June 26, 2008

NO-stalgia: The Return of the Ultimate Warrior

The Ultimate Warrior made his return to the squared circle last night. Or yesterday. I have no idea when it actually happened. All I know is that the group assigned to deliver the match last night as (sort of) promised, did not. After several "we swear it's working now... oh no wait the website crashed again" emails, I gave up for the night. My guess is the Warrior probably needed to approve of the video edit before releasing the match worldwide. While I'm pissed off by the delay, as a control freak myself, I sort of don't blame him.

Anyway, as of this morning the stream is working. And I'm about to watch it and tell you everything that happens. I'm also going to post some screencaps I took from the Daily Motion stream, which could get us into some trouble. Let's cross that bridge when we come to it.

SPOILERS AHOY! (as if you don't know who wins the match)

First impressions. Orlando Jordan, the opponent and reigning NWE (no idea what that stands for) champion was announced first. Just as it's unusual for the first bidder on The Price is Right showcase showdown to not pass on the first set of prizes, it's strange to see the champion announced first. I guess this is a special situation as the Warrior is technically a bigger name, but to be honest, not many fans in the arena outside of high-five range seemed to give two shits.

While the Warrior legally owns the rights to his name, he clearly does not have the rights to his music, which used to be fucking awesome. It was a bastardization of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" in the first place, but his new music is like the Japanese half-cousin, twice-removed of the original. Maybe they're making an Ultimate Warrior video game, I don't know.

He barely ran down to the ring, and he wore that big fucking coat. Maybe that slows him down? Maybe it's an excuse. I'm pretty sure he was limping a bit too. I'm not surprised; he was apparently training 8 hours a day for the past month and probably broke his knee or something.

I know I'm spending so much time just critiquing his ring entrance. That's because with the Warrior, 95% of the appeal was the entrance (which also exhausted 95% of his stamina). He always ran and shook the ropes and got every kid in the audience to jump up and freak out too. It was electrifying. But maybe no one in the Barcelona crowd remembers him? I don't know, it has been a long time. I felt bad. He shook the ropes and scaled the turnbuckles, but hardly anyone stood with him except for the two little girls that came into the ring to help him take his coat off. Are they his daughters?

Ok, the coat's off and the dude is still in shape. Sure, a little deflated from the 80's steroid heydey, but I applaud him. He's 50! He looks out of breath already, but the crowd has acknowledged his facepaint, armbands, and muscles. Orlando Jordan is doing a good job selling the moves, but already after about a minute, they're locked up in an extra long collar-and-elbow-tie-up (or is it a collar-into-elbow-tie-up?) and look they're having a fucking business conference. This is when people are supposed to yell "BORRRRING!" We all know the match will be ten minutes top. Did they not rehearse?

Two minutes in, and we've already seen 8,000 shots of what I'm presuming is the Warrior's wife and kids sitting in the front row. Who fucking cares?

A bear hug from behind (aka another "BORRRRING" moment) and I can see fans in the crowd taking the opportunity to go get some papas fritas. The close-up camera work is kinda shitty anyway. Sometimes I can't tell if the Warrior is kicking out of pins, or if Orlando Jordan is just deciding to stand up. Also, his face paint is almost all gone already, but a few seconds of rolling around on the floor outside and he's attached enough gold confetti to his skin to make up for it.

The crowd has finally come alive (vocally, at least) but they're chanting something that I can't understand at all. It doesn't sound like they're saying "ABURRIDO!" but I can't make it out. Whatever they're saying, it has envoked a suplex from the top rope, though it looks incredibly obvious that Orlando Jordan cinches himself into the move.

Oddly, Orlando Jordan covers the Warrior for the pin after the suplex, which technically should have hurt him more. Regardless, the Warrior is now hulking up and I assume this match will soon be...

Jesucristo! It was over before I finished typing the last sentence! A half-assed shoulder block ends the match before a nonchalant cover and 3-count. He ended a lot of matches that way (minus the crickets chirping), but usually, it was the apex of a flurry of ropework. This was more like an accidental collision:

Despite the lack of the Warrior's iconic gorilla press slam, he begins celebrating his victory in the ring, and already, I see lots of empty seats. Maybe they're running up to get autographs, I don't know. Maybe they're just unimpressed. As the Warrior proudly holds his daughters hands in the ring, a father and son in the crowd give the Warrior a rude gesture on their way out (and it's not a "Hail, President Skroob" as it may look in the picture). It makes me want to cry. Ok, maybe the match was disappointing, but the Warrior's matches were never highly technical in the first place. What did people expect?

Running, and music, and a gorilla press, that's what. Fuck, I am going to cry.

So I guess he's the NWE champion now? I'll be honest, I don't think he's going to keep wrestling. I'm pretty sure he's already injured. I think a lot of people felt cheated by this 8-minute production too. Do I count myself as one of them? I'm not sure. The comeback was inspirational for old men like me, but the results, meh. Or, bah. Possibly, fah.

To sum up my review in a language that only wrestling fans will understand: this match was no Gorilla Press. It was just a fucking shoulder block.

[Go here for some additional comments on the full length version of the match]


Master_Gio said...

So much for the "power of the warriors"!

Alan said...

Warrior's best matches have actually been quick ones except for the first Warrior/ Hogan Match at the Wrestlemania where warrior won the belt. It's surprising he fought Orlando Jordan to begin with since Jordan is bisexual in real life and Warrior is considered a very conservative person outside of the ring. I was hoping the Warrior would have done a 5 star frog splash, but whatever. That may have killed him and Orlando Jordan.

Jay Amabile said...

glad you did the recap because I had been wondering about how it all went down...thanks!