It began simple enough.
Prepping for the bi-weekly “From the Pages Of…”column I write, I was scouring through some old magazine articles. That segment of the site has become a fun little diversion if I do say so myself, and I truly recommend you check it out, especially if you were part of what I call the “magazine era” of being a pro wrestling fan. Those were such fun days and they are woefully underrepresented by wrestling sites at large here in the year of our Lord 2023. The fun thing is you never know what you may find there, be it a Rick Martel fashion show, ancient trivia contests, or heck, even a WWF fan club where not only do you pay to be a member but the company had the audacity to MAKE YOU DO THE WORK.
Seriously, not kidding.
This week I stumbled across an article that claimed the Ultimate Warrior was taking over Hollywood. Pretty sure that never actually happened, but the piece was largely about the infamous “match” in which the Warrior pummeled Phil Collins as the latter sang Two Hearts, something I inducted in the early days of the site and uploaded to YouTube nearly 20 years ago. But there was another page in the article following that covering Warrior paying Regis and Kathie Lee a visit. If you weren’t around back then, that was a HUGE show and there were a lot of wrestlers that appeared, much to Kathie Lee’s dismay. Realizing I’d never inducted Warrior being a guest (and remembering what a total trainwreck it was when Rick Rude showed up there), I figured it was time to make sure we had that on this here site for your amusement as well.
Regis shows up and helps us pinpoint exactly when this show originally aired as he plugs SummerSlam with the Warrior taking on Rude in the main event for the WWF World Title. That would mean it was 1990, right? You can say whatever you want about Regis, but it better be something positive because THAT DUDE RULED. Especially when it came to shilling for wrestling, as it was apparent that he absolutely loved it and put his heart and soul into every syllable he uttered. Kathie Lee? Not so much – heck look at her here, she is almost rolling her eyes!
So Regis pumps up the main event and throws it to a video package of the Warrior. You might think this would be something showing a great victory Warrior had in the ring (his victory for the title over Hulk Hogan perhaps?) or maybe a quick rundown of the rivalry with Rude. Instead, we get 30 seconds of Warrior’s greatest moves…
…namely running to the ring and shaking the ropes. Eh, I did a SQUASH of the Week with the guy not too long ago where he somehow elbow dropped a dude using his back, so this may not have been the worst idea for footage of the guy.
So Warrior comes out wearing…holy crap, I have no idea what it is but it’s offensive on pretty much every conceivable level! I know it was the 90s and all, but that amount of neon and tassles and HIGH TOP SNEAKERS should be outlawed. And that’s not even to mention his weiner being on full display. Seriously dude, get a jock strap or something. He stops to gently kiss Kathie on the hand and you can tell this woman is over this five seconds in. Can’t say that I blame her!
But this is a kinder, gentler Warrior, who comes out smiling and holding a Wrestling Buddy. After explaining that Kathie Lee was the most beautiful woman on television (wut) and that she and Frank Gifford were going to be wonderful parents (she had just had a child), he handed over the toy to Kathie so she could give it to her son. I have no sources on this, only my own speculation, but I GUARANTEE that thing wound up in the dumpster later that day.
Regis notes that the face paint is way toned down and Warrior explains he’s in the final stretch until SummerSlam. No, I don’t know why he’s wearing less makeup for one of the biggest shows of the year either and sadly Regis doesn’t press him on the matter. Instead, he wants to talk about the steel cage match and Warrior’s strategy.
Let’s slow down and allow me to repeat that – he wants to talk WRESTLING STRATEGY WITH THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR.
Warrior basically says nothing, so Regis plows on, noting that Warrior is downright DOCILE today and that just won’t work! He starts to get in Warrior’s face and gives him a pep talk – “We want you tough, lean, and mean – ready for Rick Rude!!!” They then recap when Rude was on the show a while back, and Regis notes he was wearing tights with his face on the front.
For her part, Kathie Lee chastises her co-host for failing to remembering things properly. “Your face was on the back, MINE WAS ON THE FRONT!” she bellowed as if in a PTSD therapy session.
Warrior changes gears, noting that he’s going to walk into the show champion and leave the same way. Regis marks out completely, noting “You beat the Hulk! I really couldn’t believe that!” Warrior calmly explained to all those folks out in television land that he’s the only one who ever beat Hogan. “He’s still a first class person in my book,” says Warrior with all the sincerity of a wet napkin.
And the only guy who ever beat the Hulkster? What about poor Andre? He won the belt from Hogan too you know!
We then get a quick promo from Rude and the legendary Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Rude tells us that Warrior is “but a guppy in the oceans of life” and that he is going to devour him. Regis is UTTERLY APPALLED, literally screaming, “Did you hear what he called you? A GUPPY IN THE OCEAN OF LIFE!!!!”
My bet is if Heenan called Regis mother a whore he’d be less apoplectic!
Warrior responds by noting that he has more power in his calf muscle than Rude has in his whole body, then gives us a double bicep. I’d never call Warrior skinny or anything, but those have got to be the least impressive part of his physique. I’m a 54 year old man whose primary exercise is riding a stationary bike for 45 minutes a day and I’m pretty sure my calves look better than those chicken legs.
Regis still isn’t getting the anger he expects so he starts taunting Warrior by doing his pose. And that…THAT is more than the Warrior can take, so he quite literally starts throwing the set furniture all over the place.
Do your research next time, Regis – Warrior did the same thing to Arsenio Hall just a year or so earlier!
The anarchy comes to a close as Warrior sits on a chair in victory, with Regis basically shoving Kathie Lee into his arms as she looks absolutely, positively horrified. Can you blame her? I mean, geez, Warrior throws her onto his lap and appears to be ready to cop a feel on this poor woman!
I know the Rude appearance was much more infamous, but this one may have been even worse for poor Kathie Lee. Let me know which one you think was more appalling in the comments below!