Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior|
Actors: Eric Bischoff, Ted DiBiase, Ric Flair, Bobby Heenan, Hulk Hogan
Director: Kevin Dunn (III)
Studio: Genius Products Inc Release Date: 09/27/2005 Run time: 180 minutes
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The Rise And Fall Of The Ultimate Warrior
Daniel McKinnon | Tewksbury, MA USA | 09/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First things first, I am was and still am a HUGE Ultimate Warrior fan. I got back into wrestling from 1997-2002 (I still watch it here and there but no longer consider myself a fan any more) and cheered for wrestlers like The Rock before he was big all the way up until he left (probably the single biggest reason why I lost interest in WWE again). Before that time I was a WWF fan from 1987-1993 and I absolutely loved the Ultimate Warrior. Bar none, he is my favorite wrestler of all time, as short a moment in time as it was.
I state this to make it known that I was extremely excited when I heard that WWE was releasing an Ultimate Warrior DVD, scouring the Internet for news on a daily basis to learn more about what was being released regarding my favorite wrestler of all time. I knew that this was not going to be any love-fest by the WWE brain trust, but I didn't care. Just the ability to see the warrior in the DVD format and have others talk about the individual that made moments of my sometimes crappy childhood filled with joy... it took me back to happy moments that you cannot easily feel again.
After having rushed out to pick up "The Self Destruction Of The Ultimate Warrior" and watched the 1.5 hour special about his career in the ring, I find that it was a very FAIR assessment of Warrior's wrestling legacy. Other Ultimate Warrior fans have written online that this DVD badmouths the former Mr. Hellwig and puts him in a light that isn't completely accurate. In a situation of "he said she said" usually the truth lies somewhere in between so I am sure that this DVD isn't 100% accurate, but my overall impression of this disc is that it is very FAIR (and again, I remind you that I was about as a big a fan as there is of The Ultimate Warrior).
Starting off with the origins of the Ultimate Warrior from Rock to Dingo Warrior to Ultimate Warrior, this DVD speaks of UW's quick rise from a house show wrestler to beating the Honky Tonk Man in 30 seconds at SummerSlam 1988 in Madison Square Garden. Following Warrior's rise in popularity, the UW does the unthinkable on April 1, 1990 in Toronto, Canada at WrestleMania VI as he CLEANLY beats Hulk Hogan in the middle of the ring in what is the penultimate moment of my wrestling fan "career". From this point on we learn how the Warrior defended that very title as best as he could (and I truly believe the Warrior did the best he could do), until he eventually lost it to Sgt. Slaughter and arguably then had the best match of his career with Randy Savage at WrestleMania VII. The Ultimate Warrior's 1st run with the WWF came to an end in 1991 when (as the WWF and Vince claim - Warrior himself says this isn't true) during the SummerSlam PPV Warrior demanded more money or he wouldn't perform. After a 7 month hiatus we see The Ultimate Warrior make his incredibly shocking return at the end of WM VIII to begin his 2nd run with the WWF which would only last a mere 8 months or so. Warrior's last 2 runs at wrestling for major promotions are covered in his 4 month 1996 WWF run and his 3 month 1998 WCW run (he hasn't wrestled in a big promotion since that time).
Throughout the history of UW's wrestling career we get comments from Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff, Ted Dibiase, Bobby Heenan, Gene Okerlund, Jim Ross, Hulk Hogan, Bruce Pritchard, Jerry Lawler, Christian, Chris Jericho, Ric Flair and many others. To say that these fellow wrestlers put Warrior in a bad light is like saying that rotten eggs smell bad. It's quite evident that Jim (most of these guys refuse to call him Warrior unless it's with their eyes in the back of their heads) wasn't very popular in the back room, and never will be.
But as I have said numerous times in this review, IT'S FAIR.
You generally get the impression when someone is lying, and it's pretty evident that everyone on this DVD is speaking from their hearts. They truly believe what they are telling the camera about the Ultimate Warrior and it is highly entertaining to say the least.
As an individual that prides themselves on knowing as much as possible about The Ultimate Warrior, I learned new things about the man from Parts Unknown, more so than anything else, how little he was respected in the back room by "the boys". As much as wrestling is for the fans, when it comes to the end of the day, the most important thing is how you interact with your little wrestling family in the back room. The fans you see maybe 20 minutes a night, your fellow wrestlers the entire rest of the day. It's a shame that as loved as the Warrior was from 1989-1991, he was so disliked by everyone else.
If you read any of Warrior's posts on his web site (ultimatewarrior.com) he'll tell you over and over again how much he can't stand the WWF and that they are liars, but when you have so many people saying 1 thing and 1 other person saying another, you can't help but think that maybe the problem isn't everyone else. Mr. Hellwig (sorry, WARRIOR) would have you believe that Vince has "brainwashed" his entire stable, but after watching this DVD you will probably feel otherwise.
My only complaint is that as good as 1.5 hour feature is, this collection could have been even more. It's quite clear that no "double dipping" will be done for another Ultimate Warrior DVD, so why not have matches on here like Warrior/Slaughter from Royal Rumble 1991, the complete Super Posedown from RR1989 with Rick Rude, more interview segments like when he gets hits by Honky Tonk in summer 1988, Rude at WMV, Hercules at WMIV, the whole Jake feud in 1991 and so forth? There are a handful of matches on here including the 2 big ones with Hogan at WMVI (sadly Jesse Ventura's commentary had to be cut out) and Savage at WMVII, but this set of choices feels lacking.
Overall, a very entertaining DVD that any Warrior fan should take a look at, and any wrestling fan that wants to learn more about the Ultimate Warrior shouldn't ignore (especially if you are ignorant of the story of Warrior).
**** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
A Fun WWE Mini-Doc...Nothing More, Nothing Less...
Nathan D. Ludwig | Culpeper, VA | 10/11/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you're one of the clueless out there that think The Ultimate Warrior was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, then this DVD is probably not for you...
But if you're one of the sensible out there that know the Warrior was a slightly entertaining, mildly diverting, talentless musclehead who made no sense on the mic or in the ring at all, then you'll most likely enjoy this minor but amusing mini-documentary and handful of matches and extras.
Sure, he might seem interesting to little kids back in his heyday, but anyone over the age of twelve can see through this guy and know he's even less skilled as a pro-wrestler than Hulk Hogan. But thankfully he was never as bad as Lex Luger. No one's that bad...
This 1-disc DVD features about a 70-minute WWE-produced "documentary" on the rise and fall and rise and fall and rise and fall of one of the strangest wrestlers to ever appear in The Fed. It features interviews with many different WWE personalities, from Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon himself to Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, The Brooklyn Brawler, Ted DiBiase, Christian, Bobby Heenan, Edge, Chris Jericho and Gene Okerlund. There's also some archive interview footage of Triple H talking about his squash match with Warrior at WM XII where he jobbed for Warrior in a quick, forgettable match. I didn't like that part too much, since Hunter is still with the company and could have easily done another quick interview on the subject that was up to date and not half a decade old.
Some people might complain that this shouldn't have been released without interviewing The Warrior himself. But seriously, besides for comic relief, would you really want to hear his nonsensical ravings about things that either probably never happened or are blown way out of proportion? I didn't think so...
Of course, since this is an official WWE DVD, it is going to be biased toward the WWE side of things, naturally. However, this is not a "burial job" of The Warrior like everyone is saying it is. Anyone who grew up or watched wrestling during the Warrior's time in and out of WWE and WCW knew he was as difficult to work with as Val Kilmer and even stranger cutting a promo or doing an interview. The best part of the DVD shows some of his weirdest promos ever, with guys like Jericho, Edge, Christian and Heenan commenting on their silliness. Very funny stuff...
Overall, the documentary is light and fluffy, nothing too heady or controversial. It goes through his early days tagging with Sting and then his debut with WWF, taking the belt from the greatest IC champ of all time, The Honkytonk Man in one of the quickest squashes ever. Then it goes through his feuds with Ted DiBiase and Ravishing Rick Rude for the IC belt. Notice how he gets paired with wrestlers who can actually work in the ring? What a coincidence...It also goes into his international touring feud with Andre The Giant and this is also one of the better parts of the DVD, with Heenan telling a great story on how Andre got Warrior to "play ball." The world title win over Hulk Hogan is the centerpiece of the feature, then going into his main event feuds with Sergeant Slaughter and Randy Savage. I don't know about you, but some of my favorite moments in the WWE were back during the Royal Rumble/Wrestlemania period of 1991 when the Warrior and Savage faced off with some of the most jumbled, head-scratching, hilariously cryptic promos ever. So I guess they were a natural fit...The DVD talks about that fact as well quite humorously.
The doc ends with The Warrior leaving and returning and leaving and returning over and over again through the WWE and into WCW in a well-done segment. It only soldifies the argument that The Warrior was strange, self-centered, knew nothing about the business and was a terrible worker in the ring. His rise to fame and glory would have lasted longer if he weren't so volatile behind the scenes and actually tried to improve his in-ring skills. Ric Flair, Bobby Heenan and Ted DiBiase had some very frank and candid comments on their opinion of The Warrior; and they weren't the complimentary kind...
I'm sure a lot of people out there will make the argument that the WWE is just playing the bias card with this DVD, retelling wrestling history in their own image, not being to fair to the former Jim Hellwig and making him out to be worse than he really was. If that's true, then answer me this: is there any evidence over the last fifteen or so years to the contrary? Not one. Just check out his loony website or the shoot interview DVD that just came out or just check the internet for his college speaking tour videos. All of them are totally out there and painful to read/watch.
The DVD is rounded out with a few outtakes and 5 matches. The first two, one of his WWF debut against Terry Gibbs and the other his IC title win over Honky are mercifully short. The others...Not so much...Warrior versus Hogan at 'Mania VI is one of the worst main event matches in terms of actual in-ring wrestling. Hogan put on a better show with HBK at SummerSlam 2005. But he was in the ring with HBK, not Warrior. You do the math. The best match on here is Rick Rude versus Warrior for the IC title in a steel cage from SummerSlam 1990. Rude was one of the best workers in the WWF at the time and it shows here as he carries the clumsy, clueless Warrior through arguably UW's best match ever (if you can call a match featuring the Warrior good, that is). The final match is Warrior versus Savage in a retirement match. Unless you're five years old, retirement matches are retarded because we all know that even if they lose, they'll be back again some day. This is a decent match, carried by Savage who is severely underrated as one of the better workers of the Golden Period of the WWE: the late 80's thru the early 90's.
Bottom Line: The Self-Destruction Of The Ultimate Warrior is a light and fun disc if you're looking to reaffirm your opinion that the Warrior was a no-talent, insane bodybuilder posing as a wrestler and looking for some chuckles to get you through the day. It's also a nice nostalgia trip for those of us who cut our teeth during the late 80's and early 90's of WWE programming. It's sad to see that today's cards can hardly compare to back then. If you're a Warrior fan, you might want to look elsewhere for your fix...
Christopher S. J. Ong | Singapore | 10/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not quite the hatchet job it has been made out to be, this documentary actually does get across what a huge star Ultimate Warrior became, before his 15 minutes ran out. However, in the last third or so, it does become rather unrelenting negative in its portrayal of the guy, and it would've been better if he had been given the opportunity to give his side of the story.
Then again, having read some of the nonsense he's spewed in recent years, he does seem a little 'off', and it would've probably been quite difficult to get anything worthwhile from him. If anything, having him rant about himself on this DVD might've ended up making him look worse.
A must-buy for any wrestling fan who grew up in the 1980s."
Epps | Gloversville, NY United States | 10/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of my favorite era's in WWF history is during the Ultimate Warrior's 1st run. I still get chills & my heart races watching the closing moments of WrestleMania VI. "The Self-Destruction Of The Ultimate Warrior" is brutally honest. It takes a look at Jim Hellwig's career, touching on his start with Steve 'Sting' Borden as the 'Dingo' Warrior, & his various stints in other minor promotions before calling the WWF for a job. It covers some of the aspects of the Warrior that made him unique & appealing, like his ring enterances, & his extremely un-understandable interviews. Most of his major rivaleries & high spots are looked at, like Rick Rude, Andre The Giant, Bobby Heenan (who provides some awesome stories & insight though-out the DVD), his quick raise to the Intercontinental Title, his historic WWF Heavyweight Title victory, & other topics like why he left the WWF 3 times, his brief run in WCW, his horrible rematch against Hogan at 'Halloween Havoc', & more.
Extras include 5 matches:
Vs Terry Gibbs (debut match - note: no music, & he WALKS to the ring)
Vs Honky Tonk Man (SummerSlam 88, if you've never seen it, don't blink or you'll miss it)
Vs Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania VI, Title for Title)
Vs Rick Rude (SummerSlam 90, Steel Cage)
Vs Randy Savage (WrestleMania VII, 'Loser Must Retire' Match)
& some stories:
-Jerry Lawler tells a Warrior story from Memphis
-a promo for Warrior University
-Christian impersonates the Ultimate Warrior
-Ted DiBiase tells about an autograph signing with Warrior
Plus 2 hidden extras - both Warrior promos -
- In chapters, left click 'The Name Change' for 'Unleash the Warrior'
- In extra's, right click 'Warrior University' for 'The Journey Begins'
I bought the FYE exclusive, which contains a bonus DVD with 3 more matches:
Vs Hercules (MSG - 4/25/88)
Vs Sgt. Slaughter (Saturday Nights Main Event, 4/27/91)
Vs Randy Savage (SummerSlam 92)
- In a recent 'Ross Report' on WWE.com, a fan mentions 2 hidden extra's on the bonus disc. No hidden extras are on mine, so if anyone has any info on these extra's (perhaps another exclusive set), please post it as to where it's sold or where it is on the disc.
Anyway, very highly recommended. Warrior fans will appreciate it, non-Warrior fans will love it."