Ultimate Warrior, dead at 54 #RIPUltimateWarrior

Saturday, the hall of fame. Sunday, the biggest show of the year. Monday, who knew it would be a farewell speech. Tuesday, gone in an instant.

When I was 9 years old, I wrote the Ultimate Warrior a letter – I don’t recall if I sent it – telling him he was my second favorite wrestler, right behind Hulk Hogan. I’ve spent 24 years since, guilt-riddled over even thinking that was a good idea. I’ve finally discovered the root of my guilt: Ultimate Warrior, for all of his quirks, beliefs and idiosyncrasies, was a man of conviction, unwavering in his beliefs, even if they, at best, didn’t line up, or at worst clashed head-on, with the general public’s way of thinking. Anyone who declares in a public forum that “Queerin’ don’t make the world work” certainly has an askew vision of reality (and shouldn’t be forgiven for some of his statements simply because he’s dead), but whether his comments were shocking, stimulating or spot-on, they were never suspicious or lacking in fortitude.

I grew up on Warrior’s psycho-babble – which made more sense in the context of pro wrestling – and was hypnotized by the paint, the promos, the tassles, the mullet, the muscles and the, as Vince McMahon would say, frenetic energy. At age 9, that sort of thing explodes at you out of the TV screen. Warrior is probably the reason I grew out my rat’s nest of a head of hair when I was in third grade, and he was definitely the cause of my playground press slams and classroom clotheslines. I may have cheered Hulk Hogan in “The Ultimate Challenge” at WrestleMania VI, but Warrior was quite the runner-up.

Fast forward 24 years, a lot of good matches, and a few stinkers. Let’s even skip past the WWE-produced DVD that dragged Warrior’s character through the mud (although that documentary is great for a laugh or 12.) When it was announced that Warrior was being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, I think we all let out a sigh of relief. Our hero made amends with his old boss/sometimes nemesis, and he was coming back home.

Due to timing, the only WWE Hall of Fame speech I was able to watch live this past Saturday was that of the Ultimate Warrior. Despite looking physically shaky, including sweating like a sinner in church, his speech was well delivered and well received. He bit his tongue in this public forum and spent more time applauding the positives than dwelling on the negatives. He did the same thing Monday night on Raw when given the microphone again, despite still appearing somewhat unhealthy – note that the production team attempted to not capture Warrior walking up the stairs and through the ropes. Not a clue if Warrior suffered from any physical ailments, but his hobbling and tremoring may have told a story.

I’ll say this, too, about Warrior: I won’t pretend to be upset about his diatribes against Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and others, as those were their business and none of mine. However, Warrior had always been completely complimentary of the fans, never bad-mouthing us as a whole. For all of the people who have said Warrior was “bad for business,” it’s clear he never took his fans for granted.

The timing of Ultimate Warrior’s death is just as bizarre as the life he led, but in a serendipitous way, maybe the past week gave him closure. I feel miserable for his wife and two young daughters who, I presume, never got to see their dad wrestle, and definitely never saw him at the peak of his popularity. He has a beautiful family, and I’m guessing he doted on them like any loving husband and father should. Stunt Granny sends its condolences, and we cherish the multi-colored memories. -Eric

Stunt Granny Audio #244

Winning.

Winning.

If you don’t think it’s time for another edition of Stunt Granny Audio, then you are a complete imbecile because it is absolutely time for another edition of Stunt Granny Audio! This time around, your co-pilots are Kevin and Dusty, and oh my my, is there a lot to talk about! The two discuss the impending induction of Ultimate Warrior into the WWE Hall of Fame. Will his speech be as bat shit crazy as his old promos were? Who the hell is going to induct him? Is Vince McMahon crossing old vendettas off his list before he kicks the bucket? The two also get off on a side tangent here about Vince dictating in his will that his corpse still be involved in angles.

They also discuss how Monday Night Raw is usually really good during WrestleMania season, but express their frustrations on the whole Daniel Bryan/Bray Wyatt storyline. They also talk about ridiculous contracts being given out in professional sports (congratulations, Clayton Kershaw), make fun of the new Chicago Cubs mascot, and a whole lot more wackiness than you can shake a stick at, and it’s only going to take about an hour of your life, so listen to it or else they’ll send Crowley after you!

Stunt Granny Audio: @wrestlingmuseum George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame Special

(L to R) Cool dudes.

(L to R) Cool dudes.

Eric and Dan tag-team this special edition of Stunt Granny audio, discussing the events of this year’s George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. (Whew!) The guys discuss their growing gang of traveling wrestling fans who descend on Waterloo each year, and all of the cool stuff they saw and people they met. From the training session to the closing speeches by Edge and Charlie Thesz, and all of the Jim Brunzell stories, beers and Doughy Joey’s pizza in between, it was a fantastic weekend that, as Jim Ross and Gerald Brisco believe, you need to attend in order to appreciate. Check it out!

Stunt Granny Audio Show: Stunt Granny Audio:George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame Special

Ric Flair to be inducted into WaterWHOOOOO! (Waterloo) Hall of Fame

 

“Ass, gas or grass, sweetheart, nobody rides for free! WHOOOO!”

YES! I knew it! I knew he was going to be inducted! </heenan> According to a press release, Ric Flair is one of the 2013 class of inductees into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. (Before I post the press release, let me just say that I recommended “Cowboy” Bill Watts for nomination last year. Totally not taking credit for anything, of course.) Here are more details.

WATERLOO, Iowa—The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum selected the Class of 2013 for the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Ric Flair, “Cowboy” Bill Watts, and Chris Taylor have been chosen by the selection committee.

The George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame weekend will take place July 12-13 in Waterloo, Iowa.

Criteria for induction into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame include substantial impact on professional wrestling, general respect within the profession, and a strong amateur wrestling background.  The selection committee includes all living hall of fame members as well as a select group of wrestling historians.

Flair has one of the longest and most distinguished careers in professional wrestling. He was a 16-time world champion with titles in the NWA, WCW, and WWE. Watts was a successful wrestler and promoter. He was ranked in the top ten worldwide for over 25 years.

Taylor was an NCAA champion for Iowa State in 1972 and 1973, and a bronze medalist at the 1972 Olympics. He had a three-year career with the AWA beginning in 1974. Taylor died at the age of 29 in 1979.

Winners of the Frank Gotch Award, Lou Thesz Award, George Tragos Award, and Jim Melby Award will be released on November 12. A full schedule of events will be released at a later date.

For more information contact the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum at (319) 233-0745 or dgmstaff@nwhof.org

Also, make sure you bring lots and lots and lots of money for autographs, 8x10s and pictures with a replica title belt, because Ric Flair needs and loves money. He may even sell you his HOF plaque. Dead serious, though: I’m excited for hall of fame weekend every year, but this one might just complete my life. No offense to Carly or our new puppy. WHOOOOO! -Eric

Kurt Angle’s hall of fame acceptance speech reaches YouTube, not a dry eye in my house

Truth be told – shock of shockers – we don’t say a lot of nice things about Kurt Angle here at Stunt Granny. Of course, our MO here is to poke fun and the poke funnable, and we’re too big of assholes to stop doing that any time soon. As I like to say, we’re all adults, and we’re all making adult decisions, it’s just that some of us are superheroes doing so in the public eye. So if you want to drink moonshine all night and speed back to your Virginia Motel 6, have a ball. And if you want to no-show a hall of fame induction, so be it. Hey, we weren’t the only ones making light of the situation (I’m looking at you, Arda Ocal and Jerry Brisco).

However, Angle’s pre-taped acceptance speech has hit YouTube, and you know what? It’s pretty nice! Angle tells a short story about both Dan Gable (the museum’s namesake) and Lou Thesz (after whom the hall of fame was named), and you can tell he’s very appreciative of his award. And very tired. Man, take another nap in a median, will ya? Shopping for bridal gowns and flower girl baskets shouldn’t wear you out that much! -Eric

JBL keeps killing it in social media: first @JCLayfield, now a hall of fame recap on YouTube channel

What a great cap to a fun hall of fame weekend: John Bradshaw Layfield took to his YouTube channel yesterday to discuss his award, appearance and great time at the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in Waterloo, Iowa. A number of his jokes come straight from his Lou Thesz Award acceptance speech, but they’re classic nonetheless. JBL is clearly a student of the game, calling Waterloo “the NWA hometown,” and he’s assuredly a fan of the sport, as he rattles off fact after fact about the legends and his peers. JBL says he felt like “a big fat kid at a chocolate factory” all weekend, and his emotion is clear here. -Eric

Stunt Granny Audio #193

Eric’s 12-shirt Mount Rushmore

It’s a three-man booth this week, with Dusty, Eric and Kevin discussing all sorts of relevant and pertinent and important professional wrestling topics. This week’s Top Five at Five includes John Cena wrestling CM Punk at Raw 1000, Daniel Bryan marrying AJ on the same show, Dolph Ziggler winning a Money in the Bank match and helping turn a stagnant Chris Jericho turn babyface, the rumors of who comprises TNA’s Aces & 8s stable (and why they probably aren’t calling themselves Dead Man’s Hand), and Kurt Angle no-showing the hall of fame inductions in Waterloo, Iowa. The boys also play a round of Match Game, plus they discuss what designs should go on the Mount Rushmore of pro wrestling T-shirts. All this and maybe a little bit more, if you’d just click the link below!

Stunt Granny Audio Show #193

Link

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