Warrior is Real: A Tribute
April 11, 2014
By: Gary Hernon (Wrestleview International Desk)
“Wrestling is real. People are fake.” We’ve seen this emblazed on a t shirt for Ken Anderson. It’s a quirky idea for us fans who invest so much in the product. As believe it or not there are times where we 100% believe it is real. Look no further than last Sunday night April 6th when Brock Lesnar defeated Undertaker to break the unprecedented 21-0 streak. However in the cold light of day wrestling is, for want of a better word, fake. 21-1 whilst shocking and is a major topic for debate is ultimately a moot point, it’s done. As a very apt banner read at this past week’s Raw (April 7th) “Streaks end. Legacies are forever.”
Wrestling may not be real however the memories they create for the fans of the product are. I’ve been lucky enough to see my idols wrestle. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of those idols. Real moments that I would not change for anything in the world. Growing up I fell in love with wrestling. I fell in love with the over the top characters. Between Taker and Foley I was Taker. Between HBK and Bret I was HBK. Between Stone Cold & Vince I was Stone Cold. Between Hogan and Warrior I was Warrior. I see these traits in my younger brother who has been watching wrestling for the last year. His story culminated with his favourite wrestler Daniel Bryan winning the title at WrestleMania XXX. When Batista tapped out he leapt from the couch and hugged me with tears in his eyes saying “I can’t believe Daniel did it!!!”.
I retold this story to my mother (bet you read that as Mr. T). She recalled me reacting similar to that when Shawn Michaels beat Bret Hart at WrestleMania XII. After this I proceeded to show her pictures from the Hall of Fame. She knew all the characters. When inevitably we came to the Ultimate Warrior she told me stories of how I wanted to paint my face like him. How I’d run like him. How I’d snort like him. She then said I was more like my brother when at WrestleMania VI The Ultimate Warrior beat Hulk Hogan for both the Intercontinental Title and the World Title. I was 4 years of age. I didn’t remember any of this but apparently I was a little Warrior. This conversation took place last night (April 8th) at10.30pm. I headed off to bed feeling good to have reminisce with my mother around my fandom for The Ultimate Warrior.
I woke up early this morning (April 9th) to hear the news that Warrior had passed away. I was shocked, like everyone. Warrior wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. He was outspoken and opinionated. He was a bit coarse at times. He was however a father to two young girls who clearly idolised their Dad and he was clearly besotted his daughters (watch the Hall of Fame). He was a husband. He was, at his core, a good guy.
I went to sleep last night feeling a real connection to an over the top character I never met. That connection was professional wrestling. I cheered him as a four year old like the way my 8 year old brother some 24 years later cheered on Daniel Bryan. That’s a connection that goes through generations. The people we cheer may be different but the feelings are the same. The feelings are real. Loyalty. Elation. Belief. Overcoming the odds. Warrior showed you didn’t have to be the best, all you needed was to believe in yourself because ultimately that would allow others to believe in you.
Warrior leaves behind a wife of 14 years and 2 young girls. He leaves behind a storied career in a profession that didn’t treat him all too well. He leaves behind adoring fans from the generation he was a Superstar in and a new generation who only got to experience the Warrior on Sunday and Monday night. He leaves behind a legacy that shows you can do anything as long as you believe in yourself. He leaves immortalized.
I would like to extend my condolences to Warrior’s family from all of us here at the WVIDesk.