Ultimate Warriors Reveals How He Debuted As A Wrestler

Hamish Woodward

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WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior has revealed why how he first broke in to the wrestling business.

The former WWE Champion broke into the business in 1985, teaming with Powerteam USA as Jim “Justice” Hellwig. He then went on to form a team with Sting, being known as the “Freedom Fighters”, and later “The Blade Runners”.

Warrior has admitted to not being a wrestling fan as a child, so never made any attempts to debut as a wrestler until he was approached in a gym to join the business.

The Ultimate Warrior’s entrance was more iconic than his wrestling was.

In a 2005 interview, The Ultimate Warrior revealed that he was approached by Ed Connors in 1984, after competing at the Mr America Bodybuilding contest.

He was convinced to join a new team of pro-wrestlers (which included AEW’s Sting), and learn to be a wrestler out in California.

He put his plans on hold to become a chiropractor, and instead became a WWE Champion a legend of pro wrestling.

“I was going to chiropractic school and competing in bodybuilding. In 1984, I won the Mr. Georgia competition. From that, I went to the Mr. America competition that year in New Orleans.

And there, there was a guy by the name of Ed Connors, who was one of three guys who bought the Gold’s Gym that Joe Gold founded, and the three set out and turned into the worldwide franchise operation that it is today.

Every year, back at that time, in the ’80s, they would take two amateur bodybuilders they thought had potential to make it big, and bring the two out to California and put them up while they trained at “The Mecca” for a Junior National or National level contest.

I was one of the guys in ’84 or ’85. I went out there and I trained for a Junior Mr. USA contest, took fifth in my class, if I remember right. Anyway, things didn’t, in the contest, really go the way we expected them to go. The opportunity was still there.

I was like one of the biggest, by bodyweight, bodybuilders at the time, got great reviews with [Joe] Weider and all the other top bodybuilders, just didn’t hit my mark for that show. So, I decided to get back to Atlanta and finish the small amount of school I had left, mostly clinical requirements.

Just as I got back to Atlanta, Ed called and told me there was a guy out there in California who’s putting together a team of four guys to become pro-wrestlers, and he asked me if I’d be interested. I didn’t follow the sport at all.

Atlanta, of course, was a hotbed of wrestling at the time and I had crossed paths with a few of the guys—the Road Warriors, Paul Orndoff, Dusty Rhodes, Tony Atlas—but I didn’t know them personally.

But after some minor investigation, and the fact that I could use all the hard work I’d done in bodybuilding to capitalize off it—make some money, come back to the chiropractic later… I decided to go for it.”

The Ultimate Warrior wrestled his last match in 2008, a decade after he had his final match against Hulk Hogan in WCW.

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