Jim Ross has discussed a famous spot where The Ultimate Warrior completely no-sold an aspiring star’s finisher on his way to squashing his opponent.
Ultimate Warrior had a tumultuous relationship with WWE over the years, leaving after his first run that ended in 1992 amidst allegations of steroid use at a time where there was increasing scrutiny over the company and their attitude to the use of steroids in the company.
After a few years away, the company turned to Ultimate Warrior again in 1996 during what was a time of great transition for the then-World Wrestling Federation. With Kevin Nash and Scott Hall on their way to WCW to kickstart the Monday Night Wars by forming the nWo, McMahon looked to the former WWF Champion to make a splash with a big return.
WrestleMania XII in Anaheim, California was earmarked for Ultimate Warrior’s return, where he faced the up and coming Hunter Hearst Helmsley, better known by his initials, Triple H. During the match, that lasted a total of one minute and thirty-six seconds, Warrior was hit by Triple H’s devastating Pedigree. Rather than be phased by what was Helmsley’s finishing move, Warrior sprang right back up and finished his opponent in short order.
According to Ross, that spot was all to appease Warrior:
“I’m sure Warrior probably wanted that spot in. The office knew that was not the way to go. But you gotta get over that hill of kicking out of the Pedigree or no-selling the Pedigree, whatever you want to say. Again, going out of our way to adhere to the insecurities and paranoia of The Warrior.”
Ultimately, The Warrior’s second run in the WWF did not last long and he was back out of the company by the end of June 1996. Despite having his finisher blown through, Helmsley has managed to last quite a bit longer with the company.