If you’re reading this then I’d say there’s a good chance that you’re already aware of the Ultimate Warrior and his late-‘80s slash early-‘90s heyday, back when he was the WWF’s number two babyface behind Hulk Hogan. Until recently he was probably best remembered for his nonsensical promos and limited matches. But that was before he released a series of bizarre YouTube videos verbally attacking on Hulk Hogan.
If you haven’t already seen them (or you have and just want to refresh your memory and or have a laugh) here are the videos:
Warrior has apparently taken issue with Terry ‘Hulk Hogan’ Bollea failing to be a good enough role model to children, young adults and wrestling fans in general, claiming he’s a manipulative scoundrel that abuses drugs, pimps his wife to fellow wrestlers and lies, amongst other things. It seems to stem from an interview Hogan gave shortly after the death of ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (snippets of which appear in the third “trailer” video above). Knowing Hogan’s propensity to stretch the truth and use media interviews as a means to inflate his own ego, there’s probably something to Warrior’s claim that not everything said during that interview was true.
The trouble is that Warrior is one of the few people with a reputation as bad as Hogan’s, just for different reasons. Hogan is known for playing politics and rampantly exaggerating even the most meaningless of facts. Warrior is known for being (genuinely) mentally unstable. Watch any of his promos from his original WWF run: even by wrestling standards they are not the product of a healthy mind. Both men have been linked to steroid abuse rumours for years now. Hogan has admitted that he used them routinely throughout the ‘80s to maintain his superhuman physique while Warrior, as far as I’m aware, has never admitted to anything.
At first glance it appears to be a case of “six of one, half a dozen of the other” (is that expression even in common parlance anymore?). Basically, they’re both as bad as each other.
At least that’s what you think at first at any rate. Warrior is accusing Hogan of not being a good role model, because he lies, breaks laws, and excludes people from Twitter parties (this last reason is fairly baffling, but it’s all there in the videos). Some or all of his accusations against ‘The Hulkster’ may be true. What is definitely true is that Hogan worked extensively with the Make a Wish Foundation for many years, giving terminally ill children the chance to meet their hero. Whether he’d just come from an cocaine-fuelled orgy at which he and Vince agreed to kill the career of a promising young talent just to satisfy Hogan’s ego (after ‘roiding themselves senseless) is neither here nor there: he went out of his way to do it, unpaid, and gave those children a happy memory.
Warrior has never been known to do any such work and if Bret Hart’s autobiography is to be believed actually avoided meeting a sick child and their family on at least one occasion. Is Warrior really in a position to knock Hogan? Neither is a saint, but Hogan has done something positive with his celebrity status. As far as I’m concerned that makes Hogan the better man in this argument.
I think the most ludicrous part of the above videos is Warrior’s accusation that Hogan doesn’t know where Terry Bollea ends and Hulk Hogan begins. Frankly I think that’s understandable: Bollea has been known professionally as Hogan for thirty years and the first ten of those were spent fronting the biggest expansion in the history of the wrestling business. He is one of the most recognisable men on the planet. I’m not saying his attitude towards the Hogan character is healthy, but I’d say he’s in a better position than Warrior as their respective wrestling personalities are concerned. Don’t forget, Warrior legally changed his name from James Hellwig to Warrior. Yes, Warrior is his actual name. Does that sound like a man who knows how to disassociate from his character? And I've not even mentioned the fact that these videos have all the hallmarks of a modern wrestling promo.
This Friday will see the release of a one-hour video that Warrior promises will “reveal the truth” about Terry ‘Hulk Hogan’ Bollea. I suspect it would be more accurate to say that it will reveal elements of truth as Warrior views them. Whether factually accurate or not the video should be very entertaining.