Review: ‘Warrior – The Ultimate Legend’ (WWE Network Documentary)

August 31, 2014 by Rory James

WWE Network - Warrior: The Ultimate Legend Logo

When real life tragedies hit the world of sports-entertainment, they hit me hard.

From the death of Owen Hart to the passing of Eddie Guerrero, I have always been one of those fans who feel a strong connection to performers. Watching the superstars I love and respect break character and break down discussing the passing of a colleague and friend always get my tear ducts flowing. But if I’m honest, I wasn’t expecting that when I sat down to watch this documentary on the life and legacy of Warrior. Although I would say I was a fan of his, my interest in him comes from childhood. As an adult, I had very little connection with the outspoken, outcast individual that Warrior had become. I found wresting in 1992, and my only “live” memory of his initial run was his epic match with Randy Savage at SummerSlam 1992. I was a fan when he returned in 1996, and watched Nitro when he went to WCW in 1998, but I didn’t have the emotional connection to him that I did to Owen Hart, Eddie Guerrero, or dare I say it, even Chris Benoit. So while I was sad at his passing, and shocked at the timing, it didn’t hit me in the same way. This documentary changed that.

This hour long piece affected me not as a wrestling fan, but as a human being. The tragedy of Warrior’s story is that his passing came at a time when he achieved some much-needed closure. ‘Warrior – The Ultimate Legend’ tells the story of how said closure came about, and how Warrior reconnected with the organization that helped make him a household name, and the fans who, in his own words, kept the legend of Ultimate Warrior alive.

WWE Network - Warrior: The Ultimate Legend Documentary

Perhaps what makes ‘Warrior: The Ultimate Legend’ stand out from other WWE-produced documentaries is just how genuine it feels. Most fans know the long and complex history between the WWE and the man billed from “Parts Unknown”. Warrior left the company on bad terms three times, and is the only star to date to have a feature produced on him that could be described as a character assassination. Therefore, you would perhaps quite fairly presume that cash must have motivated a reunion between the two parties. While I have no doubt that this played a part in Warrior’s return to the company, this documentary shows that some very real healing took place over WrestleMania weekend. This reality based emotion is what pushes the feature forward and makes it so compelling. We see Warrior go through a healing process, making his peace with people who he has been at odds with for decades. His moments with Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon seem real and genuine, and therefore are truly touching. Other relationships stand out as being genuine also. The man who put together Warrior’s WWE return, Triple H, looks to have formed a very real friendship with the man behind the face paint.

And then there is Warrior’s family. Seeing him interact with his wife and two little girls is both beautiful and heartbreaking. It helps us to see Warrior as more than just a WWE superstar, but also underpins the true tragedy of his untimely and unexpected death.

Sting in Warrior Ultimate Legend WWE Network Documentary

As sad as moments of the documentary are, there are still lots of enjoyable and fun moments to it as well. Steve “Sting” Borden makes his first official WWE appearance, discussing his early career as part of a tag team with Warrior, back before either man had become the stars they would be. We also get footage of Warrior at WWE headquarters, which offers us a rare tour inside the facility. He seems genuinely excited to be there, an excitement shared by the viewer as we get to see all the cool memorabilia WWE keeps in their office. Backstage at the Hall of Fame, we see Sgt. Slaughter present Warrior with a potato of all things, while the two share a great moment reminiscing. After all the years of Warrior bashing, it is good to see that there were some stars from back in the day that he still had a bond with.

Vince McMahon Interview in Ultimate Warrior Documentary

The scene that truly makes this documentary is one featuring Warrior presenting Vince with a book, ‘The Little Engine That Could’. Vince talks about how he always viewed the WWE as the engine, and Vince seems genuinely touched by the thoughtful gift. Discussing the moment after Warrior’s passing, Vince states that “you don’t know what you have until it is gone”. Hearing a man who has rarely showed such emotion on camera, clearly hurting at losing someone he had so recently reconnected with, is brutal. It is this final part of the documentary that is the toughest to watch, but that ultimately makes it so compelling.

This is a true, emotional tribute to a man who is synonymous with the WWE brand. It is also the first must see original content on the WWE Network. Take some time to watch it, be moved by it, and to remember Warrior: The Ultimate Legend.

WWE Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan Backstage

 




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15 Comments left on this article...

  1. SCSA says:

    I was really happy to hear bout ‘Warriors Ultimate collection’❗️Though I mainly bought it a Doc n his match at WM6❗️

    Ne ways, i didnt enjoy the oldest matches, though the set was worth it.

  2. What ever happened about a Warrior Documentary DVD, other than the WWE Network?
    It was announced that there would be a Ultimate Warrior Life Story DVD and now it’s not on the schedule.
    Ultimate Warrior deserves more.

    • Daniel Bee says:

      We haven’t announced that, WWE haven’t either, so who has? 😉

      • It was posted on LordsOfPain by wrestlingdvdnews that there will be a DVD a month or two ago. I never forget anything regarding Ultimate Warrior news.
        He’s #1 to me always was, always will be.

        • Daniel Bee says:

          We don’t forget news we’ve wrote/broke. 🙂

          It may have been a survey you are thinking of, a Warrior documentary as a possibility for a future DVD that survey respondents could give feedback on. All I can think of. There hasn’t been a confirmed Warrior documentary DVD. Sorry. It was only this year the newest one came out.

        • Mark D says:

          More and more it appears the copy and paste newz sites can’t even do that right these days. That and they just make crap up and credit someone with more credibility.

      • After his passing when they had the Ultimate Legend story on the WWE Network, There was supposed to be a DVD too.
        I don’t forget Warrior material, ever.,
        Always Believe!

        • LP1 says:

          That’s what you get for going to bush league sites like that. If there was supposed to be a new Warrior release don’t you think it would’ve been posted on this site first?

  3. Steven Jackson says:

    I really enjoyed this review Rory, and thank you for writing it up.

    I have heard nothing but amazing things about this documentary, and the fact that the Warrior passed away so suddenly after making ties with the WWE is truly tragic.

    When the WWE Network comes to the UK, this is the first thing I am going to watch.

  4. SRB says:

    I remember going as Warrior when I was a little kid for Halloween. And watching him perform at WM 12 was a fantastic experience to see Warrior live. I am so thankful he got to say his part during his HOF speech and show up on Raw for his final appearance ever. The documentary itself needs to be included in some future release. The part of him and Hogan burying the hatchet was a true gem and reinforced the fact that these are not just wrestlers, they are actual people.

  5. ashley says:

    I agree this is the reason I keep watching this documentary all the time it’s so great and really heartbreaking, if you are a true wwe fan and get really attached to wwe superstars it’s always so sad when one if them is gone it fells like if one of your loved ones is gone

  6. Lee says:

    This was much better than his bluray as it was much more detailed & they talk about his departures without leaving too much out and I’d like to think this doco is the full story Warrior was referring to at the end of his dvd/bluray set. It truly is a well done piece of work.

  7. LP1 says:

    This documentary was easily the best the company ever produced in my opinion. And amazingly in such a short period of time. They put the whole thing together in a week.

    For me, I did have that emotional connection the Warrior. Growing up as a kid in the 80’s guys like Hogan, Warrior, Savage, etc. were everything to me at a young age. I only had the chance to meet Warrior in person one time back in 1996 when he did an autograph signing of his new comic book in Queens, New York. It was very hard for me to watch this documentary because I just saw him live when I went down to New Orleans for WrestleMania weekend and it just hit me like a ton of bricks when I returned home and heard the news the next day.

    A lot of people probably couldn’t care less and thought the guy was a “maniac” or cut “lunatic promos” or had “terrible workrate”, like somehow all of that justifies his passing. This was a father of 2 young girls and a husband. Seeing how happy those little girls were in this documentary knowing how this all ends is heartbreaking. Right down to the bone.

    So whether you were a diehard Warrior fan or someone who didn’t really care about him I would still recommend going out of your way to watch this because at the end of the day this isn’t just a story about “some wrestler who died”, it’s a deeper fascinating story about redemption and personal relationships. I don’t think anyone will come away from this documentary saying “Ehh, it was just OK.” It’s a very moving piece of business and I thank WWE for producing this.

    RIP Warrior

  8. Shaun Blackford says:

    Enjoyed this review, great read thanks

  9. Calvin Heikkila says:

    This was a fantastic documentary. Probably my favorite WWE has ever done. I really hope they will release it on DVD with a few more unreleased matches from Warrior’s career.

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