The wrestling world lost another hero Tuesday when it was announced that The Ultimate Warrior had tragically passed away. Warrior had only recently made his long-awaited return to WWE.
Warrior may be gone, but the impact he left on the business will never be forgotten.
Almost every Superstar who is active today will tell you that he or she was influenced in one way or another by The Ultimate Warrior, and it's easy to see why.
Warrior didn't just have a gimmick that made him fun to watch. He embodied the character in such a way that made him both memorable and unique.
Warrior did not innovate the use of face paint as part of his character, but he certainly made it more popular.
Superstars like Jeff Hardy have used face paint to add to their characters, and many times you can tell that one of the big influences on that decision was Warrior's use of face paint.
Hardy stated on his DVD, Jeff Hardy: My Life, My Rules, that he and his brother loved Warrior growing up, and the reason he paints his face is because of Warrior.
The use of paint is not nearly as common as it used to be, but that makes it stand out that much more when a Superstar uses it.
Other wrestlers like Sting and The Road Warriors were also synonymous with using war paint to intimidate their enemies, but Warrior's design is easily the most iconic.
Children have been dressing up as Warrior for decades, and you just can't do it without a little color on your face.
But the look is not the only reason Warrior stood out. His energy and enthusiasm really separated him from the rest.
The way he sprinted to the ring, shook the ropes and no-sold offense while he was making a comeback have been traits that have been adopted by many over the years.
Batista recently said on Twitter that he got the chance to tell Warrior that he is paying homage to him when he shakes the ropes.
Warrior may not have been a technical marvel like Seth Rollins or Daniel Bryan, but watching him was fun because he was something different.
Like Hulk Hogan, Warrior relied more on theatrics to sell his matches, and it was the performance aspect of wrestling that made it popular during the '80s.
The workhorses would do the heavy lifting, figuratively speaking, but Warrior would do the heavy lifting, literally speaking.
If you go back and watch his match with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI, you will not see a clinic. in fact, you will not even see a match that would work very well by today's standards.
But this was an epic encounter at the time. It wasn't about who could use the most submission holds or have the most innovative counters. It was about the story.
Hogan was the wrestling industry at that time, and to see Warrior defeat him at the biggest event of the year for the WWF Championship was unforgettable.
Even with the look and wrestling style, Warrior may be best remembered for the promos he delivered.
Sometimes it would seem like Warrior was making no sense at all, but you could find the purpose of his message if you really listened to what he was saying.
Warrior spoke about rising above adversity and conquering your demons. His words resonated with wrestling fans who were often dealing with their own issues in life.
When you watch Superstars today, you usually see very similar promos from most of the talent. The ones who stand out do so because they embrace something different.
Bray Wyatt is the best example. Everything he says is crafted to work for his character, and it is one of the biggest reasons his character works so well.
Warrior's influence is felt throughout the industry today. His look, promos and wrestling ability are a huge part of his legacy, and they will continue to influence Superstars for years to come.
But perhaps the most important thing we need to remember in this instance is the man himself. Warrior may have said many controversial things over the years, but he always made sure to push the message of valuing yourself and fighting for what you believe.
Seeing Warrior with his family at the Hall of Fame ceremony and hearing him tell his daughters that his greatest accomplishment in life was being their father was heartwarming, and it gave all of us one last chance to see one of our heroes.
Warrior may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.
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