Paul O'Brien talks Ultimate Warrior

By Paul O'Brien

Warrior passing away so soon after his WWE comeback is shocking, saddening, surreal, but more than all - it is heartbreaking.

As a young fan of pro-wrestling I loved the Ultimate Warrior. I didn’t care about work rate and five star matches. I loved his crazy promos and his wild entrance. When Wrestlemania 6 came, I was a firmly in the Warrior camp. As an older fan of pro-wrestling I loved the fact he finally got his due. 

At the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, Warrior got handed his business’ loudest and far-reaching megaphone. He stood under wrestling’s brightest light and he looked like a man who’s attendance alone was unloading years of tension, crossed words and ill-will.

He certainly addressed the past, but he spoke like a man who was looking forward. He and the company had even had finally agreed to work together again. 

And that’s what makes it heartbreaking.

He chose his little girls as his escort onto the stage. Everyone who was watching could tell just how much they loved their father by their natural, un-staged hugs and kisses. When he addressed them, he put aside glory, titles, adulation and achievements to tell those little girls that being a good father came first.

“I want to let you know here tonight that…the most awesome thing I will ever do is be your father.”

And that’s what makes it heartbreaking. 

From the stage he looked to his wife, who, by his own words, came into his life when he wasn’t at his best. She was a woman who he’d formed a beautiful young family with. And she was a woman who couldn’t have looked any more proud or happy or relieved for her husband. She cried for him and blew him emotional kisses from her seat.

“You stuck with me, we got married, we built an incredible life, we have beautiful children, you look absolutely awesome and I love you.”

And that’s what makes it heartbreaking.

His mother was there too. A proud elderly lady who raised Warrior and his siblings alone. 

And that’s what makes it heartbreaking.

The next night on RAW, he’d walk to the ring - a little more frail looking - and embrace his famous wrestling persona. His fans cheered respectfully as he spoke. His Ultimate Warrior coat on and his famous face paint replicated. He took to the mic to give his last public, intense, passionate speech. Looking back on what he said make his words more meaningful. More personal. More wise. More sad. More sharp. More knowing. More for himself.

“No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man's heart one day beats its final beat; his lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit will be immortalized by the storytellers, by the loyalty, by the memory.”

And that’s what makes it heartbreaking.

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