinkers to curtail your creativity. He talked about diversity and "accomplishing more than you think you can."
Despite the discouragement from many in the industry about the specifics of the Warrior’s gimmick. He continued on his own beat and path. As far as wrestling goes, it resulted in enormous success.
I’d be lying if I said the Ultimate Brunch didn’t inspire me to shake the ropes in my own career.
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