When the “Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection” arrived for review purposes, it was shortly before the WWE inducted the Ultimate Warrior into the WWE Hall of Fame. After a short appearance at “Wrestlemania 30” and a nice promo on “WWE Monday Night Raw,” it looked like there would be some great things to come from Warrior in the near future. However, Ultimate Warrior died the day after that historic “Raw” appearance and it is with heavy heart that this Blu-ray review of “Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection” comes.
This is the second DVD based on The Ultimate Warrior’s career, but the original one was titled “The Self Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior” and was made to destroy the legacy of the Warrior. In this Blu-ray release, Warrior makes it clear that he returned to the WWE with one purpose – to tell the truth that “they” have tried to destroy. He said that “they” tried to write a different story, but now he is telling the real story of The Ultimate Warrior.
While that first DVD release was a documentary that was meant to bury the Warrior, along with his biggest matches, this one is a straight forward release with 26 matches on the DVD while this Blu-ray includes five more exclusive matches. In between every match, The Ultimate Warrior talks about that part of his career, including his feuds, his rivalries and his influences.
Warrior holds little back in some areas, such as when he mentions splitting up from Sting early on in their career because he believes in setting his own course while he said Sting preferred to follow others. He joked about how his name in World Class – The Dingo Warrior – was mentioned as a joke idea and then stuck. He really went a long way to put over the men known as jobbers, calling them some of the hardest workers in wrestling who had the most important job of all – making the stars look like stars.
The matches at the start were less than extraordinary, as Warrior himself talked about how green he was. There was a match with Sting as The Blade Runners and then one match from World Class where he fought world champion Chris Adams in a non-title match. There was one other match from World Class in the Blu-ray exclusives against Matt Borne (who later became Doink the Clown and was managed at the time by Percival Pringle III, who later became Paul Bearer).
The two biggest Ultimate Warrior matches were on here as well, with the WWF title win over Hulk Hogan and the big Retirement Match with Macho Man Randy Savage, which led to the return of Miss Elizabeth. There were a total of three matches on here with Randy Savage, two against Ravishing Rick Rude and two against The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. There were also matches against Andre the Giant, The Undertaker, Mr. Perfect, Sgt. Slaughter and Jerry “The King” Lawler.
A few of his more famous promos were on here, including the one before his match with Hulk Hogan and the WCW Monday Nitro appearance. Curiosities were included as well, including the short lived Ultimate Maniacs with Macho Man Randy Savage and the squash match against Triple H at Wrestlemania XII. There was also one very uncomfortable moment on the Blu-ray where he was feuding with Undertaker and they locked him in a casket, where he was supposed to be suffocating. Normally, that was a great moment in history, but for this review, it was way too soon.
There is one thing about the “Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection” Blu-ray that hurts the collection. When watching it straight through, it is easy to see the same pattern in almost all of Warrior’s matches, where he is beaten down and then re-energizes before hitting a few clotheslines and picking up the win. Spaced out, it is not as easy to notice but when watching this many matches, the pattern becomes painfully obvious.
However, The Ultimate Warrior was not about his wrestling skills, it was about his personality. Hearing his stories in this Blu-ray set and re-living the matches was a pure joy for an old-school wrestling fan. Newer fans should enjoy it as well, learning the great history of one of the WWE’s biggest phenomenons.
With that said, there was a very sad moment at the end. Warrior thanked everyone for hearing his side of the Ultimate Warrior story and said that he was excited to say there would be more to come. He said this Blu-ray was just the start. He said the only reason he agreed to the WWE Hall of Fame induction was so that he could return and tell the true story of The Warrior, and there would be much more to come. Because of his passing, that promise will now never come true.