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 are discussing death rumors that circulated around The Ultimate Warrior.
The Ultimate Warrior made his return to WWF at WrestleMania VIII after almost an eight month hiatus from the company. Upon his return, Warrior looked completely different; he now had shorter, blonder hair and a smaller figure. It immediately triggered rumors among fans that another wrestler was portraying The Ultimate Warrior; some thought it was Kerry Von Erich. Fans believed that Warrior died from liver failure due to steroid usage or from his trademark armbands cutting off blood circulation. WWE stated that the thought of another man playing The Ultimate Warrior is “perhaps the longest standing urban legend in WWE history.” WWE announcer Tom Phillips stated this rumor may have developed on Gene Okerlund’s WCW Hotline as well as the WCW debut of a Warrior lookalike, The Renegade.
I tried to find a photo of The Ultimate Warrior around WrestleManiaVIII time frame but was unsuccessful. I do however have a photo of The Ultimate Warrior and The Renegade side by side for comparison. I certainly see similarities but I wouldn’t call Renegade an Ultimate Warrior doppleganger.