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Posted in: Chair Shots
Chair Shots: Another Hero Gone Too Soon
By Rob Simmons
Apr 9, 2014 - 9:42:40 AM

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I was going to write something else today. I went to bed last night preparing to start writing the intro to DOA 2014. Then I woke up and read the news of the passing of the Ultimate Warrior at the age of 54 years old. That’s way too young for anybody to die, but it has unfortunately become almost too frequent in the world of professional wrestling; the world that we as fans love with all our hearts and souls. I took to Twitter shortly after reading the news and saw tweet after tweet from wrestlers, fans, friends, etc. all stunned at the sudden passing of a man that just three short days ago began his renewed life with the WWE; a man who already seemed Immortal but was now forever immortalized in the WWE Hall of Fame.

I was never a huge Ultimate Warrior fan, but like so many others I was able to appreciate and respect what a significant part of his era he was. From the pulse-pounding music, to the frantic dash to the ring, to the shaking of the ring ropes, the Warrior brought a frenetic energy to each and every appearance he made in the squared circle. His 27-second victory over the Honkytonk Man propelled the Warrior onto a launching pad of greatness. His matches, though never known for their technical wonders, were almost spellbinding to watch. He oozed charisma and demanded your attention. The Warrior’s match with Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania VI further cemented the Warrior’s legacy, becoming the only man to hold the Intercontinental and WWE Championships at the same time. How could anyone NOT pay attention to the presence and aura he put forth?

Sure as time went on, his reputation and legacy became somewhat tarnished, but over the years the Warrior softened, and so did all the anger and resentment he held towards Vince McMahon and the WWE. Hatchets were buried, fences were mended, and just this past Saturday, the Ultimate Warrior took his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame. He seemed genuinely honored to be there. He seemed genuinely moved at the outpouring of emotion shown to him. I think he’d be equally if not more moved by the thoughts and emotions being put forth with the news of his passing. Too often we take for granted the things that are given to us. Too often we feel entitled to things that aren’t rightfully ours. And too often do we as human beings bear grudges that when looked at through clearer eyes seem petty and trivial.

I’ve been a wrestling fan almost my entire life. My father introduced me to the WWF when I was a wee lad of about 8 years old. I’ve had the honor and privilege of seeing the greats wrestle live in the ring. I’ve seen Bob Backlund in his prime, the rise of Hulkamania, the excellence of the Four Horsemen, and the mystique of The Undertaker. I’ve been blessed with being a part of this world and that’s why it saddens me each and every time another member of this glorious club passes away way too soon.

Wrestlers put their bodies through hell to entertain us. They take repeated falls on hard plywood mats for our enjoyment. They perform moves that no human being should be able to endure just to put smiles on our faces. But rarely do we as fans think about what these men are doing to themselves. And even less often do non-wrestling fans who just don’t get this “fake” sport understand the torture a professional wrestler endures. I’ve never been in a ring. I’ve never taken a bump. So I can’t really imagine just how much it has to hurt. It’s no wonder wrestlers get addicted to painkillers and the like. But it becomes a vicious cycle of pain and fighting the pain that a wrestler endures just to make us happy.

I could go on and on about how much we should appreciate what we have as wrestling fans, because sometimes I feel like we are an entitled bunch of people. I won’t though, but I will just ask you all to think about some of the Ultimate Warrior’s final words. Today, with his passing, they seemed eerily foretelling, but nonetheless they are poignant in their meaning.

"No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man's heart one day beats its final beat; his lungs breathe their final breath.
"And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit will be immortalized by the storytellers, by the loyalty, by the memory."

I’m saddened today, and every day that another hero falls. Appreciate what we have every day wrestling fans. It could go away in the blink of an eye.

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R.I.P Ultimate Warrior

Until next time,
Rob Out!

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