Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Ultimate Warrior

I'm a little late discussing this, but the Ultimate Warrior shockingly passed away last week, just a day after appearing on Monday Night Raw.  It's funny, I can remember exactly how I found out about each of the recent major wrestling deaths.  For Owen Hart, I was following the results on AOL and remember hearing that he had injured himself.  I sent an instant message to somebody I had known through some wrestling e-fed, and she quite painfully told me that he had died.  I was shocked.  For Eddie Guerrero, I remember waking up and checking my e-mail.  I was astonished to see the headline of the Bagpipe Report, reporting the news that Eddie Guerrero had died.  For Chris Benoit, I checked and saw the headline "Benoit Found Dead."  I had to go to my aunt's house for dinner, and I kept sneaking off to the computer to see if anything new had been reported.

I received the news of Warrior's death from, of all people, Zack Ryder.  I woke up Wednesday morning and checked my phone to check my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.  I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw a post from Zack Ryder.  It was a classic studio shot of the Warrior (in black and white) and just said "#RIPUltimateWarrior."  Warrior had just appeared on the Hall of Fame on Saturday, WrestleMania on Sunday, and Raw on Monday.  It took me a moment to notice that hashtag.  I thought maybe Ryder was just paying tribute to an iconic character.  Then I noticed the caption and was naturally shocked.  I quickly looked at the comments and immediately saw one that verified the news, saying that it's been confirmed by  I took to Twitter to see if I could find any other info, and was inundated with comments from current and classic Superstars, as well as fans, all posting photos of the Warrior symbol.

What made the news particularly surreal is that he was JUST on television after being away for two decades.  And his final appearance had him seemingly at peace, eerily talking about his own mortality.  And after being such an "out there" character for his entire career, we saw an especially human Warrior over those past three days.  He showed emotion.  We saw that he had a wife.  And kids.  And they're now without a husband and father.

To be honest, while I always liked Warrior, I was a full blown Hulkamaniac when I was growing up.  I always supported the Hulkster above all else.  I even remember hearing the report on WWE Superstars of Wrestling that Ultimate Warrior had defeated Hulk Hogan, and I told my brother, "no, that's just what they think is going to happen" because I didn't want anybody to know that Hogan had been beaten.  Yet, while in grade school, I did dress up as the Ultimate Warrior one year for Halloween.  I've posted that photo below, in remembrance of the wrestling icon.  I'm glad a man found peace, and that a performer got to say good bye to his audience.

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