The Ultimate Warrior is the first wrestler announced to enter the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014. Many professional wrestling experts are applauding the move and asking the question, “what took so long?” The Ultimate Warrior was considered one of the best in the WWE during the late 1980’s.
Ultimate Warrior, born James Brian Hellwig, burst onto the WWF scene in 1987 as the “Dingo Warrior”. His first television appearance later that year saw him under his now well known name Ultimate Warrior. Hellwig allegedly changed his name to Warrior in 1993.
The Ultimate Warrior persona was known for his “intensity and strength”. Many still consider him one of the greatest to ever be in professional wrestling. As Hulk Hogan was aging and on his way out of the WWF, a match was scheduled for Wrestlemania VI which featured Hogan versus Warrior, “The Ultimate Challenge”. A World Championship match, it is hailed as many as the greatest match ever. Ultimate Warrior defeated Hogan and became the only wrestler to hold both the WWF World Championship and Intercontinental Championship at the same time.
When he seemed to be on top, the end was actually near for Warrior’s career. In 1991, Warrior and Vince McMahon got involved an offscreen feud over pay. The Ultimate Warrior felt that he was deserving to be paid as much or more than Hulk Hogan, who would be leaving the show soon. McMahon originally agreed to the amount of $550,000 suggested by Warrior, but later said that the agreement was just to keep him happy. After a SummerSlam event in which Warrior did not appear, he was to be suspended by the WWF. Instead he elected to resign.
After a short return to the WWF in 1992, a steroids scandal for the former bodybuilder again forced him out. Fans have often wondered what his career would have looked at if he had remained with the WWF in those early years.
It would appear that the hatchet has been buried. Vince McMahon and the WWE (formerly WWF) are now celebrating the Ultimate Warrior and his career. Hopefully, there won’t be any shenanigans at the induction ceremony.