The Ultimate Warrior rejected a chance to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010, years before he was brought back to the WWE at last.
The former WWE Champion had bad blood with the company for decades, since leaving in the mid 1990s.
This worsened when the controversial DVD, The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior, was released by the WWE. It was nothing short of a character assassination by the company, and something Warrior took them to court over.
Whilst he was inducted in 2014, The Ultimate Warrior rejected a WWE Hall of Fame induction in 2010, and for very, very good reason.
The Ultimate Warrior’s Hall of Fame Induction
In a now-deleted blog post from March 2010, on UltimateWarrior.com (Warrior’s personal website), he wrote about how Vince McMahon wanted to speak with Warrior in late 2009, with a view of a Hall of Fame induction.
After the controversial Self-Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior DVD, he was hesitant to speak over the phone, wanting to instead meet face-to-face to talk about the Hall of Fame.
However, McMahon never agreed to meet, which irked the former WWE Champion to no end. He was given no choice but to reject the proposal to headline to 2010 Hall of Fame.
“Vince called me on December 23rd and left a voicemail saying, among other things, ‘Let’s get you in the Hall of Fame where you belong.’
“After the holidays, I returned his call, left a voicemail telling him to call me again when he found time.
When we finally connected, I told him I would rather meet with him in person than talk over the phone. He said that would be great. He said he would find time on his calendar and call me back to set it up.
“When he called back a couple of weeks later, he didn’t even mention finding a time scheduled to meet, and throughout the remainder of the conversation, he further decided not to find one.
So, given only the option to say either yes or no, my answer was quick and clear; I declined Vince’s invitation to headline [2010’s] HOF event.
The Ultimate Warrior then went on to list The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior as the reason for the bad blood between himself and the WWE.
He claimed he could not overlook the hit piece by the WWE, and despite settling the matter in court, still held a grudge toward Vince McMahon.
Warrior then noted that his induction would imply that the DVD was “a joke”. Either that, or the Hall of Fame itself is “a joke”, given that the company was willing to induct him after the awful things said about The Ultimate Warrior in the DVD.
He claimed that he would only accept a Hall of Fame induction if something was done to correct the things told in the DVD.
“I believe my decision is simple to understand. Although Vince and I decided to settle the litigation over the production of The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior, the DVD is still what it is: a defamatory, negative, inaccurate portrayal of my professional sports entertainment career and my personal character while working in the WWF.
“Settlement may have changed the terms of the discussion, but not the original intent or content of the DVD. Vince himself titled the DVD. He gave the authority to produce the DVD just as it is. I can’t forget this.
“Neither can I overlook the obvious fact that Vince personally inviting me to be the headliner inductee to his Hall of Fame means either the DVD or his Hall of Fame is a joke. One is not credible. It’s inarguable.
“If the DVD is a joke, then I think it’s reasonable that all the Ultimate Warrior fans and I be told that, and something serious and substantial be done to correct the record BEFORE I ever agree to be part of the Hall of Fame, not after.
So, The Ultimate Warrior turned down the chance to be inducted as the headline act for the 2010 WWE Hall of Fame.
He was instead replaced by “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase, a legend of the 1980s and one of the most popular WWE stars ever.
The former Million Dollar Champion was well received as the top star that year, and was happy not to see The Ultimate Warrior at the Hall of Fame event.
On the Monday Night Mayhem radio show, DiBiase explained that he didn’t like Warrior, as he was somebody who didn’t appreciate his fellow wrestlers and could not wrestle at all.
“I’m glad he wasn’t there because he’s somebody I don’t particularly care for, and quite frankly, he’s one of those guys that has never really appreciated what was done for him.
“There’s a lot of guys that did well in the industry that may have been lacking in some areas.
Every great match he had was directly dependent on who he was wrestling.
“If the guy across the ring from him couldn’t lead him around by the nose, he couldn’t have a good match. So the fact that he wasn’t called on doesn’t bother me at all.
“Quite honestly, it would have been a very tense backstage environment if he and I were together.
It worked out quite well for all parties in the end.
The Ultimate Warrior instead took his induction four years later, headlining the class of 2014, alongside Mr T, Jake Roberts, Scott Hall, Paul Bearer, Carlos Colon and Lita – a star-studded class indeed.
However, the 54 year old had not wrestled in years, not since a match against Orlando Jordan in Barcelona in 2008.
He made a speech on Monday Night Raw, his first appearance on a WWE show in decades. However, he died the day later from a heart attack, at just 54 years old.
His speech was weirdly ominous, and anybody listening would have thought he’d have known he was going to die.
You can click the YouTube link below to watch The Ultimate Warrior’s post-Hall of Fame speech on Raw.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.