In the ultimate case of here one day, gone the next, The Ultimate Warrior died last night. Wrestling fans had seen him on their televisions three nights in a row. He was inducted into the Hall Of Fame on Saturday Night, he appeared at WrestleMania on Sunday with the rest of the inductees of this year's class, and then on Monday he appeared live in the middle of the ring on Raw.
Then Tuesday he died. Upon leaving a hotel in Arizona, he collapsed. Hours later he was dead.
I admit that I wasn't a huge Ultimate Warrior fan as an adult. I had heard the stories of his unprofessionalism and I was swayed by what I heard. But as a child, I admit to being a fan. I even had an Ultimate Warrior wrestling buddy. I mean what kid wouldn't want the Warrior watching over him at night?
The night he was announced to go into the Hall of Fame there was a part of me that marked out. Who could forget the night he beat Hulk Hogan and became the first man to wear both the WWE Title and Intercontinental Title? His promos were just so bizarre that you had to laugh at them as you asked "What did that even mean?"
Ultimate Warrior's story is one of redemption though. From being ostracized and mocked by the community that made him a star to being immortalized, forgiven and allowed to tell his side of the story.
When he appeared at The Hall Of Fame Induction ceremony, he was led to the stage by his young daughters. He said something along the lines "Of all the things I have done. the most important thing is that I will always be your father." Kind of chilling words if you think about it now. But even more chilling was what he said on Raw: "Every man's heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe a 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."
Clearly he knew something was wrong with his health. Hopefully in the next week or two we will find out as well.
Our thoughts go out to the Ultimate Warrior's wife and two young daughters as they grieve at this time.
The Ultimate Warrior wasn't always a great man, but honestly who can say that about themselves? I am just glad that he was able to be redeemed in his life. He saw it happen. And so did we.
Thank you, Ultimate Warrior. For the memories. For being a part of so many of our childhoods that you will never know. Rest in Peace, Warrior
Special thanks to my wonderful Editor and more wonderful fiancée for helping me with my blogs