But for all his wackiness outside the ring, the Warrior was a huge influence in the ring. Although he was not a ring general, and typically needed to be guided through matches, Warrior played his role perfectly.
He was the anti- Hogan in a time when kids wanted a warrior, not a goody too shoes. His time in wrestling came in short stints, but during those times he gave the fans some memorable moments.
These are The Ultimate Warrior’s greatest matches of all time.
7. Ultimate Warrior vs The Undertaker
Just before The Ultimate Warrior left the WWF in 1991, he embarked on a feud with The Undertaker. Though they never wrestled each other on a pay per view card, they did have several matches on the house show loops.
House shows are non-televised matches that take place in arena’s around the world. Similar to the Andre The Giant match that is mentioned later in the article, this match was great for reasons other than the in ring action. Warrior was always viewed as a strong wild man.
Someone who could knock down just about anybody. And despite being relatively new to the WWF, Undertaker was also viewed as an unmovable monster.
The matches were decent, but more because the characters were strikingly similar in strength and power.
Nobody ever got the upper hand in the matches. And it probably would’ve moved to a pay per view bout if Warrior did not leave the federation. Take note that it was during this feud that the world was introduced to casket matches.
6. Ultimate Warrior vs Ravishing Rick Rude
In the summer of 1990, the biggest heel in the World Wrestling Federation was the incredible Ravishing Rick Rude.
So it was only appropriate that at the season’s biggest event, Rude would challenge for the heavyweight championship.
And that’s what happened at Summerslam 1990. Not only was Rude challenging for the heavyweight title, but the match was also held inside the confines on a 15 foot high steel cage.
Although this was Warrior’s first steel cage match, there was no trepidation. The match started hot with Rude taking a fall off the cage and Warrior following it up with a double ax handle from the top rope.
Additionally, this was one of the rare occasions that you saw Rick Rude bleed. The match was typical match length for a Warrior match, approximately 15 minutes.
The Ultimate Warrior successfully defended his championship that night and unfortunately, the very talented Rude soon left the WWF afterwards.
5. Ultimate Warrior vs Andre The Giant
Nicknamed “The 8Th Wonder Of The World,” Andre towered at Seven Foot, Seven inches tall. At this time, Warrior was riding high on a wave of popularity.
And Warrior met up with Andre at Madison Square Garden in September 1989. Although this match was not telecast, it remains a remarkable match.
The match isn’t classified as great due to it’s in ring action. Andre was very limited and in the twilight of his career.
However, Andre was still a very big household name and could draw a big crowd. In addition, it included Andre taking a bodyslam.
That was something you didn’t see Andre take on a regular basis. The match is great, if only for the spectacle of seeing the youthful Ultimate Warrior take on the lumbering legend, who truly was a giant.
4. Ultimate Warrior vs Honky Tonk Man
The Ultimate Warrior made history at Summerslam 1988. The Honky Tonk Man, the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time, was set to wrestle Brutus The Barber Beefcake.
However, due to a para-sailing injury, Beefcake was unable to work the show. And so, what was one mans misfortune, was another mans opportunity.
And Warrior was not only chosen by Vince McMahon to wrestle Honky Tonk Man, he also decided Warrior would win the title belt.
And in grand fashion. In less than a minute, Warrior entered the ring and soundly pinned Honky Tonk Man.
The crowd erupted. Honky Tonk Man had been the champion for over 18 months, and one of the most annoying heels of all time.
And yet, in mere seconds, he was conquered and destroyed by the rookie Warrior. This match propelled Ultimate Warrior into the next level of wrestling stardom.
3.Ultimate Warrior vs Macho Man (Part 2)
The Ultimate Warrior wasn’t the best wrestler. He wasn’t a technical master like Bret Hart, and he couldn’t sell as good as Ric Flair. But one guy who could bring the best out in the Warrior was Macho Man Randy Savage.
Warrior and Savage had a great chemistry. The two combatants met the year prior, at 1991’s Wrestlemania 7. This match took place a year and a half later in London at Wembley Stadium.
This time, Warrior and Macho were both good guys and considered the two most popular guys in the federation. To add fuel to the fire, Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect were at ringside causing havoc and adding drama to the match. The match was a back and forth contest, with fans divided right down the middle.
Keep an eye out for the picture perfect piledriver that Savage gives Warrior toward the end of the match. After almost 30 grueling minutes, the Ultimate Warrior defeated the Macho Man by count out.
However, due to the rules of the WWF, Savage retained the championship. But both Warrior and Savage succeeded in entertaining the 80,000 fans in attendance that night.
2. Ultimate Warrior vs Hulk Hogan
If the wrestling world was an actual landscape, then it would’ve felt like an earthquake hit on April 1st 1990.
The two most popular men in the World Wrestling Federation collided or the first time. Hulk Hogan, the reigning WWF heavyweight champion defended his title against the Intercontinental Champion, The Ultimate Warrior.
It was title versus title. Winner takes all. It was the millions of Hulkamaniacs versus the millions of Little Warriors. It was a true dilemma for kids, as their two favorite wrestlers went head to head. The atmosphere was thick that night at Wrestlemania 6.
The match was epic. In a sport where you can sometimes foresee who was going to come out on top, in this match, nobody knew for sure.
Though the two massive stars weren’t known for their athletic prowess, the Warrior and Hogan put on a performance that men 100 pounds lighter couldn’t do.
They took falls over the top rope, traded heavy hands, and both kicked out of their opponents well known finishing moves.
At the end of the encounter, The Ultimate Warrior stood tall. A symbol of change and hope. Though the Warrior’s time with the belt lasted less than a year, this match solidified him as a main eventer.
1.Ultimate Warrior vs Macho King
The greatest match The Ultimate Warrior ever had took place on March 24Th 1991 at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles. It was a career vs career match.
The loser of the match would have to retire from wrestling forever. The action was tremendous that night. Savage had a way of pulling out the best in Warrior. However, what made this match special was the pure emotion these two wrestlers were able to pull from the crowd.
The crowd was on the edge of the seat the entire time, wondering which superstar was going to come out on top. During the match, Warrior, with all the acting expertise of Robert DeNiro, stopped mid match and looked to the sky. He asked the Heavens if wrestling was for him.
Dramatically he walked towards the dressing room. But at the last minute, he changed his mind and ran back to the ring.
It was one of those rare moments in wrestling when the action in the match wasn’t the moves, but it was the story. This match will go down in history as the Ultimate Warrior’s greatest match of all time.
The Ultimate Warrior will never Be mistaken for Bruno Sammartino or Bob Backlund. He was a different kind of legend from an era of wrestling that was more popular than rock and roll. Warrior is regarded as a recluse in the world of wrestling. A man who marches to the beat of his own drummer.
But despite popular opinion, the man was a huge part of the revolution of professional wrestling, and his name will always be synonymous with the fathers of sports entertainment like Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper.
– By Ryan Drew for Yahoo Sport