As recently reported, Jim Ross recently discussed the career of the Ultimate Warrior on the Grilling JR Podcast. During the episode, Ross spoke about his surprise to see Warrior main event WrestleMania and be a massive star in the WWE, despite his lack of skill in the ring.
“When McMahon was on, he had a real good gift of marketing and packaging,” Ross said. “The key thing is you evaluate your talent and you make an evaluation of what that talent can do well, and you make sure your agents and talent don’t get out of that guy’s strengths or wheelhouse.”
Ross continued, “His vignettes, his entrance, the sizzle was more prominent than the steak that he delivered. Vince protected him, knew he had the look. People pop when they see him. He does this crazy entrance where he sprints to the ring and nobody else is doing that, but that’s where it ended. There was a lot of foreplay but sometimes he couldn’t finish.”
Ross told stories during the podcast about how Warrior would ask for his own dressing room, private flights, and separate hotel rooms to avoid being around the other wrestlers during his time with the company. Ross described Warrior’s mentality and ego towards everyone else in the locker room.
“He always acted like he was gifting us with his presence,” Ross said. “That’s just not how you build camaraderie or a support system. He had to understand the fewer people he pisses off, the better his matches will be.”
During the Warrior’s first run with the WWE, Bobby Heenan and Ultimate Warrior faced off in several matches as a way to put Warrior over. Ross talked about the Heenan matches with Ultimate Warrior and shared why Heenan disliked Warrior.
“Yeah he did hate it, he didn’t like Warrior,” Ross said. “Everybody loved Bobby. Bobby was friendly with people, proud to be in the wrestling business, and as good as anybody in his role in this business I have ever seen. He showed all the boys that even though he didn’t like this [guy], ‘I’m going to make him look good cause that’s my job, that’s what I’m asked to do and how I’m booked’.”
When asked if Ross had ever heard of anyone who liked the Warrior, he replied, “I’ve never talked to anybody in my career who says he’s a good guy.”
One person who had been known to be close friends with Warrior during that time was Owen Hart. Ross spoke on how he believes they became friends.
“Owen liked everybody, Owen could also see when somebody was struggling,” Ross said. “Owen was willing to help anybody and he saw that Warrior had potential and could draw everybody money. Owen was trying to be a great teammate and help this guy be better accepted by his peers.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.