By Bill Pivetz @BPiv_Sports on April 10, 2014
The Ultimate Warrior was one of the most polarizing characters in WWE history. He achieved great success in a short amount of time, including winning the WWE and Intercontinental championships. Warrior rivaled Hulk Hogan in popularity in the early 1990s. Despite not being the best technical wrestler, Warrior was a great entertainer to all fans. Here are the 10 greatest moments in Warrior's wrestling career.
Warrior was wrestling around the country before landing in WWE. He first competed under the moniker, "Dingo Warrior." He made his debut as the Ultimate Warrior on October 25, 1987 on an episode of "WWF Wrestling Challenge." With his physique, face paint and high energy, McMahon the WWE knew they had a star in the making.
In the summer of 1991, McMahon and Warrior were at odds over Warrior's contract. He wanted more money, and McMahon wouldn't agree. However, with Hogan on the verge of leaving, McMahon called Warrior to see if he wanted to come back. Warrior made his return on the "Grandest Stage of Them All," WrestleMania VIII, coming to the aid of Hogan. The crowd erupted just like he never left.
Warrior and Randy Savage feuded throughout the summer over the WWE Championship. In November, the two decided to team up and name themselves "The Ultimate Maniacs." They were scheduled to face Ric Flair and Razor Ramon. Warrior and Savage had matching attires and everything, but it never got off the ground as Warrior was tied to steroid use. The team was very short-lived.
Before Warrior became the WWE champion, he had a great feud with Rick Rude over the Intercontinental Championship. Warrior lost the intercontinental title at WrestleMania V as Bobby Heenan helped Rude win. The two fought again at that year's SummerSlam, in which Warrior came out the victor. Warrior and Rude would reignite their feud the following year in a cage match. Rude carried Warrior to some great matches.
Hogan was undoubtedly WWE's most popular Superstar. That was until Warrior entered the WWE. The loud music and running to the ring grabbed the fans' attention. Hogan and Warrior took part in the 1990 Royal Rumble. After clearing the ring, the two stood face-to-face. The crowd got to its feet and cheered for what they thought they would never see. This led to one of the biggest matches in WrestleMania history.
After Warrior won the WWE title, he feuded with the likes of Mr. Perfect and Ted DiBiase. At the 1991 Royal Rumble, Warrior took on Sgt. Slaughter. Savage's valet at the time, Sensational Sherri, took matters into her own hands and cost Warrior the title. This set up a match at WrestleMania VII between Warrior and Savage, in which Warrior won and forced Savage to retire.
Warrior's final departure from WWE took place in 1996. He and McMahon were once again disputing over contract terms. Nobody thought we would see Warrior back in a WWE ring. That all changed when video game company Take 2 announced that Warrior would be a special pre-order bonus in their upcoming game WWE 2K14. In the commercial, he donned the signature face paint and cut a classic Warrior promo.
In 1987, Honky Tonk Man was the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion, holding for 454 days. He issued a challenge to anyone in the back at the 1998 SummerSlam. The one to answer that challenge was the newest Superstar, Ultimate Warrior. He defeated Honky Tonk in 27 seconds and went on to hold it for 216 days. This was only the beginning for Warrior.
As a result of what took place at the 1990 Royal Rumble, WWE's two biggest stars would clash at WrestleMania VI. Hogan was the current WWE champion and Warrior was the Intercontinental champion. Both belts would be on the line for what was called, "The Ultimate Challenge." Warrior defeated Hogan to win the WWE Championship. He was the first and only man to hold both WWE and intercontinental titles simultaneously.
On January 13, 2014, WWE announced that Warrior would be inducted as a part of the 2014 Hall of Fame. He was the headliner to what was a star-studded class. He gave a heartfelt speech about his time in the WWE, and the slanderous DVD, "The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior," that the WWE put out in 2005. Warrior appeared on stage at WrestleMania XXX, 24 years after winning the WWE title.
Rest in peace, Warrior.
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