Saturday, July 1, 2017
The Ultimate Warrior's WCW Run
In 1998 The Ultimate Warrior returned to the wrestling world after a two plus year hiatus from the ring, this time though it was in World Championship Wrestling. Since 1987 The Ultimate Warrior had made his home in the World Wrestling Federation but he had not been since a dark match at a Superstars television taping June 25, 1996 when he defeated Vader by count-out.
On Monday August 17, 1998 from Hartford, Connecticut WCW presented Monday Nitro. About halfway through the show Hogan was in the ring for his second promo of the night. He was talking about how there was no one that could beat him.
After he uttered the line "there's not a warrior I can't beat to get my belt back" the arena lights started to flicker on and off before shutting off. Then a voice could be heard and some odd music started that included thunder and lightning effects. As the man walked to thing you couldn't see who it was at all, then they cut to Hogan who was standing there with his mouth hanging open. When they cut back you could finally see it was the Ultimate Warrior.
Warrior entered the ring to a tremendous pop from the crowd who chanted "Warrior!" He then rambled on the mic for just over 12 minutes basically saying I beat you before, I'm not here beat you because everyone has, I'll see you next week. The rest was just nonsense. The ring them filled with smoke, the lights flickered and he disappeared. The final shot was a Warrior style bat signal shining in the arena. Total segment time was 19 minutes.
The Warrior would continue to appear on Nitro leading up to his first match in WCW at Fall Brawl 98:
August 24, 1998 Monday Nitro Chicago, IL
Warriors music has been changed up this week, the same slow heavy metal opening and then it switched to a fast paced music similar to his WWF theme to which he charges the ring and entering in the fashion we are used too. Another 10 minutes where basically he says, hogan was a good guy and now he's a bad guy, but in Warrior vernacular. Also he introduces the One Warrior Nation.
August 31, 1998 Monday Nitro Miami, FL
Hogan comes out for a promo and Warrior interrupts Hogan, the almost immediately after he enters the ring he makes his smokey exit. They show Warrior in the rafters through-out the show. At the end of the show Hogan is in the ring, the ring fills with smoke and the Warrior returns and Hogan runs away.
September 7, 1998 Monday Nitro Pensacola, FL
Hogan opens the show with a promo saying you'll have to get through the Disciple to get to me. Through-out the show members of the nWo kept being laid out with the Warriors mark being left. In the closing segment Hogan is in the ring with The Giant, they lower a steel cage. Hogan says if Warrior can beat The Giant then he deserves a match with Hogan. The ring fills withe smoke and when it settles Warrior is in the cage sitting on a chair with The Giant unconscious on the mat. Warrior misses a chair shot, Hogan connects to Warriors back and he no sells it. Hogan runs out of the ring locking the cage door. The ring fills with smoke and Warrior is disappears closing the show.
September 13, 1998 Fall Brawl 98 Winston-Salem, SC
This was the absolute worst ever War Games match and sadly it was the last. Instead of two teams competing against each other until all competitors are in the ring and then the finish comes when someone submits or surrenders, there was three teams. In the first five minute segment the match could end if either Bret Hart or DDP scored a fall on the other. Also for the first time ever there was a referee in the ring as pinfalls counted.
After the first five minute segment a random member of another team would enter every two minutes until all competitors were in the ring and then it was first fall. Team WCW: DDP, Roddy Piper, & Warrior, Team nWo Hollywood: Hogan, Stevie Ray, & Bret Hart, and Team nWo Wolfpac: Kevin Nash, Sting, & Lex Luger.
Hogan was the second to last to enter, which he did over a minute early. He and Stevie Ray took out everyone with a slapjack, including teammate Bret Hart. Hogan went for the pin on Kevin Nash when the ring filled with smoke, Warrior appeared in the ring pounding his chest, he was attacked from behind and crumbled to the canvas. The ring filled with smoke again and when it cleared Hogan was holding his jacket. Warrior that ran in entrance way going after Hogan and Stevie Ray. Hogan left the ring locking the cage as Stevie Ray was taken out by Warrior.
Warrior then walked around the ring stalking Hogan as he circled the outside of the ring. Warrior kicked and opening in the cage chasing after Hogan where security separated them in the aisle!?! Seriously!
Back to the ring where everyone has been on the mat for now over five minutes, Stevie Ray and DDP get up, Ray eats a Diamond Cutter and Page gets the win. Completely bullshit garbage!
September 14, 1998 Monday Nitro Greenville, South Carolina
This episode of Nitro featured the greatest segment in the history of Nitro, the return of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. I remember watching this live and I had tears in my eyes. But this is about The Ultimate Warrior.
Hogan was in the ring with Bischoff, Miss. Elizabeth, & The Disciple and cuts a promo challenging the Warrior to a match at Halloween Havoc because he's angry that Warrior cost him the match last night at Fall Brawl. Smoke filled the ring and when it cleared The Disciple was gone. Warrior never actually appeared on the show.
September 21, 1998 Monday Nitro Boston, MA
Show opens with the smoke filling withe smoke and The Disciple is face down in the center of the ring. Hogan and the nWo come out, ring fills with smoke again and The Disciple is gone. Show ends with Hogan in the ring, Warrior comes out followed by the Disciple who has joined the One Warrior Nation.
September 28, 1998 Monday Nitro Rochester, NY
The Disciple came out for a match representing the One Warrior Nation to the nWo's entrance music, sure that makes sense. Warrior came out for a promo a fan try to get in the ring and security caught him before he got to his feet but it was caught on camera. He rambled for a long time and I think he accepted Hogan's challenge for a match at Halloween Havoc.
October 5, 1998 Monday Nitro Columbia, SC
They aired a what I'm guessing was a pre-taped segment of the Warrior cutting a promo, I have no idea what he said other than "Feel the power of the Warrior!"
October 12, 1998 Monday Nitro Chicago, IL
Sting came out to cut a promo on Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan, Warrior came out takes a long time to say if Sting is calling out the anti-heroes that allow we stand by your side. Translated that means that later Blade Runners will reunite to take on Hogan and Hart.
This was a treat actually because I don't remember at all this match happening. After some stalling Hogan and Sting start, Hogan takes a beating and then tags in Hart. Hart takes a beating until Hogan comes in, with the referee distracted by the Warrior, Hart hits Sting with a low blow. Sting takes a beating from Hart, then Hogan tags in and continues on the offense.
Hart tags in continuing to work over Sting until he misses an elbow drop off the second rope. Sting tags in Warrior who is apparently going to wrestle in his trench coat and jeans. Warrior hits Hart with three clotheslines and signals for the press slam, Hogan hits Warrior from behind. The nWo black and white runs in causing the disqualification.
The ring fills with smoke so they throw Warrior to the outside so he can't disappear., makes sense. Sting attacks the nWo with the baseball bat, Warrior gets Hogans weight belt and chases them to the back whipping them all as they go off the air.
Match was about 5 minutes long and not all that good.
October 19, 1998 Monday Nitro Minneapolis, MN
Hollywood Hogan bring Horace out to the ring revealing that Horace is his nephew the rest of the nWo comes out, looks like he's going to join the nWo, SWERVE!! Hogan attacks Horace, then whips him with his belt, basically he says if I would do this to someone I love, imagine what I'll do to you. Hogan then brained Horace with a chair busting him open.
Warrior hit the ring to make the save, in actual wrestling gear. Hogan flees the ring as Warrior cleans house with a baseball bat. The Giant manages the hit Warrior from behind then plants him with a choke slam. Hogan then spray paints Warrior and nails two leg drops. Typically when your going into the PPV the guy standing tall loses the match, not in this case.
October 25, 1998 Halloween Havoc Las Vegas, NV
Surprisingly this match opens with both men working the arm before Hogan takes a powder to slow it down. These guys did a test of strength, criss cross, traded body slams and spilled to the floor in the first few minutes.
Then an accidental referee bump, then Hogan dropped two knees on Nick Patrick. The Giant comes out, Hogan holds Warrior but he ducks and The Giant levels Hogan. Warrior then clears The Giant out of the ring. Nick Patrick comes to just in time to watch Hogan hit Warrior directly on the sode of the head with his weight belt. Which looked wicked vicious!
Eventually Warrior returns the favor with the weight belt. Hogan tries to throw a fire ball in Warriors face, but it malfunctions and it doesn't work. Hogan is busted open but I watched and re-watched and can't see what busted him open. Hogan hits Warrior in the balls right in front of the referee.
Horace comes to the ring with a chair, I guess he's looking for revenge on Uncle Terry. Bischoff jumps on the apron and puts Nick Patrick in a front face lock, Horace gets in the ring and cracks Warrior over the back of the head with the chair. Hogan with the cover and a handful of tights and that's good for the three count. Terrible, just terrible.
Incidentally this is not billed as a no-disqualification match and yet I counted at least a half dozen times when a disqualification should have been called for.
Post match Hogan tells Horace that he passed the test and that he loved him. Horace than starts spraying Warrior with liquid from a lighter fluid bottle. Doug Dillinger jumps in the ring and takes the lighter away from Hogan. With nothing to set the Warrior a blaze they leave. Terrible.
October 26, 1998 Monday Nitro Phoenix, AZ
Warrior comes out the ring and cuts a promo on Hogan about their match at Halloween Havoc. Basically in translated Warrior speak he said that Hogan took the cheap way out, that he beat the hell out of Hogan. He also said that the bullshit pinfall means nothing.
Hogan comes out to go after the Warrior, Horace and Bischoff talk him out of it. Horace eats a few clotheslines before being sent over the top rope. The Giant then enters but is also clotheslined out of the ring. Hogan attacks from behind but Warrior reverses with this flying shoulder tackle. Warrior then strikes Eric Bischoff. The nWo retreat.
November 9, 1998 Monday Nitro Long Island, NY
The Disciple is in the ring saying he's not with the nWo that he's his own man and he's not watching Hogan's back anymore. Horace, Stevie Ray, & Vincent hit the ring where Horace cut a promo about him turning his back on Hogan. They attacked the Disciple beating him down. Warrior hits the ring making the save and they cut to commercial break during this segment.
This is the last time we see Warrior on WCW television. In interviews later on Warrior would say the only reason he was brought into WCW was for Hogan to get a win over Warrior making up for his loss at WrestleMania VI.
This post is the least enjoyable one that I have ever researched for this blog. When I started down this road I thought it would be fun but the more I got into it was I ever wrong. It became a chore to listen to the promo's and watch the matches. UGH!
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I’ll never forget watching Thunder before Warriors’ debut. They ended the show with a kid holding a sign that said Warrior on it and suddenly all the internet rumors became real for me. I was a huge Warrior fan as a kid and my love of wrestling was at its height, so seeing my childhood hero return was the greatest thing I could hope for. Then he returned… and all that hype and excitement died hard..ReplyDelete
Let’s be honest, the Warrior was never a great worker, but he was flashy and intense and that is what got him over. I think WCW tried to make him fit into a more mature wrestling world in 1998, and by doing so they ruined everything about the Warrior. They took away what little he had to get over and instead gave him stupid smoke and mirror gimmicks. I would have liked to see WCW book him like the WWE did Goldberg in his return last year. Have him just come in and dominate the hell out people and then build up to the Hogan match. Warrior would then have time to get rid of the ring rust and would be reintroduced to the younger fans as this unstoppable machine. But no… they let him talk, I mean ramble, and then put on one of the worse matches I’ve ever seen at Halloween Havoc 98. What a disappointment.
Like I said, this was the most painful research I've ever endured for this blog. I remember watching these moments the first time and thought they were bad. The second time through years later they were downright brutal!Delete