Legendary manager Dutch Mantell has opened up about the last time he spoke to The Ultimate Warrior before he passed away.
For a brief period, Dutch Mantell managed Sting and The Ultimate Warrior in the early days of their career in 1985 in the CWA. At the time, they tagged together as ‘The Freedom Fighters’ under the monikers of Flash and Justice respectively. The pair left the CWA for the UWF in 1986, bringing Mantell’s tenure as their manager to a close.
Now, Mantell has revealed that The Ultimate Warrior seemingly never forgot the influence he had on his career.
During an appearance on Wrestling Shoot Interviews, he detailed the conversation he had with Warrior ahead of the former WWE Champion’s induction into the company’s Hall of Fame in 2014.
“The weekend that he was inducted, I briefly went through there and shook his hand. He said, ‘I remember you, thank you very much and you’re very nice.’
“He went up and gave his Hall of Fame speech and he mentioned me in the speech, which surprised me because I was just trying to help these guys.”
Mantell went on to explain how surreal it was to have spoken to him just before he passed away of a heart attack at only 54.
“It was really surreal because he made it to RAW on Monday and then the next day, he died. So a very set of surreal circumstances surrounding the last time I was around The Ultimate Warrior.”
Reports since have claimed that Warrior looked ill during WrestleMania weekend, however, Mantell says that, to him, nothing looked out of the ordinary.
“He looked like Warrior to me. He didn’t look like he was sick. He didn’t look flushed, he looked OK. But every time I saw him he always looked inflated, because he was. So I didn’t look for anything out of the ordinary.”
H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the above transcription.