On Saturday, April 5th 2014 I was in New Orleans at the WWE Hall of Fame. Due to ridiculous amounts of drinking during the day I ended up sitting there in a comatose state, almost passed out for most of it.
Then the Ultimate Warrior came out and I came alive. My friend said it was quite the sight to see – one minute I’m slumped in my seat, eyes pretty much closed and completely out of it. Then the Warriors music hits and I am standing up applauding, eyes lit up and glued to the stage for his 40 minute speech.
But man – he was The Ultimate Warrior. He was my childhood hero. Just earlier that day, I had went into the photobooth at Axxess where you could get a picture looking like any superstar. Of course, I went with this one – The Ultimate Warrior:
Sunday April 6th I was at Wrestlemania. A night of incredible moments. Hogan, Rock and Austin in the ring at the same time. Daniel Freaking Bryan. The streak ending. Yet right amongst all those for me was being able to stand up and applaud as the Warrior came out for a brief moment, as everyone showed respect to the Hall of Famers.
Monday April 7th though – that was the night. My childhood freaking dream come true – I finally got to see The Ultimate Warrior IN a WWE Ring. Sure he wasn’t wrestling; he didn’t come running to the ring. He wasn’t doing the gorilla press. But he was there. With the patented jacket and semi-patented mask; The Ultimate Warrior was in a WWE ring cutting a promo. And I was there! I just about lost it when he shook the ropes. That was one to cross off the bucket list.
Tuesday April 8th. I arrived home from Wrestlemania, New Orleans, and the best weekend of my life. I was on the high of highs. I got in just about midnight, and it was all I could do to not immediately wake up my wife and tell her all about my weekend.
Then I looked at my phone and noticed about 10 new text messages sent within the last 4 hours. Every one said pretty much the same thing: “The Ultimate Warrior is dead. WTF.”
Wow, just wow.
It’s just such a weird feeling when a childhood hero dies. I still remember the exact date he became my hero: March 25th, 1991. The day after Wrestlemania 7. I was 9 years old.
Our project at school that day was to actually draw our heroes. I had nothing. I think I did Lion-o from Thundercats or something. I looked over at my friend Nat to see what he was drawing, and it was a 2D picture of a big guy with big boobs. That’s really what it looked like. Turned out it was Hulk Hogan – who I had never heard of. Being an immature 9 year old I just couldn’t stop laughing. But he took it in stride, and told me he’d bring over Wrestlemania 7 which just occurred the previous night, and introduce me to Hulkamania.
I was introduced to Hulkamania that night – but more importantly, I was introduced to The Ultimate Warrior as he retired the Macho King Randy Savage in an amazing match. That was the day that I became a wrestling fan, and the exact moment was when Warrior took 5 elbow drops yet GOT UP.
If it wasn’t for The Ultimate Warrior, it’s amazing to think how different my life could be today. He was the reason I became a wrestling fan. Okay it was technically a drawing of a guy with boobs if you want to argue semantics – but he was still the main reason.
When I think about all of my friends – all of my best friends – our friendship stemmed from wrestling. My childhood best friend Matt – we became best friends because he had Sky Satellite or similar and was able to get the PPVs. My best friend Mark who I travel across the country for twice a year – we first became friends in a wrestling chat room. My high school friends Nate, Alain and Morgan who I’m still best friends with to this day – we lived for punk, drinking and wrestling.
Dan, Eamon, Greg, Vin, Risto And so many more friends – all because of wrestling. And I may as well name drop Taff here as I know he’s reading this and ready to mock me anyway. Just think Taff – if it wasn’t for wrestling, we’d never have been able to read Stixx’s wife fan fiction!
But what about my job? I do affiliate marketing. As I’ve mentioned before – I got into the internet due to wrestling. That was the sole reason. I built wrestling websites way back in 1996. That was the sole reason I learned HTML and got into websites – was because of wrestling. If it wasn’t for wrestling there is ZERO chance I would be sitting here writing this today or doing what I do for a living.
I love my life. I love everything about my life. I truly feel lucky for everything I have. Yet all of that is because of wrestling. And more importantly – all that is because of The Ultimate Warrior. It never really dawned on me until this morning, when I sat down to write this weeks T_IM.
I intended to just write a short blurb about the Warrior and then move onto affiliate marketing related topics – but as I wrote, it all just came to me. Everything I have in life, the whole reason I am sitting here writing this – is due to The Ultimate Warrior.
And now he’s gone.
I’m just glad I got to see him live not once, not twice but three times.
I’ll cherish those moments forever.
New Orleans in a Nutshell
Drunk with cosplayers:
Choking Out Bob Backlund:
Passed Out with Sunglasses on:
Cuddling with A Stray Cat: