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!

Happy 60th birthday, @HulkHogan!

(Those were happier days, dude; look below for some hatred, brother!)

Hulk Hogan turned 60 today, and some of his friends have wonderful birthday wishes for the No. 1 Hulkamaniac. Here’s the late “Macho Man” Randy Savage with some birthday advice:

Booker T would normally leave a present for the Hulkster, but in this case, he wants to take something:

Shawn Michaels offers up his own interpretive dance:

And Hulk’s old nemesis Ultimate Warrior conjures up some fun memories:

Hulkster, allow your fans at Stunt Granny to pile on… er, continue the birthday wishes, and here’s to hoping you can keep milking that idiot Dixie Carter for her oil money until Papa Vince finally calls in his “Real Americans” blow-off angle. -Eric

Dusty’s Blog: Dusty answers five random questions

mailbag-

You know, every week we get so many cards and letters here at the Stunt Granny Headquarters, it’s just ridiculous. Normally we just completely ignore them, because we are so much better than all you readers out there. Sometimes Jeremy will take a letter into the bathroom with him if we are running low on toilet paper.

But now I have decided in the interest of creating content, to change all that. Every week I will be answering five random questions from you, our lovely loyal readers. Without any further ado, throw your mittens around your kittens and away we go:

1.) What are your thoughts on the Repo Man? – Dusty G., Fond du Lac, Wisc.

Yeah, that’s an interesting question, Dusty, I was just thinking about the Repo Man. Like, have you ever wondered who drives the Repo Man to the place where he is repoing the car? Because he always just hot wires the car and drives away with it, right? So, like, is a friend dropping him at the house so he can repo the car? Is he taking public transportation, like a bus or a taxi cab to get to the place to repo the car? Perhaps there is a never ending stream of repo’d cars that serve the purpose of leading him to the next house to repo the next car. Maybe he lives close by and just walked.

The point of the matter is that Repo was completely awesome and I always felt like if a bunch of the guys had teamed up to eliminate Yokozuna at the 1993 Royal Rumble, that match was Repo’s for the taking. See what I did there with that sentence? Why am I asking you the questions?

2.) What are your thoughts on the whole Jimmy Hart/Nasty Boys/Natural Disasters/Money Inc thing? – Dusty G., Fond du Lac, Wisc.

Yeah, that’s an excellent question. I was just thinking about this recently. See, it all goes back to Mr Fuji in 1990. In early ’90 Fuji managed the Powers of Pain. And then in like February, he debuted the Orient Express. Everyone put up a stink about what an obvious conflict of interest this was, and so Fuji ended up selling the Warlord to Slick and the Barbarian to Bobby Heenan, so he could concentrate all of his energies on managing his new, completely inferior team. It was tremendous booking.

So now Jimmy Hart in 1991. His Nasty Boys win the tag belts from the Hart Foundation at WrestleMania so that they can drop the belts to the Legion of Doom at SummerSlam and break up the Foundation so that Bret can finally get a big singles push. The problems start right before SummerSlam when Jimmy unveils his new tag team, the Natural Disasters. At SummerSlam, LOD should have beaten the Nastys, and the Disasters should have beaten the Bushwhackers. And then you *have* to turn the Nastys face. You cant really split them up since they’d be crap on their own, and you can’t keep them with Jimmy since he now has a new team. So that Survivor Series match (Rockers & Bushwhackers vs Beverly Brothers & Nastys) would have to be changed around, but I’m not trying to be a completist here. I’m talking about one specific line of booking.

So then you have LOD beat the Disasters at Royal Rumble 1992, shortly thereafter Jimmy unveils another new team, Money Inc. At this point, the Disasters have to turn face, since they would be clearly butt hurt about Jimmy favoring his new team over them. Maybe you wait until after WrestleMania 8, though, where you could have LOD over the Disasters and Money Inc over the Nasty Boys, if you so wanted.

There could be many different ways to achieve that same goal, but the point is they didn’t do any of them. They keep the Nastys with Jimmy all the way through SummerSlam 1992, which was logically ridiculous and clearly defied the hallmark they themselves had put into place a couple years prior. It just honks me off like a goose!

3.) Some idiot recently said that Ultimate Warrior was the worst main eventer in history. Your thoughts, please? – Dusty G., Fond du Lac, Wisc.

Very good question. Yes, he is an idiot, first of all. Second of all, it’s not really close to true. This subject was recently batted around on Facebook and a lot of people got lost in the tall grass, arguing that Warrior was a horrible worker. It might or might not be true, but it’s completely besides the main point.

See, Diesel was the worst drawing WWF Champion in history. So since he came *after* Warrior, that automatically makes him worse, no? He was no great shakes in the ring, either. Bret got a good match out of him, but Bret could get a good match out of the couch. Diesel was atrocious, didn’t draw a dime, and he was just really terrible.

Another matter is that Warrior was completely sabotaged by Hulk Hogan every step of the way. Follow me here on a history lesson. They debuted Earthquake by making him friends with Dino Bravo and having the two attack the Warrior. Before his Mania win over Hogan for the WWF Title, Warrior was beating Bravo at house shows. Therefore, all of that would lead perfectly, one would assume, towards Warrior feuding with Earthquake post WrestleMania. It should stand to reason that the number one face should be feuding with the number one heel in the company. (Please note that I’m not slagging Rick Rude at all by saying this. It’s just that he was a step or two below Quake on the totem pole at his point.)

Instead, Hogan got the A-match at SummerSlam and all of the hype leading up to it, with the injury angle, the get well letters campaign and the guys in the corner stuff. Warrior got the second most hyped match. And then, even more ridiculously, Warrior had no feud whatsoever going into the Survivor Series. He was pasted into a survivors match that he nothing to do with (Perfect vs. Tornado, Demolition vs. LOD). And then by Royal Rumble ’91, he was already losing the belt.  Hogan, meanwhile, carried the Earthquake feud through the end of the year, won the Rumble, and then beat Slaughter for the belt at Mania. There was never really a point during Warrior’s title reign that you couldn’t plausibly argue that Hogan was still the top star in the company.

So what I’m saying is, other than the workrate, you could conceivably blame every one of Warrior’s failings as top dog in the company on Hogan. After that he started flaking out and no showing stuff and trying to hold up Vince for more money and all of that, and I would argue that you could trace all of that back to Hogan sabotaging him in 1990.  But I mean, it’s not like Hogan has a history of doing that, or anything.

Also of note is that guys like Jack Swagger and the Miz are much worse main eventers as well. It is actually embarrassing that guys like that were allowed to hold the title. It’s a byproduct of today’s environment, where the name WWE sells the tickets and it doesn’t really matter who the champion is, and everyone gets a turn with every belt anyway, and there’s 5 million belts anyway, and nothing means anything, but man, do those guys suck. Especially Swagger.

Also of note is that workrate doesn’t mean shit in professional wrestling.

4.) Who are your top five SportsCenter anchors of all time? – Dusty G., Fond du Lac, Wisc.

Such a great question. I would have to go like this…

1 – Keith Olbermann

2 – Dan Patrick

3 – Kenny Mayne

4 – Scott Van Pelt

5 – Charley Steiner

Speaking of SportsCenter and ESPN, isn’t it weird that Chris Berman is, as Bob Ley once called Steiner, a “professional putz” when he went to Brown University and graduated with a degree in history? You would think he would be more serious, like Ley, instead of being Mr Sound Effects and guy-who-gives-everyone-a-crummy-nickname guy. Then again, him graduating college in the late 70s does explain his shitty taste in music.

5.) Who could it be now? – Dusty G., Fond du Lac, Wisc.

Not sure.

Stunt Granny Audio #226

Hulk Hogan and Iron Sheik going at it.

Hulk Hogan and Iron Sheik going at it.

It must be that time of the week again. The time when Kevin and Dusty grace all you lovely people with their magical mystical presence. This week our heroes start things off by discussing TNA’s continued roster purge. This week the victims are Luke Gallows and Tara. Gallows’ exit mystifies them but they agree both Tara and Jeremy Maes have seen better days since their Heat stint came and went. They move on to talking about WWE’s latest Monday Night Raw. It was an attack heavy show as the Wyatt Family and The Shield both joined in on all the reindeer games. Just what are the names of the Wyatt family members? Does Mitchell Cool even know? How long is it going to take Mark Henry to actually retire? Dusty sidetracks things twice, first by having a terrible cellular phone and second by asking Kevin if there was anyone who could have replaced Hogan in the big push spot in 1984. They also talk about how there is Sum Tin Wong with journalistic fact checking these days, and a whole lot more, so you need to listen before you spontaneously combust.

Stunt Granny Audio Show #226

Ultimate Warrior returns to promote WWE 2K14, is not dead

If 20 years of anecdotal, empirical, and probably even DNA proof didn’t convince you that the original Ultimate Warrior did not die (during, as lore has it, a bench press workout where his intestines exploded), here’s the wonderfully non-sensical video that proves it. The Ultimate Warrior is back, and he’s promoting the next WWE video game, WWE 2K14. Terry Crews, Office Linebacker, beware, as Warrior beats up every nerd in the 2K headquarters. Assuredly, outtakes included Warrior calling the Hulk Hogan character a “queer” and Kevin Nash a “phony mother fucker.” CUT!

The only thing missing is a call-back to his first Slim Jim commercial. You boys a bit booorrrred? Snap into this! -Eric

Giant Gonzalez, Ultimate Warrior were onto something: Bicycling muscle suit

Yuck.

This has virtually nothing to do with anything, except that Ultimate Warrior (1992) and Giant Gonzalez (1993) did it first. Here’s proof:

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