Saturday, 2 February 2008

Ultimate Warrior Shoot Interview - DVD Review

To some he is one of the greatest superstars in the history of professional wrestling. To others he is a politically incorrect bigot whose views about the world should remain locked away in an isolated cupboard, never to be seen. But no matter who you talk to, he’s the Ultimate Warrior, and in 2005 he released his first ever shoot interview DVD, in conjunction with Ringside Collectables.

I’ve gone on record several times as saying that the Ultimate Warrior is one of the reasons I got back into wrestling in 1989. He was one of those characters that captured my attention. Like many others I was enthralled by his matches, and disappointed with his numerous comebacks. I brought the WWE hatchet job DVD, and I also saw that speech at the University of Connecticut where he almost caused a riot.
Which is why I had to get a copy of this DVD, because say what you want about the man and his views, you can’t help but be drawn in by what he has to say.
The Warrior talks in great detail about his life and career, how as a body builder he was approached by Rick Bassman to form Power Team USA, with the idea of approaching Vince McMahon. When that concept failed, he went on the circuit with his tag-team partner, Steve “Sting” Borden, as the Blade Runners, competing for Jerry Jarrett, Bill Watts, and on his own as the Dingo Warrior for Fritz Von Erich’s World Class. It was there he was picked up by the WWF, and within three years of his debut he became one of the few people to get a clean win over Hulk Hogan, winning the WWF title in that memorable match at Wrestlemania VI in Toronto.
He talks about the character of the Ultimate Warrior with great passion and strength, how he was always developing the character, making it obvious that he truly believed in it, always thinking of new ways of taking it into other areas such as films and comic books.
But while he’s appreciative of the way his career sky rocketed, he also has a few choice words for those in the wrestling business he doesn’t like, the most notable of which is Vince McMahon. The Warrior talks about how countless wrestlers over the years have talked about getting even with McMahon about the way they were treated, and how he was the only won who actually did anything about it, talking about how McMahon reneged on countless deals with regards to the rights of the Warrior name and sideline projects. The Warrior eventually won his court case, as was evident on the WWE hatchet job DVD. Just look at the end credits, and you’ll see what I mean.
He’s also very critical of Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, and of his disastrous run in WCW, thinking it’s laughable that he was only brought in so Hogan could avenge the one blot on his record, and how he was flown in for one show only to be told that they had nothing for him to do. He also notes how it’s ironic that he had the best and worst matches of his career with the same man.
In conclusion, this is a compelling interview, possibly one of the best I’ve ever seen. I may not agree with a lot of the Warrior’s views, but there’s something about the man that’s just so compelling. I had originally intended to watch this in two sittings, but ended up watching it in one go, it’s that good.
And for those of you interested, there’s also footage of the man in his current guise as an after dinner speaker, as well as a couple of squash matches from his World Class days, something which you probably won’t see anywhere else now that the WWE owns the rights to that footage.
But if you’re looking for a copy of this, you might have a problem, as this was apparently a very limited release, although I would suggest getting in contact with www.ringsidecollectibles.com, the original producers of this DVD. If they can’t help you, try and find a good tape trader. You’ll be glad if you do.