Even those of you that aren't wrestling fans if you’re around my age you’ll know who the Ultimate Warrior is. When I was growing up if you were to ask most people who their favourite wrestler was they would probably say either Hulk Hogan or the Ultimate Warrior. Seeing him inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a wrestling fan was pretty incredible, mainly due to the fact that the off camera relationship between The Warrior and WWE was for the better part of 20 years so volatile.
Warrior (who legally changed his name from Jim Hellwig) was very outspoken about his feelings towards the owner of WWE Vince McMahon, as well as Hulk Hogan and many other WWE talents both former and current. WWE would go as far as to release in 2005 a documentary entitled “The Self Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior” which was incredibly negative about Warrior with praise being few and far between. Numerous law suits between Warrior and WWE had occurred and from a fans point of view the bad blood between the two parties made a reconciliation seem utterly impossible.
Then last year Ultimate Warrior was featured heavily in 2K Games latest WWE game WWE 2K14, and had apparently signed a deal to work with 2K Games to be in the game, not WWE. He appeared in character for a commercial for the game too, and in that there seemed to be some hope that he’d one day return to the fold. Time to order a snow shovel for the Devil?
However it happened The Ultimate Warrior and WWE were putting their bad blood behind them and working together again, with new merchandise being created and a new documentary being put together that addressed the 2005 release, as well as the animosity between The Ultimate Warrior and Vince McMahon. The icing on the cake being the induction of The Ultimate Warrior into the Hall of Fame. Something most fans thought would never happen.
In various interviews taken during Wrestlemania weekend and the weeks leading up, it was shown that a lot of hatchets were buried and a lot of old wounds were being mended. Some emotional reconciliations were shown on the WWE Network and it you could see the weight being lifted off of Warriors shoulders as he made peace with people he had been at odds with for years.
Then of course he was inducted into the Hall of Fame the night before Wrestlemania 30, he made an appearance with the other inductees the night of Wrestlemania and made what would be an incredibly prophetic promo the next night on Monday Night Raw.
"Every man's heart one day beats its final beat. his lungs breath their final breath. and if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them bleed deeper in something larger than life, than his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized."
Less than 24 hours after saying those words The Ultimate Warrior died, surviving him are his wife and two young daughters.
I'm happy that before he died the Ultimate Warrior made peace with those who he was not on good terms with. That’s one thing from this story I have taken to heart. I've spent a good few years, too many in fact, holding on to grudges and resentments that haven’t accomplished anything other than stressing myself out. I've buried a lot of those grudges but there are still some people I need to apologise to and things to apologise for. Whilst it’s of course tragic that the Ultimate Warrior died at such a young age, I would prefer to go to my grave without any resentments hanging over my head like Warrior did, than resentful, angry and alone.
It's easier said than done, but don't leave forgiveness unsaid. You never know when that opportunity will be taken away.