PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: ‘Ultimate Warrior – Always Believe’ WWE DVD & Blu-Ray

April 13, 2015 by Mark D

WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

At the conclusion of last year’s “Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection” DVD, the Warrior promised that it wasn’t the end and his story – the true story would soon be told.

Sadly, as I’m sure you are aware; his story went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows when Warrior passed away just hours after his WWE homecoming.

Just over a week after his tragic passing, the WWE Network put together an incredible one hour documentary special – “Warrior: Ultimate Legend”, telling the story of his career, controversies and of course his return to the WWE family.

Now, a year after the Warrior’s passing, we mark his life and career with Always Believe.

  
The Documentary

Despite what we first heard, Always Believe is not a new presentation, but rather an extended and re-cut version of the WWE Network special. However, from the off, do not let this fact put you off.

Unlike the recent “Destruction of The Shield” DVD/Blu-ray which simply had extended scenes worked in, Always Believe has completely new scenes and interviews added into a whole new cut of the Ultimate Legend documentary. Always Believe has a run time of 1 hour and 38 minutes, which is 40 minutes (or 69%) longer than Ultimate Legend.

Warrior and Dana Warrior : Always Believe, Ultimate Warrior WWE DVD / Blu-Ray Review

Throughout the course of the DVD documentary you will find the vast majority of scenes from the Network documentary; however they are in a different order on the DVD and are complimented with new scenes and interviews with Dana, Mattigan and Indiana Warrior (the “Warrior Girls”).

Dana Warrior speaks to the WWE Universe : WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

Always Believe opens with scenes regarding the Warriors’ passing and a very emotional Dana Warrior discussing her and her daughters return to New Orleans and the Smoothie King Center in January 2015 (site of the 2014 Hall of Fame ceremony and the post WrestleMania XXX RAW) for the first time since the Warrior’s death. Dana also discusses her gratitude and the support they have received from WWE and the ‘WWE Universe’ as a whole in the past year.

Warrior Arrives at WWE HQ : WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

From here the documentary moves on to discussing the Warriors’ passing and his final promo from Monday Night RAW – these scenes are taken from the original documentary. Next, the documentary moves on to the original open from Ultimate Legend with Warrior returning to WWE HQ and discussion of his early career. Notable by its absence here is the Royal Rumble poster complete with Post-it note. The majority of the discussion about Warrior’s early career in Mid-South, Memphis and World Class remains largely the same between the two versions. The only exception is that here on Always Believe we have some added scenes and interviews, specifically a “Freedom Fighters” interview with Lance Russell from Memphis and extended discussion of Warrior’s time in WCCW.

Freedom Fighters interview with Lance Russell : WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

The documentary flips between scenes discussing Warrior’s career, covering all of his major career milestones alongside his return to WWE over WrestleMania XXX weekend. Perhaps some topics which could have been covered in greater detail were his WWE departures in 91, 92 and 96. His departures were topics Warrior faced great criticism over in the 2005 Self Destruction DVD; this did surprise me as this documentary didn’t dispel all these criticisms, as was promised at the end of last year’s DVD.

Warrior, WrestleMania 6 : WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

From the perspective of a “DVD guy”, one of the most intriguing topics covered is the Self Destruction DVD and Warrior’s feelings on the DVD. To me at least it’s really cool that we’ve had a handful of DVD sets which have affected the course of wrestling history – Self Destruction, Rise and Fall of ECW and to a slightly lesser degree the Bret Hart DVD. I have a feeling that we might very well be on the precipice of another ‘universe’ shattering DVD project, but that’s another subject for another day. 😉

Indian Warrior speaks about Ultimate Warrior : WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

The addition of the Warrior Girls add a whole new perspective to the DVD, understandably they weren’t involved with the initial Network documentary, however it is really awesome to see them all so heavily involved here. Dana, Mattigan and Indiana add insight into the Ultimate Warrior behind the face paint and insight into the man, the husband and the father.

WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

The Warrior Girls also discuss the kindness they have received from the WWE Superstars, staff and fans – especially the WWE Divas. Natalya provided the family with a great deal of support in particular. The Divas have also inspired Mattigan to follow in her fathers’ footsteps and possibly become a WWE Diva herself. We are also given some clips of Natalya working out in the ring with Mattigan (you can find the match in full as a Blu-ray exclusive) which was filmed when the Warrior Girls were presented with the Warrior’s Slammy Award in January 2015.

 Always Believe, Ultimate Warrior WWE DVD / Blu-Ray Review

In a really emotional closing scene, the Warrior Girls read letters they have written for The Warrior. The closing video montage features classic Warrior clips, videos of fans thanking the Warrior and concludes with the Warrior Girls releasing three neon colored balloons into the sky in memory of the Warrior.

Warrior Girls : WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

The Matches

The twenty one matches occupy DVD disc two (or the second half of Blu-ray disc one) and have a run time of 2 hours, 47 minutes. The Blu-ray also features five additional exclusive matches which run for approximately an hour. The matches which have been chosen for Always Believe are really a cool, almost “B side” collection to last year’s Ultimate Collection.

The matches here on this set are some of the more rare and unique bouts from the Warrior’s career. Examples of these unique and honestly eclectic matches include a slew of interesting tag team matches in which the Warrior joins forces with such partners as: Jim Duggan, Randy Savage, Undertaker and The Road Warriors. Some of these matches were the highlights of this set for me. The Ultimate Warrior (at least in my opinion) will be most remembered as a singles superstar, so any time he is put into a tag team match, it made for a unique spectacle.

Undertaker and Ultimate Warrior : WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

Always Believe doesn’t just have unique tag matches, but also some historic matches such as: the Warrior’s very first Madison Square Garden outing versus Frenchy Martin and his final WWE match against Owen Hart – where the commentary discusses the match being Warrior’s final WWE match — as this was one of the taped RAWs with live commentary (FYI).

Warrior Final RAW Match : WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

Other cool matches are the random 1990’s TV main events against Rick Martel, Smash and Skinner and of course the inclusion of Iron Mike Sharpe (who finally makes his singles debut on a WWE DVD!) and Conquistador #1.

Rick Rude vs. Warrior : WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

The other nice inclusion is the “arena camera” version of The Ultimate Challenge from WrestleMania VI. Like Hulk vs. Andre from the History of WWE DVD a couple of years ago, the match is shot exclusively from the hard camera and doesn’t feature commentary. In fact Always Believe doesn’t feature any color commentary from Jesse Ventura, as on the very few matches where Jesse did provide commentary, he is muted.

Ultimate Challenge; WrestleMania 6 : WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

The Promos

Unlike 2014’s Ultimate Collection, Always Believe is jam packed with more than 2 and ¾ hours of classic Ultimate Warrior promos, from his early days in World Class Championship Wrestling right up to his Hall of Fame induction and his return to Monday Night RAW. The promos were also an excellent addition, I felt. Of course, ‘The Ultimate Warrior’ character wasn’t all about ring work, a huge reason Warrior became so ‘over’ was due to his character development of which his promos were a tremendous part.

Warrior and Brother Love : Always Believe, Ultimate Warrior WWE DVD / Blu-Ray Review

However, I honestly feel that possibly 2 hours and 41 minutes of promos was maybe a tad too much. While some of the promos were really fun to relive, especially his ones with Brother Love and Sherri Martel, others are very, very short TV (“update”) promos and in all honestly I’m not too sure those were worthy of inclusion here. Personally, I would have preferred to sacrifice some promos so that we could have at least one, one-on-one match with Randy Savage (as there are still a handful of unreleased Savage/Warrior matches, especially as Warrior spoke very highly of his work with the Macho Man in the documentary).

WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

The Blu-Ray Features

While I covered the Blu-ray exclusive matches earlier, the Blu-ray also features 25 minutes of additional stories, mainly from the Warrior Girls. These were really fun and are always a high point of these sets for me. Here on Always Believe we have a number of topics discussed, including the Warrior’s love of Disney World and its roller-coaster’s, a rather competitive bike ride, WrestleMania VI “Movie Night” and a touching story about how Warrior wanted to reach out to Vince McMahon when his daughter Indiana was born in 2000.

Warrior, Dana and Indiana : WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

Other than the segments with the Warrior Girls, there is also a really cool scene with the Warrior backstage at Monday Night RAW discussing the origins and back-story behind his famed “crash the plane” promo from the build to WrestleMania VI.

Crash the Plane Promo : Always Believe, Ultimate Warrior WWE DVD / Blu-Ray Review

Closing Thoughts

The Shield set simply had added scenes and felt very much the same as the Network version, however Always Believe with the re-cut and the brand new scenes and interviews make Always Believe feel like a brand new documentary. Of course you still have the majority of the scenes from the Network documentary, but it really does feel like a brand new presentation.

The timing of the initial Network documentary made it feel very poignant and moving, a year later and just when it might have lost a little its poignancy, WWE comes at us with “Always Believe” which by adding in the Warrior Girls takes you right back and makes it all feel very ‘raw’ again, especially with its release so close to the first anniversary of Warrior’s passing.

WWE Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD / Blu-Ray Review

The great documentary, unique match selection and even the promos make this set a really nice piece of business. While I can’t see another Warrior DVD; at least in the near future, with Always Believe and the Ultimate Collection you really do have the complete Ultimate Warrior story. So this makes Always Believe an incredibly easy recommendation and I hope you guys and girls love it as much as I did. Plus, with this and the Ultimate Collection, the spirit of The Ultimate Warrior will be able to run in our hearts and minds FOREVER!!

Final Ultimate Warrior Appearance :  Always Believe WWE DVD / Blu-Ray Review

 
Pick up your copy of WWE “Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe” DVD & Blu-ray now…

 

USA: TOMORROW! Pre-order now here on Amazon.com.

UK/Europe: Next Monday! Pre-order now from WWEDVD.co.uk.

Australia: May 5th. Pre-order now via WWEDVD.com.au.

 

 




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21 Comments left on this article...

  1. JOHN SmITH says:

    I have the say ,the ultimate warriors not only best wrestler and great Undefeated all time in wrestling world .ultimate warriors God bless him .

  2. robbutler says:

    I’d still like to see a warrior unreleased collection if possible. the matches people keep talking about like flair, nailz, kamala, vader and the match with sting v Hogan and bret.

    • Jeff Copeland says:

      yea i be all for a unreleased set like they did for hogan and bret cause theres probably still alot of matches not released on a dvd. maybe they might release the havoc 98 match :O!!. Which i was shocked thats not a dvd yet and ROB as far as that tag match with warrior and sting vs hogan and bret thats on stings dvd that was released last year i think it might be a bluray exclusive ?? i am not 100% sure

    • Jakki Steal says:

      Me 2!
      🙂

      (If you don’t already have the Sting set w/the match you were talking about, I highly recommend it)

      [ANYWHO]…When it comes to the Ultimate Warrior…I want more it’s not enough!

      Originally, Even though Ultimate Warrior is & always has been my favorite wrestler of all time…
      I was still slightly a little perplexed by the inclusion of a whole disc of just promos???
      BUT it’s really more than what the average person would think…It has tons of classic Brother Love segments as well as lots of interviews w/Mean Gene & segments w/other superstars like Macho Man, Ric Flair & Sensational Sherri!

      I’ve been completely blown away by the 2 official Ultimate Warrior releases that treated him w/respect.
      He’s the only wrestler I love that even his jobber matches fill me w/excitement!

      Even though…this kinda was a “unreleased matches” set.
      They could still easily do a bada$$ set filled w/tons of matches that hardcore Ultimate Warrior fans have been dying to be officially released.
      Something about him just makes his matches super fun to watch…so whatever “exclusive” matches are left…will w/out a doubt make me happy as hell!

  3. Fan says:

    Give us one more Warrior Blu Ray!!

  4. Mike says:

    The Ultimate Warrior was never best known for his in-ring skills. But how do the matches on this set compare to last year’s?

    • Jeff Copeland says:

      there not bad i think theres 1 repeat on this dvd from his last one in 2014. so thats something i dont know if they could make a 4th one cause really wats left warrior matches wise ?? thats not on a dvd? warrior vs rude from wm 5 or the nightmare that was halloween havoc 98 hogan vs warrior 2 but with the network now ehh. i think this is the best warrior dvd/bluray your ever gonna get if he was alive i bet we would of got more him but RIP 🙁 !!! so anyway if u are part of the own GET THIS and the SPIRIT OF THE WARRIOR WILL KEEP ON RUNNING!! SNARLS AHHHHHHHHHHHH 😀 !!!

  5. Jeff Copeland says:

    I just got this today at fye with the poster :D. Gonna watch this in 1 siting and just rock out with some warrior promos and matches. its amazing how 1 year passes and we are all ready at his anniversary of his passing :(! but like he said the spirit of the warrior LIVES ON FOREVER!!!! 🙂 😀 xD

  6. Shane C. Montgomery says:

    This is a very good, in-depth review. These are the kind of reviews we need in helping us decide what DVD to spend our hard earned money on.

  7. Jayke1981 says:

    I am incredibly excited about this dvd. I don’t care that the documentary is a WWE Network rehash – personally for those that can’t get the Network, some of these should be made for dvd anyway! So I’m glad to see an extended Ultimate Legend documentary!

  8. Lewis says:

    Nice review, but I’ll stick with the original documentary for now until the set is cheaper to buy.

  9. Jakki Steal says:

    Ultimate Warrior Rocks!
    Everything about this release excites me…Documentary, Matches & Promos.

    The last Warrior release ‘Ultimate Collection’, I’ve watched at least 8 or 9 times already in the past year since it’s release.
    I’ve never been able to say that about any of my previous wrestling purchases.

    Tomorrow Can’t Come Fast Enough!
    🙂

  10. Anonymous says:

    Excellent review as always.

    I think I’ll be passing on this one though. I’ve never really been a fan of Warrior, and hours upon hours of Warrior just doesn’t appeal to me. It sounds like a pretty good set for people who are interested in that though.

  11. R&REXPRESS#1 says:

    Anyone know the size of the mini poster that’s included?

  12. Nicolas Hébert says:

    I will receive my Blu-Ray copy this afternoon via Canada Post!!! I bought it via Amazon.ca! Can’t wait to see this.

    • Nicolas Hébert says:

      I received it at 2 o’clock!!! I’ll watch the documentary later today!!!

      • David says:

        Nice! Mine shipped from Amazon.ca about an hour ago, so will be getting my copy tomorrow. Amazon Prime has been great! always been able to get the WWE Blu-rays the day of release for about a year now.

  13. attitude.era.4life says:

    like always: great review written, Mark..

    regarding the promos section of this release:

    while I think it is great to have these collected on one disc, I doubt, I go back often to watch them, like I do with the Stone Cold set..and the Rock’s Electifying set.. (there should have been a complete disc of promos on Epic journey similar to Stone Cold’s set).

    I often watch The Ultimate collection, so I can not wait to check out the matches, and yes: finally we get a match with that big log Iron Mike Sharp..the toughest jobber in history of wrestling. 🙂

    Documentary looks also to be a pleasent experience, though my excitement is not that sky high for that particular part of releases in general, with some exceptions (Foley, Heyman, ECW.)

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