In memory of The Ultimate Warrior. June 16, 1959 – April 8, 2014.

59 Submitted by on Wed, 09 April 2014, 00:29

Ultimate Warrior with logo background

We always like to make people laugh here at WrestleCrap but sadly this is something serious.

WWE reports that The Ultimate Warrior has passed away at the age of 54.

We’ve featured Warrior a lot over the years here on WrestleCrap and we’ve done that largely in part because he was always such an entertaining, charismatic man who gave it his all in giving us The Ultimate Warrior character.

Read Justin Henry’s thoughts on Warriors here.

Scott Keith wrote this list of the 10 most memorable Ultimate Warrior moments (he wrote this when it was announced Warrior was going into the Hall Of Fame).

Please feel free to share your favorite Warrior memories in the comments.

Rest in peace, Warrior.

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59 Responses to "In memory of The Ultimate Warrior. June 16, 1959 – April 8, 2014."
  1. Ken says:

    Cage match with Rick Rude.

  2. AdamX says:

    I was never a Hulkamaniac growing up but you better believe I was part of One Warrior Nation(well before he added Ed Leslie).

  3. Scrooge McSuck says:

    As much as it’s been fun to poke at the absurd moments of the man’s career, it’s hard to lie and say I wasn’t a mark for him. I was a little Warrior growing up, and even as I soured on him as a performer, deep down I still felt the energy as he ran down the aisle, shook the ropes, and squashed whatever hapless fool dare step in the ring with him. Warrior was a colorful, larger than life character from my childhood, and a part of my childhood is gone forever. My favorite match of all time no longer features someone presently with us. Warrior, Macho Man, Liz, and Sherri have all left us over the years, leaving us with just memories that I will continue to hold dear. Even when you’re gone, you’re never going to be forgotten. :(

  4. gutterhippo says:

    I’ve been thinking about what he said in his HOF induction speech, that others have tried to change the memories we have of the Ultimate Warrior. Regardless of his personal politics or the backstage stuff that I now know, when I was a kid I can say that the Ultimate Warrior made me believe. And I respect him for it. I think tonight I’m going to try to connect with that again, to not worry about star ratings on matches or work rate or backstage heat or any of that garbage. I’ll be watching the main event of Wrestlemania VI. What will you watch?

  5. John says:

    I’m just glad that he and WWE got to make peace before his passing. Randy Savage never got that opportunity. Say what you will about the Warrior but nobody can deny that few others made the impact he did in such a small amount of time. RIP Warrior and thank you for entertaining us. Favorite moment: the squash of HTM. You knew then they had big plans for him.

  6. Bromotrifluoromethane says:

    I’ll always think of him more as a Dingo Warrior than an Ultimate one. Nobody could make me anticipate a promo more than him. 90% of the time I had no idea what he was even talking about but it was the most entertaining part of that week’s show. I’m glad he got the chance to go through his HOF induction and the WM30 events the last few days. So tragic.

  7. ZJ says:

    Nothing will top the retirement match he had with Macho Man at Wrestlemania VII. Plus, his squash match against HHH was the stuff of legendary funniness.

    RIP Warrior. You were the best kind of nuts.

    • Rafique Tucker says:

      Forgot to mention his awesome match against the Macho Man at Wrestlemania VII. That’s actually match I hearken back to the most, besides his WWF title win against Hogan, of course,

  8. KatieVicstoriasSecret says:

    I’m still in shock here; just twenty-four hours ago he seems to be in perfectly good health at RAW. Judging from Kevin Nash’s Tweet, it looks like the two of them mended fences over whatever might’ve gone down between them in WCW, too.

    My personal fave Warrior matches and angles involved his various feuds with people in the Heenan Family stable. There was a time from 1988-1991 where he and Heenan were basically trying to outpromo one another and it was glorious. Matchwise, I agree with everyone above – he and Rude did amazing work together.

  9. Andre R. says:

    Hogan outlived Savage AND Warrior? I can’t believe I’m using this one, but I don’t think I want to live on this planet anymore.

    (sigh) Rest In Peace Warrior. You were probably my favorite wrestling superstar of all time. Always Believe.

  10. MisterSpiffy says:

    I’m in shock..one of the first wrestling shirts I had a kid was a Ultimate Warrior t-shirt heck one year for my birthday my aunt made me a Ultimate Warrior cake…

  11. LCS says:

    This has been a surreal 4 days to be a WWE fan. From the Hof to a great WM to Raw to this. Warrior looked so good and in such high spirits last night. His promo now seems a bit creepy and foreshadowy.

    RIP Warrior. May you shake the pearly ropes as you enter the squared circle above.

  12. Mweyer says:

    A bit annoyed at so many trashing WWE on that “Self Destruction” DVD when so many folks (like, say, Wrestlecrap) have said far worse but as a man who was a fan, truly saddened by this. He was a great entertainer, ring work aside and always someone who made you talk and that’s what a real star is supposed to do. RIP Warrior and here’s hoping you find some peace.

  13. TK says:

    I submitted this entry to the site a while ago because it summed up Warrior well:

    http://www.wrestlecrap.com/icfyt/it-came-from-youtube-feel-the-power-of-the-ultimate-warrior-in-video-game-form/

    He was as a kid just this over the top amazing ball of energy to watch, while as an adult he’s a guilty pleasure no matter how insane things got with his matches, his stories or his speeches. He shall be missed. Godspeed.

  14. sanefan says:

    SNAP INTO IT!!!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNEd4KH_A4s

  15. Lee W says:

    I know his return to WWE was a shock but I certainly didn’t expect him to react to it like this, but all joking aside he’ll go down as one of my all time favourites and my deepest condolences to all affected by this tragic turn of events.

  16. Kev says:

    “There he goes, one of God’s own prototypes. A high powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, too rare to die.”—Hunter S. Thompson

  17. José says:

    Probably the most shocking week in wrestling history.

    RIP Warrior. Part of my childhood is gone :(

  18. John Q Occupier says:

    Wrestlemania VII. Warrior VS Savage. Nothing more to say. RIP.

  19. MIB says:

    Honestly shocking news. A legend and a fixture of all our early wrestling memories. Now Warriors’s words about “the character” living on forever make sense. A poignant and subtle valedictory speech.

    As for my favourite memory, quite simply his run in at the end of the WM8 main event. While the sight of him sprinting down the aisle was quite something it was the pop from the crowd that made it that extra bit special.

    R.I.P Ultimate Warrior. .:-(

  20. Downtown OPC says:

    I was a ninja for Halloween when I was 7 and some guy thought I was the Ultimate Warrior. This was before I got into wrestling, but I always think about it when I think of the Ultimate Warrior.

    • Downtown OPC says:

      I forgot to mention another part, my dad bought me an Ultimate Warrior punching balloon soon after that.

  21. LeonUK says:

    Had all the figures as a lad (Hasbro ones) had the T-shirt, generally a hero of my childhood.

    Was nice to see him get what he deserved in the HOF.

    RIP.

  22. Mr Excitement Personified says:

    Hated him when he squashed Honky Tonk and ran Brother Love out, never enjoyed his matches back in the day, and a horrible bigot in real life. But WHAT promos. When I go back to that era, I understand more and more why he was so over. Wish wrestling was like that now.

    Wonder what Hull Kogan is thinking now?

  23. Anonymous says:

    People like to rag on The Ultimate Warrior’s lack of in-ring ability, but the honest truth is that he had tons of athletic talent and could produce legit quality matches when paired with the right opponent. His feuds against Rick Rude and Macho Man Randy Savage had genuinely excellent ***+ caliber matches and are recommended viewing for anyone wanting to see what the man was capable of.

    Then there’s his legendary feud with Hogan, which produced his best promo work (if only relatively speaking) and some very compelling in-ring drama during their match at WrestleMania VI.

    Despite some of the arguably unprofessional things he did behind the scenes (and the recklessness in the ring at times that actually resulted in serious injuries for other wrestlers) in real life to tick off half the people he ever worked with, it will be the above mentioned accomplishments that will forever be his real legacy as a professional wrestler.

    Like they said in The Self Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior: No matter what you think about the guy, “EVERYONE REMEMBERS THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR”.

  24. Trevor says:

    I’ll always have a place in my heart for the ridiculous antics of his feud with Hogan in WCW. It made me laugh while it was taking place and it made me laugh all over again reading about it in the Death of WCW. Too many retarded moments to count (the reflection in the mirror, the blow-up doll we were supposed to think was Ed Leslie, the 20-minute rambling promo, the match itself which was one of the worst of all time) but all you can do is smile thinking about it. At least it was entertaining. In fact, I dare say it provided some much-needed relief from the rest of the turgid, neverchanging bull and political nonsense that WCW was producing aside from that programme.

    However, here’s how I’d like to remember him:

    https://twitter.com/Jamesfspencer/status/453742133883985920/photo/1

    Just a regular guy, with a big grin on his face and an arm around one of his many fans, wearing a wicked shirt. This was just eight hours before he died and I think it’s important, while mourning his passing, to also be pleased that he clearly loved life right up to the end. That many of us should be so lucky.

    RIP

    • LCS says:

      Yea. Think about how creepy it’s gotta be for that guy knowing he likely has the last living photo of Warrior

  25. Surfer Sandman says:

    Goodbye Warrior.

    Wherever you’re going, I hope you enjoy the peace and quiet.

  26. RD Reynolds says:

    Stunned and saddened beyond belief. We always made fun of him, but I always considered it a fun kind of thing. Cannot believe he is gone. Wow.

  27. The Peyote Coyote says:

    I could talk about the stuff he did I had no use for. I could bitch and moan about how his dumb-ass trap doors injured other wrestlers. I can go on and on about his frequently nonsensical promos.

    But none of that matters.

    His schtick may have been silly, but he *committed* to it. He went out there to entertain, and he damn well succeeded more often than not.

    And more importantly?

    The man loved his family. Loved ‘em. And no cheesy wrestling schtick or snarky wiseass on the internet (like, say, me) can diminish that. My heart goes out to his wife and daughters. We’ve lost the Ultimate Warrior. They’ve lost a husband and father.

    But I know, hen he gets to whatever Valhalla awaits fallen wrestlers, he’ll be in good company.

    Say hi to the boys for us, Warrior.

  28. Amanda Warrior says:

    My most memorable moment was when Warrior brought me on Brother Love’s show!
    R.I.P.

  29. Alan says:

    My favorite memory of The Ultimate Warrior is an oft-forgotten gem when right before his greatest match ever against “Macho King” Randy Savage at Wrestlemania VII when he ended up being Brother Love’s final guest when he destroyed Brother Love’s set and then have him the gorilla press slam and big splash. This happened on a March 1991 edition of Superstars and was also featured in its entirety on a Coliseum Video called “The WWF’s Funniest Moments”, which also included, you guessed it, “The Buddy Rose Blowaway Diet”, followed by a match with perrenial jobber Mario Mancini. Also loved when he destroyed The Honky Tonk Man at Summerslam ’88 and ended his 14-month long IC Title reign. RIP Dingo/Ultimate Warrior.

  30. patricko says:

    Raw showed an unhealthy looking man who could barely walk to and from the ring. I did not catch his HoF speech.

    I was a huge wrestling fan in the late 80′s. My best friend at the time and I both worked late on campus, and we’d stop off on our way back to the apartment, get food for late dinner and a 12 pk, and catch the monday night show replay @ 2am, before Raw existed.
    Warrior… changed everything for us, at the time.
    Was really the main impetus for us transforming from casual fans to hardcore fans.

    We didn’t like Hogan, he had become stale to us pretty quick. Same matches, same promo, same “hulking up” nonsense that made it hard to suspend our disbelief and just enjoy watching. And he wasn’t on free TV much. Heels were largely cartoonish, and didn’t resonate.
    Most of the other babyfaces were low or mid-card and not very interesting. We’d hope to see at least a good technical match or two, maybe get intro’d to a new wrestler that would be of interest, but that was it…

    Warrior’s entrance music was amazing. He looked amazing. His promos were never boring. You could let yourself believe he was a force of nature. He was perfect for saturday morning squash TV. The lead up to Mania VI was done so well, and we had a full house to watch it on PPV.

    While many PPV matches, in their predictability, could be turned into a drinking game (if Heenan gets decked this match…), we had no idea what outcome of that match would be. It was so well done, and we all went ape-shit when he got the 3 count. Only time I can recall that kind of reaction from a wrestling match, NOT at a live event.

    I graduated from college a couple of months later, and my dedication to wrestling started to fade, as circumstances dictated, at same time that Warrior’s career did. I think I threw in the towel, driving back and forth, trying to maintain the enthusiasm, hang out with the friends who were fans, chip in for PPV’s, by the following Mania, where there was the ridiculous Slaughter / Warrior stuff. I was done, in part because he appeared to be.

    Shocked to see that he passed.

  31. Mark says:

    My favorite Warrior match was with Randy Savage at WM7. There was also the one at Summer Slam 92 (I think it was that one).

    There’s also this Anti-Smoking PSA that he did. When you see that snarl, you will stay away from cigarettes forever.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ebN17xoJbLg

  32. Eric S says:

    If you go back and watch the segment on Raw he truly looked like something was wrong. He was out of breath and when he shook the ropes it was basically one shake and he held it there. I mentioned to my wife that he really didn’t look out of shape but his breathing and pausing made me think something was wrong. Maybe it was just me.

    • Mister Pink says:

      It wasn’t just you…I thought he seemed out of sorts Monday night. Amazing Grace is playing on the television at Fort Hood as I write this. I had to laugh to myself…for what Warrior lacked in grace, he made up for in amazing. Damn…

  33. Jerichoholic Ninja says:

    “I, Hulk…Hogan, have a question…to answer your question. As you, Hulk Hogan, travel to…WRESTLEMANIA…by conventional means, the normals you travel with experience malfunctions. As you realize ALL THAT IS LEFT is total self-destruction, do you, Hulk Hogan, show self-pity? DO YOU, Hulk Hogan, try to reason why? Do you, Hulk Hogan, try and comfort the normals that have even more fear than you?

    Or do you, Hulk Hogan, kick the doors out? Kick the cockpit door down. Take the two pilots that have already made the sacrifice so that you can face the challenge. Dispose of them, Hulk Hogan. Assume the controls, Hulk Hogan. SHOVE THAT CONTROL INTO A NOSEDIVE, HULK HOGAN! Push yourself to total self-dstruction. As you realize, Hulk Hogan, you are about to enter a world close to Parts Unknown. Ah, smell it, warriors. Do you, Hulk Hogan, look for a place to hide? Or do you, Hulk Hogan, face the challenge that may be more powerful than EVEN YOU ARE, HULK HOGAN!

    You, Hulk Hogan, must self-destruct so that you will know, Hulk Hogan, who is…The Chose One. FOR HULK HOGAN, I am not the Chosen One…that you speak of. I am not. I, Hulk Hogan, am…the only…one…”

  34. John Matrix says:

    Warrior was one of my favorites as a teenager. He was so dynamic. His theme music told everyone that something awesome was about to happen.

  35. Mike M. says:

    I was a big Andre the Giant fan and was appalled when, at a house show, Warrior squashed him in 30 seconds. I wasn’t aware enough, I don’t think, to realize that Andre could really barely move at the time.

  36. The 'House says:

    Any time I rented a WWF Coliseum Home Video- in the days before Raw- my little brother would make sure it was one that had The Ultimate Warrior on it, and then I would draw the Warrior mask on his face with erasable markers. So many pictures of him with his bad 80s mullet, tassels tied on his non-existent biceps, and a bad drawing on his face by me.

  37. Drew says:

    One of my favorite Warrior moments was the return promo that aired in the weeks before WrestleMania XII.

    It had black and white, slow motion footage of Warrior running to the ring. The voiceover said some hilariously boastful things like “…more terrifying than a great white shark…. more powerful than a locomotive…” all that kind of stuff. Then his music hits and gave said he’d be returning at WM12.

    Never could find it on YouTube. But cool stuff. I remember being so psyched.

  38. George from Dudleyville, NY says:

    Somewhere are photos of me as a little warrior curca ’90-’91. With my tassels, stirofome intercontinental title and my mom applied warrior facepaint. Ofcourse for me my paint had to be from my favorite WWF magazine cover. Like others said, a huge part of my child hood died along with the man responsible for my love if the buisiness. R.I.P Mr. Hellwig, you will be dearly missed.

  39. Peter says:

    I hadn’t watched his HOF speech yet and I missed his Raw speech, kind of regret that but I did watch what he said on Raw when I heard he passed away. I think this past weekend was true closure for him. It’s just one of those things that makes you realize that you can’t take life for granted.

  40. Rafique Tucker says:

    It’s a sad day in the wrestling world. Whatever issues there were with various things the Warrior has said, I have always been a fan of the Ultimate Warrior, and was elated to see him inducted into the Hall of Fame–not only to heal the breach between him and the WWE, but also because he deserved it.

    I think my greatest Warrior memories will always be his match with Hulk Hogan at WM6, and the steel cage match with Rick Rude at Summerslam ’90.

  41. Alexandru says:

    Wow sad day as wrestling lost a true character/guy with truly larger than life personality. While the guy had his issues, obviously, gotta say he was definitely committed to his role.Nice to see that it seems like he had some closure with Vince/WWE i.e. HOF induction/promo on Monday. I can just imagine the promos he and Savage are having “up there”. R.I.P. Warrior

  42. The Scanian Maniac says:

    For some reason, the most memorable moment that has been etched in my mind, is when he faced Mr Perfect and Demolition at Survivor Series 1990.

    Perhaps only because this was the period when Ultimate Warrior was the champion and supposed to carry the WWE after Hulk Hogan.

    Macho Man & Elisabeth, Rick Rude, Mr Perfect, the British Bulldog and now the Ultimate Warrior. Too many childhood heroes that have passed away too soon :-(

  43. Big Jim says:

    My favorite moment of Ultimate Warrior has to be WMVI. Yes, I agree his match at WMVII against Savage was better, but as a kid when Warrior won the title from Hogan, I was very happy. He had so much energy, ran to the ring with streamers on his arms, wore the paint, and shook the hell out of the ropes every time and as a kid, who wouldn’t like that guy? He may not have been the best wrestler, but he had that look, the personality, the “it factor” that they like to talk about.RIP Warrior, I will Always Believe.

  44. Tommy B Rude says:

    I can’t get over how surreal the whole thing is. I can’t help but think that the Warrior knew this was coming but refused to let go until he had a chance to say goodbye to the fans.

  45. Doc 902714 says:

    Deeply saddened to hear about Ultimate Warrior’s passing.

    Very glad as a WWE fan that Warrior and WWE had patched things up and mended their fences allowing Warrior to be inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame. Life is really too short to carry grudges. Sadly, the same didn’t happen for Macho Man Randy Savage. But I do hope they will posthumously induct Macho Man and Elizabeth as the first couple of WWE.

    Thrilled to see him return on RAW this past Monday Night in full Warrior mode. Brought back so many memories and back on July 8, 1996 he wrestled his last match with Owen Hart.

    And to think he died on my birthday….terribly sad Gone but certainly not forgotten. Always believe

  46. BaltoJim says:

    Load the spaceship with the rocket fuel, Warrior’s going home. R.I.P.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I think one thing about The Ultimate Warrior that people remember the most is his entrance. Legit one of the top 10 entrances of all time.

  48. TheDude says:

    so sad when i heard Warrior had passed. one of my all time favorites. i have never marked out harder for any moment in wrestling then when he beat hogan at wrestlemania. thanks for the memories. R.I.P the man the myth the legend, The Ultimate Warrior.

  49. EMad says:

    Look at this pic from his origins. It’s Warrior, Sting AND their manager, Zeb Colter. Known as the Blade Runners.

    http://www.estragand.com/media/dumbpics/Bladerun272.jpg

  50. Eric Hinkle says:

    This will sound morbid, and my apologies, but my all-time favorite UW moment would be when he got locked into that casket by the Undertaker and Paul Bearer. Really scared me when I saw it as a kid; he’d seemed like this invincible superman up until then and now the ‘Taker, fiend that he was, showed us that he WAS mortal and he COULD be hurt.

  51. Kevin Cunningham says:

    As someone who watched the Ultimate Warrior going back to his days as one-half of the Blade Runners in the UWF and the Dingo Warrior in World Class, I’ve seen this man’s entire career. To me, I enjoyed his winning the WWF title at WM 6, but my all-time favorite moment was when he destroyed the Brother Love set and destroyed Brother Love himself.

  52. Gabe says:

    He did look bad the past few days before his death, but it was still a shock to me. Was a total mark for Warrior. He was so different from any other wrestler during his initial run with WWF. Most of the guys except from Savage and Steamboat were slow, plodding, out of shape guys. Then here comes Warrior racing down with his pumped up intro music shaking the ring ropes. Definitely was on a Warrior Rocket ship to Pluto. RIP

  53. Trekkie313 says:

    RIP Warrior, hopefully he gets more respect in death than he’s had recently.

    Also I found out through a repeat of TOSH.O….shouldn’t have a break from the internet.

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