Jim Ross has revealed that he was less than enthusiastic about The Ultimate Warrior returning to the WWF in 1996 because he knew he would be difficult to work with.
The relationship between The Ultimate Warrior and those within WWE, and Vince McMahon was never straightforward. While Warrior had risen to be one of the biggest stars in wrestling world in the early 1990’s, he repeatedly fell out with McMahon over pay-offs and latterly, his use of Human Growth Hormone. This eventually led him to leave the company in late 1992.
However, by 1996, the passage of time had helped sooth any bad feeling, and Ultimate Warrior was on his way back to the WWF. Warrior made his return at WrestleMania VII, demolishing a young Triple H in a little over 90 seconds.
Speaking on a recent episode of his podcast, Grilling JR, available via AdFreeShows, Jim Ross recalled Warrior’s ultimately failed return. The legendary announcer explained that he was less than enthusiastic about the star’s comeback, as he was always so difficult to work with.
“No, I wasn’t [excited] because I knew he was gonna be a giant pain in the a** to work with.” Ross continued, “If he had the magic and the commitment and the energy that he once possessed and brought to the table, then hell yes. Who wouldn’t be excited? Because it means he’s gonna draw you some money and it’s gonna be good for the company, etcetera, etcetera.”
Continuing on, Ross said he didn’t expect Warrior to recapture his previous popularity, adding that he was always seen as a “problem child.”
“I didn’t think he was gonna get back over [become popular again]. You’re kind of waiting on him to tear something, he’s so heavily muscled. He was always a problem child… dressing room lawyer, as the boys liked to say, so I wasn’t overwhelmed with it. If it worked, good for us, but I didn’t think it was gonna work.”
Warrior wrestled his last match for the WWF on June 25th 1996, although the match wasn’t broadcast on Superstars until four days later. In fact, due to the company still taping episodes of Monday Night Raw in advance, he last appeared on television on July 8th.
Backstage, the star’s relationship with McMahon had fallen apart once again over image rights, while Warrior claimed he missed a series of shows due to the death of his father. The end result was another lawsuit filed by Warrior for wrongful termination, and the end of his WWF career.
H/t to Sportskeeda for the transcription.