the Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior
What are my thoughts on The Ultimate Warrior? Well, since you asked, I thought he was fine for what he was: a unique performer with a limited shelf-life.
Do I think some of his post-career comments make him sound like a racist, bitter, homophobic lunatic? Absolutely. But still, kudos to the dude for getting out of the business with a truckload of money and not becoming another unfortunate statistic that dies far too young.
And in his own deranged way, Warrior has principles in the sense that he won't participate in anything related to WWE any more. Apparently, this prompted Vince McMahon to launch a smear campaign against the guy in the form of The Self-Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior.
It's really unfortunate because WWE could have released a kick-ass DVD set that chronicled his entire career -- with or without Jim Hellwig's participation -- and they still could have snuck in their own personal agenda about buddy being a few fries short of a Happy Meal.
But instead, this DVD is what we're left with, an awkward collection of backhanded compliments and downright nasty shots at Warrior, who again, isn't around to defend himself.
The usual collection of DVD folks, including McMahon, Triple H, Hulk Hogan, Edge, Christian, Ted DiBiase, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, Mean Gene Okerlund, Bobby Heenan, Bruce Pritchard and Steve Lombardi, provide endless commentary on how Warrior believed his own hype a little too much.
There are a few problems I have with this treatment. If Warrior couldn't work worth a lick, why did he keep getting pushed? If he was so dangerous to the industry, why on earth was he booked to defeat Hogan for the WWF Title at one of the biggest events of all time? If he couldn't cut a coherent promo, why was he one of the most popular draws of the early-1990's?
The truth, of course, is that Warrior didn't come "back" to WWE when his career was over. Until 2014, he hadn't accepted an invite into the Hall of Fame, and doesn't show up as a certified WWE Legend whenever McMahon asks him to. History is rewritten by the winners, so there ya go.
Need evidence I'm right? Look at Bret Hart or even Mick Foley. They parted from WWE on less than ideal terms, but once they decided to play ball, history seemed to look on them quite favorably.
To be fair, there is a documentary wedged in between the burial, and it does look at most of Warrior's career highlights, between Texas, WWF and WCW. It's just mired in hatred for the guy, most likely through people who were told to say such things.
To me, the most amusing part of the documentary is when Christian and Edge mimic, word for word, Warrior's epic pre-WrestleMania 6 tirade. It's hilarious, and can be seen as more of a tribute from two guys who were at the event as fans, than a trashing of Warrior himself.
But the most unfortunate part is that this is only one disc. So while DX, Rey Mysterio and John Cena get a handful of three-disc videos, The Ultimate Warrior only gets one. And while chronicling his battles with Hogan, Rick Rude and The Honky Tonk Man are great, there's so much more they could have added here to give it the full three-disc treatment.
Should you buy this DVD? I will say "possibly" because it's at least entertaining and a rare chance to see WWE gets its hate-on for a former employee. But is this the way Warrior should be remembered? Probably not.