As expected, WWE is loading up its heavy artillery for the WrestleMania XXX season, namely the Hall of Fame. Only during WrestleMania season could the returns of Brock Lesnar and Batista be considered inferior to any news item.
Monday on Raw, WWE announced the Ultimate Warrior as the first inductee in the 2014 Hall of Fame. Warrior as the hallmark inductee will be a draw for several reasons.
Despite a tumultuous run that saw a few ugly departures, according to the controversial The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD, the Ultimate Warrior is one of the biggest stars in WWE history.
Warrior's mysterious nature made him beyond human, which plays to his advantage. He hailed from Parts Unknown. He wore face paint. His promos might as well have been in tongues. He never stuck around for too long, obviously not by design, but as a result, his legacy was idealized by casual fans unaware of his reported backstage episodes.
Warrior's brief WWE career, although anything but ideal, was loaded with main event feuds against wrestling icons from Hogan to Savage to Rude to Undertaker. It's only fitting that one of those said (living) legends inducts him into the Hall of Fame, and Hogan is the one who makes the most sense.
Warrior's chief moment in his professional wrestling career happened against Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI. During Hogan's original nine-year string of WrestleMania runs with the WWE, the Ultimate Warrior was the only wrestler who beat him clean in a main event.
The mere positioning of Warrior as the guy to carry the baton elevated him into rarefied air. Hogan wasn't just the biggest name in wrestling, he also rivaled the biggest names in pop culture at the time. Yet here he was in the SkyDome of Toronto, a witness to something bigger.
Crazy as it sounds, Warrior qualified for the WWE Hall of Fame on that night.
Whether they are on good or bad terms, Hogan has to be the guy to induct Warrior into the Hall of Fame. TMZ reports the longstanding friction between the two may be thawing, opening the door for this very opportunity.
No living or WWE-employed talent has the ties or importance to Warrior's WWE career that Hogan does. Outside of Charles Wright reprising his role as Papa Shango, few, if any, inductors would make much sense. The fact that Papa Shango would make sense for anything says everything you need to know about the bizarre odyssey that was the Ultimate Warrior.
The careers of Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior will forever be linked. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required) reports that a verbal agreement has been reached between Hogan and WWE. At this point it should be considered an upset if Hogan is not part of WrestleMania XXX in some fashion. It would be an even bigger upset if he didn't induct Warrior.