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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior
The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior
World Wrestling Entertainment // Unrated // September 27, 2005
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Robert Spuhler | posted November 18, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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Jim is the new guy at work. He got a job that is a little above his station – he's a bit green. He makes some mistakes, but also does a lot of things right and brings in a lot of money to the company. He gets a big head, starts copping an attitude and is sent on his way. Nothing unique, right?

In the world of professional wrestling, though, everything – in front of and behind the curtain – is drama. The "Jim" in the above case is Jim Hellwig, better known to the ticket-buying public as the Ultimate Warrior. The company in question is what at the time was known as the World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment). And the above situation is now documented by the WWE's DVD release The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior.

The documentary lays out, in detail, the career of the Ultimate Warrior, starting from his days tag-teaming with Sting, moving through his meteoric rise to fame in the WWE, and how his ego got the best of him.

The Ultimate Warrior did not participate in this release, and has used his Web site to blast just about everyone involved in the program. As strange as it is to say, the man well known for some of the least-eloquent interviews in WWF/E history makes some good points. Essentially, the DVD is history through the eyes of Vince McMahon, a businessman who on his best days could be described as egomaniacal.

In between segments about the Warrior are clips of current WWE superstars mocking everything about the Warrior from his in-ring prowess (which, in fairness, was limited) to his ranting, nonsensical interview style.

But there is a certain appeal to such a feature, as one-sided as it may be. Thanks to the Internet, the modern-day wrestling fan can keep up with all the backstage politics and maneuvering with a few simple keystrokes. It's easy to find out why, for instance, a wrestler disappeared from television for a few months, or why someone is the champion. But during the Warrior's heyday, sources for this information were few and far between. With The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior we get a backstage pass to see exactly how the WWE reacts to certain personality types – even if that pass is more of a corporate guided tour.

The DVD

Video/ Audio:

As usual, the WWE puts out a quality product in terms of video and audio specs. The soundtrack is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital and, while it is overkill for the interview-heavy feature, all the participants sound clear and intelligible (despite being men that get paid to be dropped on their heads many times). The video portion features clear colors and few digital flaws.

Extras:

The main feature of this DVD, like the other wrestler-specific WWE DVDs, is a batch of complete matches. Here's the list:

Ultimate Warrior v. Terry Gibbs – 10/24/87
Ultimate Warrior v. Honky Tonk Man – 8/29/88
Ultimate Warrior v. Hulk Hogan – 4/1/90
Ultimate Warrior v. Rick Rude – 8/17/90
Ultimate Warrior v. Randy Savage – 3/24/91

Needless to say, these matches have not aged well at all. The Ultimate Warrior was never a great "worker," so without the original drama of the storylines, there isn't much to keep the viewer interested.

Beyond the matches, there are assorted Ultimate Warrior promos, along with extra bits from those interviewed for the main feature.

Final Thoughts:

The Ultimate Warrior is not remembered fondly by most in the wrestling community. But the piling on featured in The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior is, ultimately, too much to swallow. It's entertaining mainly from a business perspective, as the release shows just how vindictive Vince McMahon can be.

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