The Ultimate Warrior was a phenomenon in the WWE. He paved the way for many others to unleash their inner warriors when it came to pursuing the dream of professional wrestling. Just like those he inspired whether it was in or out of the ring, he also had his moments of failure, victory, defeat and conquer. In honor of The Ultimate Warrior’s legacy, every Wednesday is Warrior Wednesday. This week, we take a look at The Ultimate Warrior’s first year in the World Wrestling Federation.
Photo credit: Unknown // Photo edit: Betty B.
The Ultimate Warrior joined World Wrestling Federation in June of 1987 debuting as The Dingo Warrior at house shows and winning his matches against jobbers Steve Lombardi, Mark Sharpe, and Barry Horowitz. Warrior made his televised debut as The Ultimate Warrior on October 25, 1987 at Wrestling Challenge where he successfully defeated another jobber by the name of Terry Gibbs. The Ultimate Warrior was known for his energetic entrances to the ring, where he would run to the ring at full speed followed by shaking the ropes up and down rapidly. The Ultimate Warrior was also well known for his face paint. On December 28, 1987, after successfully defeating jobbers for months, Warrior had his first loss against WWF rookie and future rival Rick Rude by pinfall. In the beginning of 1988, The Ultimate Warrior had his first real rivalry against Hercules Hernandez where the two met at Wrestling Challenge on February 7, 1988. Their match up resulted in Hercules being disqualified due to using a steel chain. The Ultimate Warrior grabbed the steel chain during their match where during a tug of war between the two, the chain snapped in half. This resulted in a match at Wrestlemania IV where Warrior was triumphant in his first pay-per-view event, but would lead to multiple losses in the future. One being to Andre the Giant while in Italy in April and to Dino Bravo in Montreal in June, although Bravo used the top ropes to his advantage by propping up his legs. The Ultimate Warrior was able to overcome his losses in the summer of 1988 where he defeated Bobby Heenan in several weasal suit matches where Warrior won locking in a sleeper hold.