Friday 25 April 2014

Heels, Babyfaces And The ‘Grey Area’ By Adam Ferguson

It’s 2014 and now, more than ever, professional wrestling is starved of babyfaces who fans love to cheer and heels that people get a kick out of booing. In truth, as avid watchers we’ve been deprived of authentic good guys and absolute baddies for a while now – probably for the best part of a decade. But the troublesome ‘grey area’ that we often speak about has pillaged its way onto shows and into storylines incessantly throughout the last year or so. This zone of moral ambiguity is an invention of perception, playing host to an audience so emphatic in our unquenchable thirst to generate some form of self-control over Monday Night RAW that we occasionally attempt to hijack the show.

Maybe it’s okay that the era of the quintessential protagonist versus model antagonist is gone. Maybe not. It is a debate worth having though and, unsurprisingly, one that I’m going to write about here. In this primarily WWE-focused musing, I’ll firstly consider the possible reasons behind the apparent decrease in outright heels and babyfaces in wrestling. Then, I’ll examine the impacts felt by a contemporary product deprived of said clinical roles. Finally, it’ll all be about looking forward as I question the need for clear-cut personas in 2014 rasslin’.

So what, or who, has ushered in this sense of a moral free-for-all?

John Cena. That’s right, the internet’s favourite wrestltainer. At least, he’s partially to blame. Wrestling is an odd one. It is engulfed in parameters that can be stretched, shrunk and twisted, but it is a phenomenon that also only exists within a bubble separated from all other mainstream forms of entertainment. And the man who embodies all of that contortion better than any other is John Cena. Though we’ve hounded good guys for decades – The Rock’s early years spring to mind – the Cena dynamic since 2006 is unrivalled in terms of audience reception. When Edge cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Cena at New Year’s Revolution, a dormant hatred suddenly spewed from the mouths of many WWE fans. Heel Edge was cheered throughout their feud, and from then on the likes of Triple H, Umaga and Randy Orton (all heels) received support from those seated around arenas.

Fast forward to the present day and the Wyatt Family, a trio of men who kidnapped and battered Daniel Bryan not too long ago, are hailed vehemently when pitted against the leader of the Cenation (more on the Wyatts later). These days, you’re guaranteed to hear at least half of the audience boo John Cena and cheer his opponent, which negates any pre-existing heel/babyface interaction. Other than the staleness of his character though, this isn’t necessarily Cena’s fault. He’s not the one booing himself, although I’m sure he does every time his ears ring with Nikki Bella’s requests for more shoes. In reality then, Cena himself just about gets off scot-free. Rather, those who choose to boo him are the culprits. Which is a pretty neat segue into my second reason behind the heel/babyface demise: us fans.

We, the WWE Universe, seemingly pride ourselves in our ability to create change. In a way, we tend to carry around a modernised sense of self-worth, that it is up to us and us alone to dictate who goes ‘over’ and who does not. The Cena issue is a great example of this, and so is our recent treatment of Big Dave. I was excited when the Batista return promo first aired, as I’m sure most of you were too. Yet, before the man had a chance to put on those God-awful tight-shorts, we were booing him. Heck, we even coined him ‘Bootista’. Why? Because we wanted change. Despite their best efforts, WWE had to turn the recently christened movie-star heel, not necessarily because that exact role switch was what we wanted but because, as fans, we had the power to instigate change.

Perhaps then, part of the problem lies with WWE. Like any efficient company looking to shill the next pay-per-view or subscription-based network, WWE places the fans on a pedestal. We’re called the “WWE Universe”, and everything they do is for us. But should WWE be so explicit in their bombastic touting (no pun intended) of fan appreciation? Perhaps rather than spending ten minutes of RAW air-time telling us how to affect the show by voting on the app (on your selected device go to the app store and search for “WWE App”, then hit the downlo- oh, sorry) they should focus on having bad guys do bad things to good guys, or girls. Better yet, it might be a good idea for the ‘E to slow down a tad on the whole ‘let the fans dictate the show’ frame of mind.

What other factors have tombstoned the heel/babyface era then? Arguably, the most impactful element of the lot has been, and still is, excellent character creation. Man, it’s tough not to applaud and revel in the brilliance of an outstanding character. I mentioned the Wyatt Family earlier because they are the epitome of compelling personas. Bray’s enticing promo skills demand more than simply respect, rather, heaps of adulation too. Completed by the creepy-yet-ruthless pairing of Luke Harper and Eric Rowan, the Wyatt Family are a cult act that have the potential to transcend wrestling. Nowadays, we are spoiled by the plethora of quality television shows and films boasting characters with profound meaning and engaging demeanours. Wrestling – certainly, WWE - is taking heed of this character-centric mind-set.

On the other hand, now that the audience collectively emits exceedingly high expectations, superstars who aren’t the flavour of the month are not met with any sort of reaction. A generic babyface? Silence. A boring heel? Silence. In essence, the aforementioned ‘grey-area’ in wrestling is actually just a reflection of changing audience anticipation: not for goodies and baddies but for characters who we can sink our teeth into. And it ain’t just the wrestling audience either – the contemporary attitude towards villains on the big screen has altered. Everybody loves Loki from Marvel’s The Avengers because he is a tremendous, layered character, and also because he is played by Tom Hiddleston. Which brings me onto my final point regarding some potential reasoning behind the downfall of wrestling heels/babyfaces…

Much like Hiddleston, who has developed a significant fan following since he began portraying Loki, there are many wrestlers who will always be cheered by a loyal fan base regardless of their heel/babyface status. I would argue that, presently, the most prominent example of this is Cesaro. Though he is presented as a heel on television, and has been since his WWE debut in 2012, there are tropes of fans who have always cheered him and continue to do so – fans who have followed Cesaro’s career since his days as Claudio Castagnoli in Ring of Honor. Proverbial “indie guys” tend to amass instant support upon reaching the WWE because said support is already harnessed to their personas; the same could be said for CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose and even those who are no longer with the company, such as Chris Hero (or Kassius Ohno, in NXT) a guy who undoubtedly would’ve carried his ROH-generated backing into RAW.

While you mull over and inevitably pick apart those reasons (us wrestling fans love having an opinion) I’m going to swiftly and succinctly consider the impacts of the heel/babyface loss.

From WWE’s standpoint, there hasn’t really been any detrimental impact, at least not yet. Commercially, the company is doing as well as ever – they just released the WWE Network figures in tow with their Wrestlemania 30 buy rate, which hit over one million buys domestically. In terms of our enjoyment, there hasn’t been much of a negative impact either. I can only speak for myself and I personally believe this year’s Wrestlemania was one of the best since 2001. Admittedly, much of the enjoyment was generated from the buzz surrounding Daniel Bryan, a babyface who we all love, but it is worth considering that the murky good guy/bad guy landscape actually aided Bryan’s rise and Wrestlemania’s success; being part of a wholly united wave of support for D-Bry felt just that bit better because it was such a rare of exhibition of consolidation in wrestling fandom.

Performance-wise, there might be an issue. For the guys and gals looking to rise to the top and stay there for the rest of their respective careers, perhaps neither our impassioned applause nor our relentless boos are helpful. For a while the support, or otherwise, certainly can be a significant assistance and, in that sense, a wrestler getting ‘over’ is fine. However staying ‘over’ is the hard part. Unless you break the glass ceiling and attain an aura of continuous relevance, much like John Cena has, once a cheered heel loses his/her cheers, it might be hard for them to regain adulation as a babyface. It could be argued that Dolph Ziggler currently finds himself stranded in that exact predicament – as a heel, Ziggler was cheered throughout late-2012 and early-2013, yet his subsequent babyface run left a lot to be desired and now he finds himself sitting alongside Josh Matthews and Alex Riley on RAW pre-show panels. For Ziggler, the repercussions of being applauded as a heel but not to the same degree as a babyface mightn’t be terminal, but for others such as Zack Ryder, they probably are.

To conclude, let’s peer ahead into Santino’s glass ball (anyone?). Times change and wrestling does too and, for now, it appears that setting out clear heels and babyfaces isn’t a huge necessity for success. Although it would be convenient for fans to interact with unambiguous characters creating a situation where we know who to back and who boo, this is a notion that just isn’t plausible in 2014. And you know what? Perhaps it’s not essential either.

If you’re interested, follow me on Twitter (@elloJasonIsaacs) for more wrestling-related tweets and discussions.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Talking Points With Shaun Nichols

Sometimes things happen in wrestling that you want to comment on but don't want to write a full blog and dissect the story fully. The following are examples of that.

Undertaker's Streak Finally Ends

This of course was a major story at least for 48 hours when something more important came along but it inspired quite the response from some fans. In my WrestleMania predictions, I like everyone else expected Brock to fail and was surprised to see him end the streak.

Personally I don't think he was the best person to do it, I would have preferred it to have been a full-time member of the roster and ideally someone who is on the raise and would have greatly benefitted from claiming a legendary win.

But who knows if the Undertaker has anymore years left in him, if he had won then the overwhelming feeling would have been that it was a disappointing match. Instead at least we got one of the great wrestling promos from Paul Heyman the following night on Raw.

It wasn't helped by the fact that some fans thought the finish was botched as the referee apparently didn't know Brock was winning, the bell didn't ring straight away and there was also a delay in playing Brock's music which added to the confusion.

Still it's hard to imagine that the Undertaker would have been forced to lose, infact it's highly likely that he actually chose to lose to Lesnar with the thought process being that if he had to lose to someone it might as well be someone who he saw as a real fighter.

To see other fans taking a rather more passionate or disturbing reaction, I'd recommend that you check out these two videos.

Eric Young Wins TNA World Title

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Eric Young's title victory indicates that TNA probably sees Daniel Bryan's WWE World Title win as the greatest moment in wrestling history.

To me it's hard to see why Eric was put in this position unless it was because he looks the closest to Daniel Bryan and was well positioned as the company leading underdog.

What TNA don't understand is that Daniel Bryan has been a main eventer and pushed solidly as one for pretty much 8 months straight. He was far and away the most popular wrestler in the WWE adored by the fanbase and battling for the WWE Title and the top company heels.

Finally at the biggest wrestling show of the year, he had his crowning moment. Firstly beating Triple H clean thus proving beyond doubt that he was an A+ player and then winning the main event to become the WWE World Champion. A fitting end to a somewhat frustrating story, but in the end the hero got what he fought for and deserved. The bad guys thwarted.

Eric Young's story is somewhat different, for months at a time he was nowhere to be seen on television. When he does make an appearance it was usually as a comedy figure and the last title he held was as one half the Knockouts Tag Team champions with ODB.

He was used as the inspiration to move the Joseph Park character back to Abyss, but with Abyss turning heel at Lockdown to help Magnus beat Samoa Joe it seemed EY would again disappear from view. When he didn't it appeared that he was there to lose the fall.

Just like Daniel Bryan he was booked into a match that he had to win to earn the right to challenge for the TNA title. Once there he also was victorious but the fans hadn't been on a several month journey with him, they were not emotionally invested in his quest. Truth be told they probably didn't know he was with the company six months ago or even care.

TNA seem in a really bad place, nothing seems to make sense and although it's not quite as bad as the final few months of WCW. The idea that you can realistically compare Eric Young's TNA title win to David Arquette's WCW World title win is not completely foolish. They were both clear signs of the company's desperation.

AJ Styles to Challenge for IWGP Title

AJ Styles made his New Japan debut (as a member of the NJPW roster) at the Invasion Attack show, where he attacked the current champion, Kazuchika Okada. There was very little reaction from the 8500 fans in attendance.

Styles has since been officially added to the Bullet Club, seemingly as a ready made replacement for Prince Devitt who turned babyface but is almost guaranteed to be leaving NJPW. Styles is not the new leader, that position has gone to Karl Anderson.

Styles has basically said that he sees Okada as a 'young boy' and that he was nothing in TNA and he doesn't think much of him now either. It's not the worst idea, but do NJPW fans care what Okada did or didn't do in TNA. In any case the fact he was never used looks badly on TNA rather than Okada.

There seems to be considerably belief that Styles will win when he challenges for the IWGP title, as they want him to be a big star in Japan. Personally I don't see it that way, I'm not convinced that the fans see AJ Styles as somewhere who can be the IWGP Champion at least not yet.

There is also the very slow tease of a match between CHAOS members Okada and newly crowned I-C champion Shinsuke Nakamura stemming from Nakamura's decision to challenge Hiroshi Tanahashi for the I-C title rather than his stable mate for the IWGP title. That without doubt is the biggest match NJPW has on the cards and it would be even bigger if it was Title vs. Title.

I think that match would be hurt if Okada loses the title to Styles even if he was to regain it quickly, although his current reign is now over a year long there doesn't seem to be any backlash against him and there are still big matches to have. A title loss to AJ Styles does not make sense at least not to me.

Sunday 13 April 2014

SADERMANIA: From Fanship To Friendship Review By Matt Bayliss

MOVING and INSPIRATIONAL two words which quite succinctly sum up this documentary! Sadermania is the story of Chris Sader from Chicago, son of Polish immigrants who developed an obsession with Hulk Hogan from the age of 3 when he first saw him on TV.

This documentary tells the story of how one child’s obsession with Hulkamania has shaped his life all the way to adulthood, and how he came to be friends with his idol. Inspired by Hulk Hogan, Sader has become a wrestler himself despite some criticism as he does not have the look or physique expected by some. The story of Saders life is told alongside a storyline feud within CSW the wrestling promotion for whom Sader performs.

Hulk Hogan himself appears in the film, talking frankly and honestly about how he got to know this super fan and the relationship they forged. Sader always presented piles of pictures and magazines to get signed but always wanted them personalised to him so it was obvious early on that he was not trying to profit from it. Hogans retelling of the events alongside Saders own memories and contributions from family and friends really adds depth to what is essentially a fairy tale story. Jimmy Hart and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan also appear in the film and talk about how they know Chris.

In my notes I took whilst watching the documentary I plotted a timeline of key events but when I sat down to write I felt that rather than state everything that happens my focus should be to encourage you to go and watch and experience it for yourself.

In order to meet his hero Sader has travelled all over the United States, waiting around for his opportunity to come up. Through his dedication and commitment he began to get recognised by Hogan and finally after travelling down to Tampa to Hogans restaurant Sader got invited to Hogans home and the two developed an unlikely friendship.

The CSW story line that plays out through the film is very interesting and shows some good story telling and Chris, although he does not look like the typical wrestler contributes a lot to the action that takes place and has developed a really strong character. The heel in the piece, Austin Roberts, has a great look and seriously intense personality so not only does he work incredibly well opposite Sader he is definitely somebody, as a wrestling fan, I would be interested in seeing more of as a performer. Chris clearly works hard for his character and puts in a lot of effort to improve himself, his in ring work is impressive and the crowds seem to love him. Just watching the action unfold helps you really invest in “Sadermania” – Chris is an underdog and comes across as just a normal guy but fights for what he believes in, something that is a staple of good characterisation and storytelling within wrestling.

In addition to the interview contributions and the wrestling footage some of the stories told are presented with some comic strip drawings which are good and add an extra dimension instead of simply listening to people tell stories.

Both Chris and Hogan experience some personal losses and an important part of the story is how their relationship with one another allows them to help and guide one another through darker times, both coming out stronger on the other side. Faith and religion are important to both men and they discuss openly how this affects and influences them. While personally I am not really religious I still found it very moving to listen to how their friendship grew through shared beliefs and experiences.

Sader has converted the entire basement of his family home into a Hulkamania museum, he has practically everything that has ever been produced with Hogan on it, from what is shown in the film the collection is amazing and he has managed to get some incredibly unique items from all through Hogans career. Almost every item has been signed and personalised to Chris which makes the collection even more unique and special.

Hogans contribution to the film really impressed me and made me see him in a very different light, he was very open about his relationship with Chris and how they both helped each other through losses and shared an emotional journey together. This has certainly made me more of a fan of Hulk than I was before; I think any wrestling fan would love to think that they could have this kind of rapport with their favourite star.

As I said right at the very top, this is really moving and inspirational. Chris Sader has been able to live out the fantasy of any members of any fandom, not just to meet his hero and idol and mould his life around it but to actually develop a legitimate friendship – how many people have had their idol visit their home? Or drive them around your home town in your own car? If this story was told as fiction it would be fantastical and far-fetched so to know that this is true makes it even more inspirational and shows that commitment and devotion can actually help you achieve your dreams.

Check out the trailer below


Thursday 10 April 2014

One Warrior Reality By Pete Stevens

Being woken up by my brother at 7am Wednesday morning on my first day off in 6 days wasn't my idea of a wake up call. He had neither a cup of coffee or a bacon sandwich however, what he did have woke me up more than an entire pig and a handful of coffee beans could ever do. He told me Ultimate Warrior was dead.

James Brian Hellwig known later in life simply as Warrior, had died. Let me take you back to the part where I was hearing this at 7AM. I wasn't drunk but that was one hell of a sobering moment. Only 2 days before Warrior, I stand corrected 'Ultimate' Warrior came out on to the Hall of Fame stage. A WWE stage, to accept his induction into the WWE Hall Of Fame for class 2014. I witnessed him being the entrance themed final Inductee onto the stage actually at Wrestle Mania XXX for their HOF presentation. I SAW him on Monday Night Freaking Raw! This can't be real. Alas I'm wrong and it is real. All TOO real.

Tuesday April 8th 2014, just 48 hours removed from his Hall Of Fame induction and less than 24 hours removed from his appearance on Raw, Ultimate Warrior had died. I had a number of important things to do that day. One was a telephone job interview & the other being a staff meeting that me and my manager were hosting. All I have managed to think about all day is how all this could of happened. We all know the history and the connection of warrior to the quick argument linking him to drugs and performance enhancers and i'd be the first one to agree with you but you see its deeper than that. This is a man that walked out on to that stage Saturday, Sunday & Monday to great applause and rapture from the crowds for which I know he took personally as it was visible for the world to see yet Tuesday he is gone?

I never claimed to be the biggest Warrior fan and nor would I put any of his matches in my top 100 contests of all time but he was important to professional wrestling. As a child growing up I collected the action figures. I needed Ultimate Warrior because without him who was Hulk Hogan going to wrestle for the belt? As I grew up, so did Warriors reputation for being a brash, difficult & a down right piece of work who once held the WWE hostage for money. Think of other people in this situation, the Jeff Jarrett's of this world who did the same thing for their own gain, only as I grew older something changed.

As I got older still and into adulthood I used to notice Warrior more and more, popping up on YouTube here and there as well as conventions or things he posted himself. I heard all the rumors about him still being difficult to work with & still being an ass from time to time but I started to look at it from a different perspective. I looked at it from the perspective of a guy who was extremely passionate about who he was, how he was perceived in his chosen line of work and his lifestyle choices. Don't get me wrong he still came across a little nutty but through it all I saw the method in the Madness. I'm a retail manager in a fast past sales environment. If I had just ONE warrior working for me, my store would be a much better place.

He believed and now so do I.

Being confused by someone for how they operate doesn't make them anything other than me or you. Warrior exemplified the spirit that more people need in this life, Individuality, pride, ownership, passion & determination to name just a few. He was ridiculed for most of his working and post career because of a combination of all these characteristics but like most things in life you never know a good thing till its gone.

I once read a great quote whiich is, "Each Man Is The Architect of His Own Destiny". No one in my opinion exemplifies this more then Warrior. Like I said earlier, I've never been a big fan of his ring style or work but the man has left an indelible mark on my within the past 72 hours which is no matter what you do, how hard you work, how passionate you are or how much you love, there comes a time in every mans life when it all comes to an end. Sometimes its sudden & sometimes its not but one thing is for sure, if you don't do any of those things whilst above all staying true to yourself, before you know it you're time will come to sudden stop and you will have done nothing.

I don't fear for the people surviving Warrior. I don't worry how his two daughters will cope without their father. I feel bad but need not worry, for they will live the way of the Warrior with the knowledge and mindset laid out to them by there truly remarkable father.

I admit I haven't Always Believed........But I do now.

God Bless you Warrior. Rest In Peace.


Wednesday 9 April 2014

Ultimate Warrior: My Thoughts By Shaun Nichols

As everyone is now fully aware the Ultimate Warrior has passed away and according to TMZ he collapsed walking to his car and was sent to a local hospital but unfortunately never recovered.

He had made his return to the WWE at this year's Hall of Fame ceremony as the main event speaker, appeared at Mania but also unusually also did a promo at the following night's Raw.

His appearance on Raw of course was his last ever performance in a wrestling ring and it's strange to say considering what happened less than 48 hours later but he looked pretty well. Stuart may have been a fan of that interview and reminded him of years gone past but not for me.
The Warrior put on his trademark coat, bizarrely put on a Warrior style mask and indicated that the spirit of the 'Ultimate Warrior' had taken over the body of the man who had come out to his ring music do polite applause. I wondered what was happening as he snorted, declared that he was the Ultimate Warrior and pointing into the crowd and stated that they were the fans of the Ultimate Warrior, that he would live forever and that some of the people in the back may have Warrior spirit.

After watching it, I texted a mate and I quote said "Warrior's promo on Raw is fucking awful. It's worse than when Hogan or Piper get hopelessly lost".

Now I understand that in the context of his death that won't be a popular view, but at the time I was simply hoping that he would enjoy the rest of his life but not be appearing on my television in the near future.

Strangely when you think of how famous he was and it would be foolish and impossible to deny the mark he made on the people who saw him. When wrestling gets talked about at work, people who used to watch it but haven't in years always mention the Warrior, Hogan or the Undertaker first. People like Steve Austin, The Rock, Flair, Savage, Shawn or Bret never it seems obtained that level of mainstream recognition in the UK as those who were stars in the very early 1990s.

The Warrior though when you actually take time to think about was a major star for 3 years, from SummerSlam 1988 to SummerSlam 1991. That was it, from beating the Honky Tonk Man who was the longest I-C Title champion in history in what seemed like to seconds. Now that's how you make a star, all the way through the infamous Mania match with Hogan. I don't doubt that it should enjoy its legendary status due to the emotion and the crowd reacting to it, after all it ended Hogan's 5+ year reign but it wasn't in my opinion a good match.

The Savage match at WrestleMania VII was an awesome match which was undoubtedly a milestone in both men's careers as it carried a tremendous story that had strong emotions. Which I believe gave Warrior his biggest win, Savage had to 'retire' but got his girl back. It was great, but Warrior really had nowhere to go after that which could even remotely follow it.

His comebacks in 1992, 1996 and finally in 1998 when he went to WCW to give Hogan his win back, followed a similar pattern. They all had initially a lot of interest but quickly cooled and especially the last two runs saw the fans really not caring about him within a few weeks.

He was like many before him and no doubt many after him, he was a product of his era. In the 1980s in the WWF they were looking for larger than life cartoon characters. He was one of the best, easily recognisable, had his unique charisma and was adored by his fans in a way that few other wrestlers could come close to experiencing.

It is always sad when people are taken too soon and I am sure that he will be greatly missed by many wrestling fans all over the word. I can't honestly say that I am one of those fans but I like everyone else find it truly unfortunate that when he had his peace and again taken his place at the WWE table he had it taken away from his so swiftly.
RIP Warrior.

Tuesday 8 April 2014


On the way to work this morning I read that The Ultimate Warrior has passed away. It has been confirmed by the WWE on their website and so it hits home even more.

Just this past weekend Warrior of course after patching up his differences with WWE was inducted into the Hall of Fame, in fact he was the headliner in New Orleans. His speech was amazing and the one thing he said that was more heartfelt was him being the father of his two daughters who were there with him and the fact is was more important than ANYTHING he had done in the wrestling business. You can see/hear the speech here -

I got into wrestling late, I was 15, it was the summer of 1990, that spring Intercontinental champion Warrior had defeated Hulk Hogan to win the WWF championship at Wrestle Mania VI. That summer, Warrior was in another feud with Rick Rude which culminated in a steel cage match at Summer Slam and it was after watching this I went back to watch older stuff, and it wasn't that old, the Wrestle Mania match which I loved back then and STILL watch it every now and then and still like it a lot. Yes, this day and age the wrestling I like is very different to that style of match and the current WWE product but this match was great, for me, it was billed as The Ultimate Challenge and it lived up to that.

Recently with it being 'Wrestle Mania season' there's the obvious talk of past Mania moments that fans have witnessed and I've already spoke about one of mine but one that topped that was the following year. At Wrestle Mania VII Warrior had, pardon the pun, the ultimate moment as he defeated Randy Savage in a career match. If there is anyone that hasn't seen it, you really need to. It was a great spectacle and an amazing moment.

Warrior had a shall we say, interesting time in the WWF, many say he was hard to deal with, there's the famous Summer Slam 91 incident where just before his match where he teamed with Hogan to take on Sgt Slaughter, General Adnan & Colonel Mustafa (The Iron Sheik) in which he 'held up' Vince McMahon for more money to which then ended his first run with the company. However, the WWF came calling again and he was back at Wrestle Mania VII.

Warrior would go on to have a stint in WCW where Hogan got a victory back over him.

WWE went on to produce a DVD titled 'The Self Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior' which featured many WWE alumni slaughtering him. Warrior didn't take too kind to this and actually took them to court which I believe was settled eventually.

After negotiations with WWE, more specifically Triple H, Warrior agreed to go into the Hall of Fame and a deal was done for a positive DVD release which I began to watch the other day and things were looking up.

Then as stated earlier, there was the really good HOF speech, appearance at Mania and he did this promo on Monday on RAW -

To end, I got to work, still in a state of shock not knowing the circumstances of Warrior's passing but very sad.