Is it time for the ultimate Warrior to come home to WWE?
8 years ago this would have been considered a stupid statement, not only were WWE on bad terms with the former Champion but they were about to release a DVD expressly to humiliate his legacy. However time heals all wounds, and if history has taught us anything it’s never say never in the wrestling business.
According to the Wrestling Observer, Vince met with the Warrior, who legally changed his name years ago to spite McMahon, while he was it town to do promotional work at Summerslam Axess for WWE 2K14.
Though there aren’t any specifics on what the meeting entailed, the very fact that it took place suggests the relationship between the pair of egos is improving. There has already been speculation that he could be a potential 2014 Hall of Famer, but up until now their only contact had been indirectly through 2K Sports, who signed Warrior independently of WWE for the upcoming video game. Ultimate Warrior is a playable character in the game and has been the focus of early advertising material.
The first sign that McMahon and Warrior may be burying the hatchet came when they exchanged Tweets in July. “I want to personally welcome Ultimate Warrior back to @WWE,” wrote the Chairman. Warrior responded in a typical overblown fashion, but at its core was a thank you: “Vince, thank you for your personal welcome back to the WWE Universe. It is noted and appreciated.”
The former Jim Hellwig is certainly a conundrum in the wrestling business. Fans who grew up watching the jacked cartoon character wrestler as kids, have nothing but fond memories. However those who worked with him and have made their views public, universally hate him. He was hard to wrestle due to his limited skill-set, difficult to get along with backstage because of a massive ego, and has never really been accepted by the “fraternity” that is wrestling.
When speculation of a Hall of Fame induction is thrown around, it really depends on the internal criteria. Is the Hall of Fame for those that made money and had a significant impact on the fans? After all wrestling is a work, and if somebody was billed as Michael Jordan, then aren’t they Michael Jordan? Or is true success and Hall of Fame worthiness measured by raw talent and respect from peers?
It’s probably a combination of a lot of things, and what we can’t ignore is money. If Vince can make money from pushing the Warrior as a Hall of Fame headliner he may just put any bad blood they have behind him. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s welcomed somebody back who we previously thought he despised. As we saw with Bruno Sammartino Vince himself doesn’t even have to be involved, though perhaps after his squash to Warrior at WrestleMania XII, Triple H isn’t somebody championing his corner.
But just a few words of caution to WWE if this meeting is indeed leading somewhere. I don’t want to see Warrior in a match, unless it’s something comedic with the likes of Heath Slater, the guy was out of breath in his prime, and if he ever does get in to the Hall of Fame, make sure you have a translator and the ability to cut the mic at any moment!