Thursday, 12 July 2007

The Ultimate Warrior - Video Review

With the WWE having done a great deal of Warrior bashing in the past few months, I thought it would be a good idea to go back a few years and look at a 1990 video release, entitled The Ultimate Warrior, a release which, to this day, is still the WWF/E’s biggest selling VHS release in Britain, proving that the Warrior had great drawing power in this country.
Our hosts, Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes, appear first in front of an Ultimate Warrior back-drop, showing some reticence at being there because the Warrior considered that place hallowed turf. A studio and blue screen in Stamford are hallowed turf?

The first bout sees the Warrior defend the Intercontinental title against Andre the Giant. Nothing more than a brawl here, as both men spend time choking each other until Andre applies a bear hug. The Warrior soon breaks free, but Andre is disqualified when he pulls the referee into theway of a Warrior clothesline. Two years after his back surgery, and Andre was as slow as a snail here.

Next, the Warrior takes on Heenan Family whipping boy Haku. Faster paced than the previous bout, this is a good example of how good Haku was at making his opponents look good. An enjoyable bout for what it was, Haku got his shots in before the inevitable comeback by the Warrior, eventually pinning Haku after a flying clothesline. As soon as the bell rings, “Ravishing” Rick Rude attacks the Warrior from behind, with Andre guarding the ringside area. Eventually, the Warrior sends his foes packing.

Then it’s an appearance on The Brother Love Show for the Warrior during his WWF title reign. Usual non-sensical interview from the Warrior here, as he goes on about dirt and scar tissue before making a rambling speech about the love he has for his “little warriors”. We even get a little brat thrown into the equation for good measure. Please pass the sick bucket.

Squash time as the Warrior takes on jobber Bob Emery. Clotheslines, gorilla press, big splash, I think you know how this one ends.

Comedy time follows as Bobby Heenan faces the Warrior in a Weasel Suit match. The Warrior clobbers the Brain until Heenan jabs him with a foreign object. However, after a ringside fan takes the object from Heenan’s boot, the Warrior comes back and locks in a sleeper. Moments later, and Heenan wakes up in a furry weasel suit.

Then the Warrior takes on the man credited with putting him on the WWE map, as Rick Rude defends the Intercontinental title. The best bout of the compilation, and better than their Wrestlemania V match. The Warrior fails to win the belt back from Rude, but manages to win by count-out. Good stuff here.

Finally, we return to the Warrior’s hallowed turf with Hayes and Mooney. As they discuss the matches we have just seen, Lord Alfred is still somewhat creeped out. They then hear the Warrior’s battle cry, and while Lord Alfred scarpers, the Warrior eventually appears and chases Mooney away.

In conclusion - it’s been about fifteen years since I last saw this video, and my opinion has changed on this one. Only the Rude and Haku matches really did it for me. There were certainly better matches from 1988-90 that could have been used on this compilation, such as the Rude match from Summer slam ‘89, or the Hogan match from Wrestlemania VI.

Is this release still available? Possibly. While you won’t find a copy on DVD (unless you know someone who has copied it), you’ll probably find this one in charity shops, car boot sales or on E-Bay.