In spite of being one of the least-talented wrestlers of the ’80s and ’90s, the Ultimate Warrior was one of the industry’s biggest superstars. A crazy costume, a vibrant, yet eccentric personality and one of the best bodies in the industry was enough to succeed back then and you didn’t anymore proof to believe it than looking at him. With matches that usually lasted anywhere from a minute to three minutes, watching the Warrior perform was like watching a child on a sugar-high – non-stop intensity and little responsibility for the people around him or care of what the future held.
As far as in-ring style went, Warrior was “balls-out” the entire time. The few times he wasn’t, you saw just how green he was, which, in sense, put a black eye on the performers who were in love with their craft.
In a career full of ups and downs, he took advantage of every opportunity he could, shooting to the top faster than anyone else before him. However, just as fast as things rose for Jim Hellwig, they crashed just as fast, as he burned virtually every bridge he crossed on the way to the top.
Chronicled in the 2005 WWE documentary “The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior,” his career is put into perspective by the people who watched his tumultuous ride to the top and his disaster-filled free fall. Very different from the other WWE documentaries out there in the fact that Warrior [Hellwig legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993] isn’t anywhere to be seen in the documentary or the interviews on the two-disc set. Because of this, many of the allegations made about him can be looked at as skewed. However, with over a dozen wrestlers, and such reputable names as Bobby Heenan, Ted DiBiase, Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross sharing their thoughts on the enigma, the allegations being made seem absolutely plausible.
This is not your usual wrestling documentary in the fact that Warrior is not a hard luck story with heart like Brian Pillman, a tragedy like Jake Roberts or a mixed bag like Brett Hart. Blessed with an amazing body, Warrior refused to put the time and energy into his craft and still found a way to the top. Rather than realize this, he continued to demand more and more from the marrow of life, without putting what he needed into it, which of course, ended up costing him his spot in the industry.
However, if the Beatles song rings true and “In the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make,” then the Warrior sure had a blast on his way to the top. This is evidenced by numerous accounts by former wrestlers that his attitude was atrocious and aside from having his own dressing room [an unknown at the time, considering even Hulk Hogan got dressed with the rest of the boys], he even allegedly held up Vince McMahon for an absorbent amount of money before a pay per view. Listening to all of these stories and the various impersonations of the black sheep make this set a must own for any wrestling fan or anyone obsessed with ’80s pop culture, as the dude is a living embodiment of it.
With a second disc filled with extra content such as interviews, matches and promos, any fan of the Warrior will appreciate the set and will forget about the fact that the man behind the paint wasn’t nearly as indestructible as he thought he was. Four hours may seem like a ton of time to invest in someone like the Warrior, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more complete telling of anyone’s career than “The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior.”