Wrestling’s Greatest Feuds – Warrior v. Hogan – Part I

Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Warrior
Company: World Championship Wrestling
Duration: August 1998-October 1998

In the world of wrestling, we fans appear to be very patient. We’ve sat through some of the most atrocious, inane, insulting story lines and matches in history. We do this simply because when wrestling is good, you’re hard-pressed to find much else that’s better. Plus, some of the ridiculous stuff is actually fun to watch, even if you are being insulted by the people who think you’d actually enjoy this. That being said, there’s at least 2 types of crap;

A] The kind of crap that’s executed by people whom you’ve never even had a vested interest in and thus you know is going to be horrible, and

B] The type of crap that’s executed by people you thought you could trust. Wrestlers and companies that take something you’re banking on being good, and make it the exact opposite.

Well, in today’s tale, we’re going to go over an event that’s a bit of a mix of both. Something that you knew was probably going to suck, but in a way you trusted those participating and hoped that they could pull out something good, because hell, they’d done it before. Which event in question am I referring to, you ask?
1998′s Return of the Ultimate Warrior!

Oh 1998. It was a good year for WCW, it’d reached the highest records it’d ever held, as far as buy-rates, media-coverage, merchandise sales, and house-show attendance. So, I suppose when you’re riding high, why not try to ride higher, ay? Also, when you have a world champion who’s on fire and one of the biggest draws in wrestling, you should find a way to make sure he’s second banana to an aging glory-hog who hadn’t had a decent match in at least 4 years. Enter the Warrior. Enter the Warrior on a million dollars a year to work 3 days a month. That’s fair.

As you probably know, the Ultimate Warrior was a huge superstar back in the hay-days of the WWE. His energetic entrances and smash-mouth wrestling style allowed the WWE’s boom period to last longer than it probably would have. But of course, he was a huge flake and couldn’t be trusted with the ball for longer than 2 minutes. So, despite the fact he’d been cancer to every promotion he’d worked in [major, I’m not counting the regionals when he worked with Stinger], Eric Bischoff, under the sound advice of Hogan, brought the Warrior in for a cool 1 million dollars. Because as you know, the Warrior is someone Hogan hasn’t beat, and well, that just can’t stand for long. So, he was paid 1 million dollars to work about 3 dates a month. Where’s people like Eddie Guerreo and Rey Mysterio were making probably a quarter or less of that, and putting on MOTY. While Warrior was making a cool million, and competed in 2 of the worst main events of all time. It’s how WCW worked. Let’s blow a lot of money for a quick pop, and make sure Hogan has something to do in order to stay ahead of WCW’s only home-grown talent, Bill Goldberg.

Of course, it did pay off, sort of. People who’d grown up with wrestling and seen the Warrior were interested to see if he still had it. Plus, to their credit, the Warrior/Hogan match from Wrestlemania 6 is considered one of Hogan’s greater showdowns. So, on August 17th, as Hogan was in the ring rambling about how he’d beat every giant and every ‘warrior, there just wasn’t anything left for him to do. Which is to say, the oldest form of introducing a big name. So, the lights start flashing on and off, Tony apologizes to us for what appears to be ‘technical difficulties’, and bam! The Warrior appears at the entrance. As he walks to the ring, you can literally see Hogan’s bottom jaw quivering. Once he hits the ring, he begins what would soon to be his trademark [besides vanishing in a cloud of smoke. Yes, I’m serious] ; long-winded, inane, pointless interviews that would constantly throw the show’s whole time-format off. Coming up, as a treat to you, the transcription of Warrior’s debut. Unfortunately, it’s no longer on youtube. A travesty.

Warrior: You need to open your eyes and ears, take control of the limited ability you have to understand the words I am about to say. For years, I have watched while this industry, with you as it’s figurehead, try to recreate what is simply unrecreatable. I have heard, listened to all the innuendos and speculation that something ULTIMATE or WARRIOR may soon re-appear. Welcome to the reappearance! Those things, Hogan, which are irreplaceable, whether they be people, places, or things, are never forgotten. You are witnessing that RIGHT NOW! History tells us, Hogan…[the crowd starts to chant ‘Hogan sucks!’ the Warrior signals for them to hault] Let’s talk about something he doesn’t know.
History tells us, Hogan, that a man’s legacy is built from the premise that within his life, the moments lived, once lived, become a piece of his history. Somehow, you have conveniently, even eloquently misplaced pieces of your history. In the one time, epical battle between us, Hogan, you were the quintessential influence of what was good, great, and heroic. But different than you may remember, and albeit you may have beaten myths, legends, giants, and other great men, you NEVER, NEVER beat a warrior. AND, CERTAINLY, NOT THE ULTIMATE ONE! As the victor of that one time battle, I defeated what was, until then, undefeatable. I conquered what was then unconquerable. I dominated what was, until then, indomitable. On that day, you were great. I WAS ULTIMATE! Let me introduce myself…to those two fools that stand behind you. Let’s see, this …dude [the Disciple]…must be your barber [I’ll give it to him, a some what clever remark]. And who are you, little man? Who are you?

Eric Bischoff: You know who I am. My name is Eric Bischoff and I run this company and who invited you?

Warrior: Different than you wanna make people believe, I never received an invitation. I showed up on my own accord [wouldn’t it be funny if he seriously meant his Honda Accord? Like the Warrior is just bombing around in a beat up Honda Accord, wearing the face paint and jacket. And the hood has his little symbol painted on it. Plus, there’s a bumper sticker that reads “My Child Is An Honor Student At Warrior University” and “I Don’t Break For Queer’n!”]. And let me tell you, Mr. Eric Bischoff, if you stick your nose in my business, you will only very quickly prepare for your own demise. Furthermore, when I get done with my business here, I’m gonna be sending you a bill. I suggest you pay it. I have…waited…patiently. The WARRIORS have waited all too patiently. Now…NOW…the virtue of justice unties my hands so that I can continue to fulfill a destiny set in motion on that memorable day years ago. A destiny at the next level. A destiny beckoning the next superhero. There really is no sadder sight than when a grown man fears the challenges in his life so much that he rationalizes adolescent behavior to the point where he carries out heinous and self-indulgent actions. Your evilness, an evilness you embodied and portray, is intolerable. I am the one that has the power to destroy you. In sorts, Hogan, the truth is inexhaustible. I come here, not to beat you up tonight, Hogan. Beating you means nothing anymore, everybody already has. [so, that’s why you wanna pay money to see us fight, right? Because it means nothing. Makes sense to me!]

No no no no no no no no no, that’s too easy. Because you felt guilty for being who you were. Your mind became weak, and Hulkamania became boring. I come here, Hogan, to tell you—NEXT WEEK—I intend to launch a revolution not even you can control. I ask you to find the courage—check it out. Next week. Same Warrior time. Same Warrior place. Same Warrior channel.

Tony Schiavone: He has vanished! Ladies and gentlemen, in one of the most mind-boggling and incredible displays that we’ve ever witnessed on this program, the Warrior has literally vaporized before our very eyes.

Bobby Heenan: Never seen anything like this in my life.

Tony Schiavone: There’s never been anything like this in our sport!

Seriously. Schiavone had to scream about as if this truly was the most amazing thing he’d ever seen. Funny thing, he’s such an idiot that he probably believed that all of this was real. Poor Heenan. At least his quote could be taken as “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, because it’s so stupid, who would believe it?”

Eric Bishoff said he brought Warrior in because at the time, WCW was really rolling strong. Plus, there’d always been a strong interest in established characters. And he was not, despite rumor, brought in just to lose to Hogan. So, since everyone knew Warrior from their childhood, they tuned in to see if he still had it. He also mentioned how once he got talking, he just went into business for himself, and that he [Eric] and Hogan didn’t want to look at each other, because the crowd would see that they had no idea what was going on. Hogan stated that they’d self destructed, and Vince must be laughing.

I, personally, was some what interested, I’ll admit. I was a Warrior fan growing up, so I was interested in seeing what they’d do. Plus, I knew someone was bound to screw up and say Ultimate Warrior, instead of the OK’d ‘Warrior’. As we all know at this point, but for those few of you who don’t, Jim Hellwig plays the Ultimate Warrior. That name however is trademarked by the WWE, so he is unable to use it anywhere else. It’s how they do business. Well, the Warrior, being ever so smart as he is, changed his legal name to Warrior. I also believe his last name is Warrior. So, he’s Mr. Warrior Warrior. He receives bills in the mail to a Mr. Warrior. When he speaks to lawyers they call him Mr. Warrior. When he’s kickin’ back poolside with some friends, they just call him Warrior.

It’s perhaps the most insane thing I’ve ever heard.

But, it worked. It was a huge ratings draw; almost 7 million people watched that train wreck.

JR says he was brought in for the same reason the ‘E brought him in back in 96’. To re-create the magic that happened back in the late 80’s, early 90’s.

So, seriously. This was how the Warrior made his debut. He was given about 7 minutes to make this happen, but went about 20 and the ENTIRE show’s format was thrown out the window. So, now he was now a guy who wasn’t just screaming short little promos, but blathering on and on and talking about how beating Hogan doesn’t mean anything, and he’s already done it. So he does things like this [ranting & raving] until a cloud of smoke comes and he can disappear. How amazing, 46 minutes of fog with the lights being turned out gives a guy enough time to disappear, well, at least Schiavone was impressed. Hell, Warrior could tell Tony about his amazing power to grow from about a foot tall to 6 feet in only 40 years time and Tony’s head would explode like Scanners.

The announcement he would have next week, the one that no one could handle, was the nWo spelt backwards. The oWn. One Warrior Nation. But there were 2 people in his group, not one. The second being the Disciple, with whom The Warrior kidnapped in a cloud of smoke then appeared in the rafters, grappling a blow-up doll of some sorts dressed like The Disciple. It’s even funnier if you think about how this was all booked. It truly means that there were people, people smart enough to survive on their own who not only thought the idea, but said aloud to a group of others “we should have the Ultimate Warrior disappear and reappear in a cloud of smoke! Oh, and the smoke makes people pass out! The fans will think he’s a roided-up homosexual genie and buy-rates will go through the ROOF!”  And the people in the room agreed! These people are allowed to drive cars, raise children, and buy guns! Doesn’t that scare anyone out there? Anyways, I’m Richard Dawson, so let’s get back to the feud.

Well, naturally, the Warrior, who covers up the fact he’s really crazy with fake crazy, plays the ‘ultimate’ mind games on Hulk Hogan, as to get inside his head before their big match. But, before we get to the final showdown, naturally we need to get these two in the ring, but not in the big pay-off way you’d expect.

Enter, War Games.
It was to be the first 3-man team WarGames ever, featuring DDP, Hogan, Bret, Piper, Sting, Warrior, Stevie Ray, Luger, and Kevin Nash. Once almost everyone, sans the Warrior was in the ring, Hogan used a flap-jack. Which I believe Hogan just grabbed a  sun-glasses bag, and laid out everyone except Stevie. Did they pin anyone? No. Because then smoke filled the ring, and who should appear? The Warrior, flying a Stealth Bomber with ‘Hogan is a dork!’ spray-painted on the side. He shot everyone, then launched a missile, but jumped out of the jet in time to catch the missile, body slam it, then cover it for the pin. Schiavone claimed this to be the greatest moment in the history of the sport. ……actually, no, I’m sorry, that isn’t what happened. Something even more stupid, and even more unbelievable happened. Smoke filled the ring, Warrior appeared, Hogan tried to grab him but was only able to snag his jacket. Smoke filled the ring again,  this time Warrior was gone, but then appeared from the dressing room. Yes, they brought back the Renegade for this stupid little scene. He later killed himself over what people say was depression from breaking up with his girlfriend. I think it was because of his involvement with this stupid angle. Anyways, Warrior hits the ring, Hogan, with the assist from the Disciple, gets out of the cage and locks it. So, now the Warrior is stuck in there. But, wait….wasn’t he just in the cage and teleported to the outside? Perhaps a Masterlock padlock is just THAT GOOD. So he instead just screams and barks, and manages to kick a hole in the cage and escape, followed by Hogan & Warrior doing battle all the way to the back. So far, WCW has paid Warrior a cool mill, and they got 45 seconds of action from him, in which he managed to tear both of his biceps & twist his ankle. Oh, and DDP pinned Stevie in order to earn a shot at Goldberg.

And The Warrior, cannot get to Hogan!

Fall Brawl [the ppv that hosted War Games] was also famous for another reason.  The British Bulldog was in a match and took a powerslam that had him land on the Warrior’s stupid trapdoor. The result was a spinal infection that nearly crippled him and had him in the hospital for 6 months. Of course during this time, WCW sent their get wall card written on a pink-slip. So, at this point the Dog got all roided up, addicted to pain-killers, and came back way earlier than he should have. This, all because the Warrior wanted to make people believe heroes again. A price I’m sure Bulldog would pay all over again.



~ by Caliber Winfield on August 17, 2009.

One Response to “Wrestling’s Greatest Feuds – Warrior v. Hogan – Part I”

  1. Reblogged this on The Only Wrestling Reviews That You'll Ever Need and commented:

    A classic of mine that I’ve updated. It’s truly indominable.

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