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 bleed deeper and something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized by the storytellers, by the loyalty, by the memory of those who honor him and make the running the man did live forever.
These are last words spoken by The Ultimate Warrior on WWE Raw to his fans the day before he passed away last week. Just a few days after he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. I became a wrestling fan shortly before Ultimate Warrior entered the then WWF. Wrestling was one of the things I most enjoyed and remember about my childhood.
It was WWE WrestleMania 6, when it all came to a head for Warrior fans and Hulkamaniacs. Ultimate Warrior would be facing Hulk Hogan in the main event. Back then it was the first time two “good guys” would face each other, let alone the two biggest stars in the business. I remember all the kids in the school yard were almost evenly split on who would win.
Excitement had built up so much, that I was even able to convince my father (Papi) to have me order the pay per view. How I was able to do that is still pretty vague to me. I mean this is a guy born during the Great Depression, he was quite conservative with his money. He used to fill up shampoo bottles and dish detergent with water once they were half way. Then fill them half way after there was about a quarter left. Come to think of it maybe I didn’t even get permission, and might’ve winged it, and decided I’ll deal with the repercussions once the bill arrives.
That Sunday evening I was pretty popular, being that the fight was going to be in my house. Had some friends over, some of which I have connected with on social media in recent years, and still bring up that night. After a few hours in, it was on, Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior. Momentum swang back and forth, near pin falls.
Then finally Hulk sent Warrior into the ropes, gave him the big boot, went in for his trademark finisher leg drop, but Warrior moved out the way. Hogan is laying on the mat, Warrior comes in with his signature smash. 1,2,3, it’s over, Warrior was champ.
Growing up my father and I didn’t converse much. He was always working, to support his family. And I was always busy doing something else. Until that wrestling was on. We had only one cable box in the house, so we had to come together to catch the show. Maybe that is why I felt such a strong connection to it then. And why I’m so drawn today to those wrestlers from back then. And The Warrior was and still is my favorite one of them all.