WWE Hall Of Famer Sgt Slaughter has recalled the circumstances around Hulk Hogan threatening to have The Ultimate Warrior’s leg broken during a match.
At SummerSlam 1991 a match made in heaven was set to be succeeded by a match made in hell as Hulk Hogan teamed with The Ultimate Warrior in the main event to face the trio of Sgt Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa, and General Adnan.
Slaughter had turned his back on his beloved USA the year prior and since had defeated Warrior for the WWF Championship at the 1991 Royal Rumble before losing the belt to Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VII.
Now for the company’s summer spectacular, the WWF had put together a dream team of Hogan and Warrior to try and thwart Slaughter and his rogue teammates once and for all.
However, another issue was brewing behind the scenes with The Ultimate Warrior seemingly demanding half a million dollars there and then to go out and compete in the night’s advertised main event from Vince McMahon.
Speaking exclusively to Inside The Ropes’ own Kenny McIntosh for issue 6 of Inside The Ropes magazine, Sgt Slaughter recalls finding out about the sticky situation with Warrior from McMahon himself in the showers at Madison Square Garden:
“When we got to the Garden I didn’t know what was going on with Vince and the Warrior—I found out later that it had been going on for about a month or so before the match, and it actually stemmed from WrestleMania VII when the Warrior and Savage had their match. I was in the locker room with Sheik and Adnan when Vince walked in and said to me, ‘Sarge, can I talk to you for a second?’ So, of course, we went to our old meeting place, the shower room, and he said, ‘I’ve got a little problem.’ I said, ‘What is it? Too many people here? Is it sold out too much?’ He laughed, and said, ‘Yeah, yeah, it’s going to be good, but I’ve got a little bigger problem than that. Warrior’s holding me up.’ I said, ‘Holding you up? What do you mean?’ He said, ‘He’s holding me up. He wants $500,000 cash today or he’s not wrestling. I said, ‘What? Is he here?’ he goes, ‘Yeah, he’s here.’”
“I asked him what he was going to do, and Vince said, ‘I’m going to pay him,’ but as soon as the match is over, he’s fired, he’s done. I said, ‘Are you sure you want to do that?’ He says, ‘Oh, yeah. I’ve got to give the people what they’re here to see, and the people that are buying the pay-per-view, I’ve got to give them what we advertised or you’re putting a notch in the coffin for the future. People start mistrusting you. I’m just paying him and that’s it. Then he’s done—he can go wherever he wants to go.’ I said, ‘Well, okay, we’ll do what we have to do.’”
With Slaughter fully briefed, his partners wanted to know what was going on but before McMahon could finish telling them, an irate Hulk Hogan burst onto the scene with his own plan to get back at Warrior:
“All of a sudden, Sheik and Adnan walked in and wanted to know what we were talking about. As Vince started telling them what happened the door bust open and Hogan stormed in. He was infuriated—he was just bouncing off the shower room walls. ‘I can’t believe that no good . . .’ “TO HAVE SOLD OUT THE L.A. COLISEUM WOULD HAVE BEEN SOMETHING THAT WENT WITH ME TO MY GRAVE” You know, calling him all kinds of names and this and that. ‘I’ll tell you what we’re going to do, brothers, Sarge and I will be doing something . . . No, no, change it. You and Warrior will be doing something in the ring and you throw him out on the floor. When you do that, I’m going to come in and I’m going to grab you, and you and I will fight off into the corner. And then Sheik, you jump down on the floor and you break his leg. You break Warrior’s leg.’ And Vince goes, ‘No, no, no. No way. You are not going to do that. I don’t need a lawsuit on top of it. Just do the damn match and we’ll worry about it later.’”
With cooler heads prevailing in that situation, McMahon had to inform Slaughter of one other wrinkle that had been personally requested by Warrior:
“So Hogan huffs and puffs and leaves, and Sheik and Adnan go back to the locker room and sit down. I said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it, we’ll get it done.’ As I went to leave, Vince grabbed my arm, pulled me back, and said, ‘Well, there’s one other problem, it’s not as big a problem, but talk about an ego: he wants to be introduced first. His ego is so big that he wants to get the biggest pop and he wants to be introduced first.’ Sure enough, Warrior came out first because it was deafening. You couldn’t hear anything when that music played and he came running out.”
After the match, The Ultimate Warrior was suspended from the company and did not return until his run-in after the main event of WrestleMania VIII that pitted Hogan against Sid Justice.