Ultimate Warrior Says He Conceivably Could Do One Last Big Match
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 01.14.2014
But not as the '90s version of his character...
- Ultimate Warrior recently spoke with Sports Illustrated about headlining WrestleMania VI, whether he could work one last big match and more. Check out the highlights:
On the impact of headlining WrestleMania on his career: "Back at the beginning of my career, I had to make all these sacrifices—sleeping in a car on nights where I'd wrestle in front of 20,000 people—because I wasn't making any money. Then for two years leading up to WrestleMania, I would hear all the background chatter of how popular the character was becoming. Merchandising and licensing are huge in our business, and back then they actually had a guy, Jimmy, who would set up a table and sell merch before the matches. One day Jimmy took me aside and told me how I was selling more merchandise than Hogan. "Don't tell anyone I told you this," he said. [Laughs] At that time the typical storyline for WrestleMania was that one of Hogan's friends would turn on him and set up a good guy-vs-bad guy scenario. But if WWE had done that with Ultimate Warrior, they would have been slicing their wrists, because merchandising was getting ready to go through the roof. So instead it became the Hulkamaniacs versus the Warriors. It was an incredible match—all the excitement, all the drama of the false finishes, and then the first time Hogan lost clean, and that really meant something. Of course, everything is choreographed, but that speaks even more strongly about what type of impact The Ultimate Warrior was going to have on the business."
On whether his WrestleMania VI match is his favorite of his career: "I have a lot of great memories, including my match against Randy [Savage] in WrestleMania VII. A lot of people say they enjoyed that more than the Hogan match. The Hogan match had so much meaning that it's impossible not to list among my favorites, but I had all kinds of incredible matches against guys like Rick Rude and André the Giant. I had an incredible run against André all over the world, body slamming him."
On what Andre the Giant was like: "André either really cared about you, or he hated you. He liked me, I know he really did. Randy worked with him right before I did, but they killed that program because André didn't like Randy. But André liked me. Hogan always talks about slamming him the one time at WrestleMania, but I travelled to hundreds of places and slammed André all over the place, and I just couldn't believe that he'd let me do that. I was the last guy to really work with André before he passed away, and he was unbelievably gracious toward me. I'll never forget what he did for my character. During one match at Madison Square Garden he told me to put him in a bear hug. So I did, and he squealed like a f—ing pig, man. That's how you sell the power, and he did that for me to convince the people that The Ultimate Warrior was that powerful. Then he told me to slam him. He was a really great guy."
On whether he'll work one last big match: "The 90s version of The Ultimate Warrior, that beast? No. [Laughs] But I'm still very intense, I'm still in great shape, and the way the business is today, I think something could be arranged. But that 90s version of The Ultimate Warrior can't be done. He's my muse. I wake up every morning and I'm inspired by him, but trying to go back and bring him back 25 years later, there's just no way."