You really have to question WWE's motives sometimes, because the company's agenda's can be unbelievably strange. They will take a superstar and shoot them to the moon for the sake of putting asses in seats. And when that superstar in question happens to later on be on the outs with them, then they'll take measures to sabotage their reputation, or whatever is left of it. They would even go so far to completely twist the truth, which brings me to Jim Hellwig. Wrestling fans of the late 80's to early 90's would know him as The Ultimate Warrior. He was without a doubt one of the most popular stars during his original run. Fans loved him for the frenetic energy and natural charisma he brought to the ring. His matches were almost never technical works of art, however, they were highly entertaining in part to the high impact offense and unrealistic invulnerability he brought with his character. This documentary called the Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior, which was released in 2005, tells the tale of the once popular superstar's success, as well as his downfall with the company.
The documentary begins with various superstars and personalities consisting of Jerry "The King" Lawler, Jim Ross, Steve Lombardi, Bobby Heenan, Edge, Chris Jericho, and several others covering his start in the wrestling business in Memphis as a tag team wrestler together with Steve Borden, the man who would go on to become "The Icon" Sting. His stint in Texas would also be lightly covered, and then it goes straight into all three of his stints in WWE and later in WCW. They speak on his most notable storyline feuds as well as high profile matches with Rick Rude, Macho Man Randy Savage, and the Championship match against Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania VI that propelled his career even further. There are plenty of fun moments via archived action packed video footage, along with old and current interviews. Casual wrestling fans, or those who's knowledge doesn't run that far will more than likely learn a lot. Others will still be highly entertained for the most part I imagine, because the documentary will take them back and it's a joy re-watching this particular time period in wrestling.
The documentary starts out very promising, then it begins to live up to its namesake, which is the self-destruction of the superstar in question. Now, I wasn't completely a fan of the Ultimate Warrior, because even when I was a kid; I always preferred the more speedy and high flying wrestlers, so my disgust for this DVD is not from the perspective of a Warrior fan, instead a wrestling fan who wishes that this documentary wasn't such an unfair brutal burial, where the lies are so obvious that what amount of truth is terribly clouded.
Warrior had very little friends here and it shows, as Bobby Heenan hurls the most venom in his direction, and word around their campfire, Andre the Giant didn't like him either. Plus it's assumed that Rick Rude may have also hated working with him too. They mention how he didn't know much in the ring and how poor a talker he was. There's a laundry list of things they go off about. Now, I wouldn't have a problem with some of the things they say, but on too many occasions I was left with a highly questionable feel. They take merciless shots at his character; younger stars like Edge, Christian, and Chris Jericho go on about how he use to shake the ropes. Now this documentary took place in 2005, and there was a high profile superstar named Batista who was doing the exact same thing. He shook the ropes like a mad man. So what does that say about him then?
When the Warrior came to the WWF, he went by the Dingo Warrior. Vince McMahon didn't like the name, therefore he renamed him The Ultimate Warrior. If Vince renamed him, then wouldn't it make sense that he completely created his entire bio? If that part is true, then he created Warrior's place of origin as well, in which he was billed being from Parts Unknown. This is a fictional location where either creepy, masked, or mysterious wrestlers claim to hail from to enhance their mystery. So why are Edge, Christian, and Chris Jericho clowning him for something that he probably didn't come up with? And even if he did, why are they doing it still since its closely related to wrestling? Mankind aka Mick Foley originally billed himself being from the Boiler Room. He better watch out should he ever come on bad terms with this promotion, and the Dudley Boys are indeed in serious trouble.
There's more to shake your head in shame at here. Bobby Heenan mentions how Warrior got his hands on him after a match, and then Gorilla Pressed him to where he fell on his face, and Warrior not checking on him to see if he was alright. The footage clearly shows Heenan not landing on his face. And what did Heenan expect Warrior to do anyway? Did he think Warrior was going to break character and storyline to see if he was hurt? I don't remember Undertaker checking on Mankind when he threw him off the top of a 16 ft. high steel cage twice, nor do I remember Magnum TA checking up on Tully Blanchard when he beat him bloody in an "I Quit Match". Warrior was the babyface, Heenan the heel, and Warrior was feuding with his entire faction called The Heenan Family. How can he break script like that? It's shit like this that robs the documentary of plausibility. Triple H also chimes in, going on about how unprofessional Warrior was during their match at Wrestlemania 12, but he doesn't give any detail. I know he's not complaining about Warrior no selling his moves and squashing him, because more than likely he was just following the script, and Triple H was just a body for him to go through so WWE could see if pushing him again was possible. I mean, just how low do you go with the dirt?
I'm not at all defending Warrior as if he was some type of angel, because he helped kill his own career by behaving unprofessional, violating the drug policy, no showing events for WWE, and by thinking he was worth more than the sum of his parts, which was the reason WCW dropped him. But this is a classic case of catching a person in a blatant lie. If someone is telling you a true story, and you learn more than a few parts of it is untrue, then you have to throw the rest under the microscope. This is what makes quite a bit of the stuff they say difficult to buy into. And as far as Warrior holding Vince up for money or he wasn't going to perform; I remember reading Vince already owed him money, and that's why Warrior held the proverbial gun to his head. I'm not saying that was the right thing to do, because there are other ways to go about it, but he was provoked if that part was really true though.
The one thing that really makes me call bullshit on this whole deal, is because Warrior was asked to participate in this and he refused to. Had he done it, then this would be a different release altogether. Therefore since he declined, they took the low road and just ripped his ass apart. Now that's scary when you think about it. Had Bret Hart not participated in his release, then this could have easily been him. Even easier if it was Shawn Michaels, who had a notorious reputation for being a humongous asshole behind the scenes. All I learned from this documentary is this, if you're a superstar for WWE, do not cross them or you're going to feel their wrath later.
To date, this is still the worst WWE documentary I've seen. It's a one-sided burial where complete honesty wasn't even considered, and even superstars like Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan get in on the action. These two are lucky as hell to have parted on good terms with Vince. I remember Shane Douglas ripping Flair apart religiously back in the mid 90's, and word was, he was echoing the feelings of a lot of people, and I'm sure everybody knows about the skeletons in Hogan's closet; a self-destruction DVD on these two would be classic, because there's a lot of people who don't like them. The only reason I don't find this thing completely worthless is because they at least added some good matches with full entrances. So here they go:
Wrestling Challenge 10-24-87
Ultimate Warrior vs. Terry Gibbs
This was Warriors debut and he was still pretty green here. He squashes a nobody with his high impact offense which would go on to make up his total arsenal. 2.5/5
Ultimate Warrior vs. Honky Tonk Man (Champion)
The beginning of his gigantic push begins here, as he comes out to an electric crowd and squashes HTM in 35 seconds with only a few moves. The short length of the match was mainly meant to work in Warriors favor, and it did help him as he ended HTM's one year plus reign as IC champ, which is still the record to this very day. 2.75/5
Wrestlemania VI 4-1-90
Title vs. Title Match
Hulk Hogan (WWE Champion) vs. Ultimate Warrior (IC Champion)
This is a match that still holds up for many reasons. The drama and intensity is still something else as it gives off that clash of the titans feel. The two lock up various times in strength contests with both men coming off various times as equals. They had the crowd in their hands, and Hogan carried Warrior to a fantastic match, one of his best ever to me. They delivered some good clotheslines, and the match featured a ko'ed ref, finisher kick outs, it just had that big match feel. Classic Wrestlemania caliber match up. 4.25/5
Steel Cage Match for WWE Championship
Ultimate Warrior (Champion) vs. "Ravishing" Rick Rude
Rick was another one on a very short list who could pull great matches out of Warrior, with this being the best of their encounters. This started out high octane, with Warrior scaling the outside of the cage, and these two locking up in a brawl, which saw Rude crashing to the canvas. They beat each other up pretty well, with the cage being used as a weapon and Rude was opened up. The entertainment factor was high here, and the ending was pretty funny too. 4/5
Wrestlemania VII 3-24-91
Ultimate Warrior vs. "Macho King" Randy Savage
Personally, I think Savage pulled the best match out of Warrior, and for me, this stands as Ultimate Warriors best match ever. He made Warrior look too good, and Savage worked his dirty cheating heel character to perfection. I still remember when I saw this on ppv, and the suspense factor was so high, and you couldn't tell who was going to be retired. Warrior showcased a good display of strength when he caught Savage leaping from the top rope, plus the match had some intense finisher kick outs. In addition, the late Sensational Sherri got in on the action. This is seriously a great match that should be seen by anyone who missed it. 4.5/5
The extras also feature some very short stories from Jerry Lawler and Ted Dibiase, plus Christian impersonates one of Warriors interviews. There really isn't much in this portion to me.
As good as the last three matches are, they just can't salvage what I believe to be a trainwreck. Vince could have been the bigger man here and handled this differently. After watching this DVD again, with the exceptions of probably Ted Dibiase and Jim Ross, everyone I feel who participated has left me questioning their integrity. I only recommend this to the curious, because I can't honestly recommend this bashing to Ultimate Warrior fans.
The Ultimate Warrior, one of the craziest, most insane, colorful and energetic men to ever appear in the WWF: and if this documentary is to be belived also one of the biggest losers they ever hired. WWF really likes to rework it's history and while this doc makes mention of THREE times they tried hiring the tassle wearing one, never once does it seem to be WWF's fault for his actions. Cut to his WCW years, and Warrior was just an embarrassing goof who wasted … more
THE SELF-DESTRUCTION OF THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR After being one of the most famous talked about wrestlers in the history of the sport it seemed as if we would never hear about The Warrior again after his short stint in WCW. But then a form of filmmaking called the documentary as brought to life the memory of one of professional wrestling's most colorful forgotten figures. It seems like yesterday I was seeing … more
A look at one of the most insane and energetic performers in WWF(E)'s history. Very lopsided at times and while it comes off as a burial, the Warrior is so entertaining that it becomes hard to bury him.
This is with out a doubt one of the best documentaries I have seen in a long time, I recommend it to every body. Also Christian doing the Warrior interview was great. now it may seem like i agreed with every one on this DVD but i was not there and do not know the whole story. so as a fan i still love the guy, he gave me countless memories that will stay with me. I for one think Warrior should be put into the hall of fame in the WWE, its not about what Vince and them think, it is about the fans. … more
First things first, I am was and still am a HUGE Ultimate Warrior fan. I got back into wrestling from 1997-2002 (I still watch it here and there but no longer consider myself a fan any more) and cheered for wrestlers like The Rock before he was big all the way up until he left (probably the single biggest reason why I lost interest in WWE again). Before that time I was a WWF fan from 1987-1993 and I absolutely loved the Ultimate Warrior. Bar none, he is my favorite wrestler of all time, as short … more