Jim Ross has discussed The Ultimate Warrior and his reluctance to lose when he made his ill-fated return to the World Wrestling Federation in 1996.
Ultimate Warrior was a huge name in wrestling at the turn of the decade as Hulkamania gave way to something new in the WWF. Warrior became the first man to pin Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania when he defeated him in the main event of WrestleMania 6 for the WWF Championship.
However, the honeymoon did not last long and Warrior was out of the company after he allegedly held Vince McMahon up for over half a million dollars to work at SummerSlam in 1991. Five years later and with time healing some wounds Warrior returned to the company in grand style at WrestleMania 12. At that event, he ran over Hunter Hearst Helmsley as the fans in Anaheim, California roared their approval.
Once again though, cracks were already beginning to show. Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, long-time announcer and former WWE executive Jim Ross discussed Ultimate Warrior and his less than cooperative attitude in 1996. In the run-up to the 1996 King Of The Ring, Ultimate Warrior faced Goldust in a fifteen-minute draw. Responding to co-host Conrad Thompson, Ross explained the thinking that went behind that outcome.
Jim Ross explained:
“Don’t beat him. You can’t beat him. He can’t lose well. Warrior’s not a good enough worker to know how to lose and protect himself. So you eliminated two guys there [from the King Of The Ring tournament]. The fact also that we were building Goldust, we thought Goldust had a significant upside and he did but Vince didn’t want to beat him in that environment so they did the draw. Goldust should’ve been bonus-ed on his pay check for that one, to go fifteen minutes with Warrior. I had completely forgotten about that match, maybe there’s a reason why. Maybe it wasn’t very good, I don’t remember.”
Jim Ross also discussed another less than ideal finish to a match around this time but on this occasion, it was Vader refusing to lose to Ultimate Warrior.