Monday, April 28, 2014
Warrior Week on WWE Network
So yeah, I have had my hands full with the network since it launched. But they did a special programming week last week to honor the Ultimate Warrior when he suddenly passed away, just three days after getting inducted into their hall of fame. They aired several specials on him throughout the week to celebrate his career. While the Warrior has been quite outspoken and made quite outrageous remarks this last decade in various public forums, these specials primarily focus about his career in the ring, not outside of it.
The first special I watched was a Wrestlemania Rewind focusing on his classic match with Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania VI. I remember originally watching this when I was six or seven and thinking it was the best match of all time, leagues better from what I was use to getting from these two at the time. Nearly 25 years later, and this match still holds up nicely! It is certainly no technical mat classic, but the crowd is electric, and totally invested throughout and the match tells a great story from beginning to end, and is landmark in a way because it was the first and one of the few times we ever saw Hulk Hogan in his Hulkamania days lose cleanly in the middle of the ring.
Up next is a hour of random matches taken from the recently released, Ultimate Collection that hit DVD and BluRay last month. It features several Warrior matches, and new to this added in on the WWE Network are brief testimonials from about a dozen past and present WWE superstars in between matches paying homage to Warrior's career. There is not a lot to Warrior matches, but the selection here was entertaining to watch for the most part as it features an early squash match against Barry Horowitz, a good match in his longtime feud against Rick Rude, a surprisingly good bout from Japan against Ted Dibiase, and an entertaining debacle against Andre the Giant from Saturday Night's Main Event.
Part of me wishes WWE did acknowledge that Warrior was, well, kind of bonkers in his public forum comments, but WWE seemed driven to keep these specials focusing on his wrestling career. For what it is worth, I did get the feeling that Wrestlemania XXX weekend was going to be the first step of quite a few that was a rebuilding process in Warrior's career, which I was hoping would lead to some kind of apology from him and learning from his outlandish ramblings throughout the 2000s. I will echo what some superstars said on this commentary and it seemed like Warrior was at peace with himself, or at least in the early stages of burying the hatchet and trying to seek redemption from his controversial in and out of the ring actions. I have no idea how long these specials will be on the WWE Network, or if they plan on putting them on some kind of rotation, but I hope they do release all four of these as some kind of home video compilation as it was a fond way to remember the good he brought to the industry.
Past Wrestling Blogs
Legends of Mid South Wrestling
RoH Supercard of Honor V
WWE Wrestlemania 28
WWE Wrestlemania 29