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 first time The Ultimate Warrior departed from WWF.
On July 10, 1991, a letter was sent to Vince McMahon with a few requests to be added to his upcoming WWF contract. Those requests being $550,000.00 for performing at Wrestlemania VII, a higher percentage of merchandise sales, travel accommodations and a guaranteed number of days he would be working with the company. Warrior continued to say that $550,000.00 “was not fair” and “Warrior meant as much or more to the show than Hulk.” The letter ended with “Whatever your decision, I can and will live with it. Till then I remain home with ones who care.”
The WWF responded to The Ultimate Warrior’s letter on July 13th. This response agreed to The Ultimate Warrior’s request, granting him the $550,000.00, a higher royalty rate and that no other WWF Superstar would be made more than him on any WWF pay-per-views. Vince McMahon personally ended the letter stating, “I would like to express my deepest appreciation and admiration for you as a performer, a member of the WWF family, as a man and as a friend.”
After WWF held their annual SummerSlam event, The Ultimate Warrior was then presented with another letter on August 26, 1991. This letter was from Vince McMahon advising that Warrior was suspended immediately. Vince McMahon also wrote that “you threatened to ‘stay at home’ thereby not even appearing at Titan’s major summer pay-per-view event at SummerSlam. I had no choice but to accede to your exorbitant demands. This was a serious mistake on your part.” McMahon stated the only reason why the agreed to Warrior’s requests for his WWF contract was to “ascquiesce to his demands temporarily” to make sure The Ultimate Warrior would perform at SummerSlam.
Once The Ultimate Warrior received this letter, he rejected the suspension and decided to leave the company. An official letter of resignation was sent to WWF in October 1991 which the company refused to accept since The Ultimate Warrior’s contract did not end until September of 1992.