November 7, 2003
The Warrior rebutts TJ Madigan
By The WARRIOR -- For SLAM! Wrestling
TJ, hello. Warrior here. I receive over 500 e-mails a day; it was natural someone would forward me your article. I appreciate parts of it and take umbrage with others.
To begin, as the creator, owner and performer of Ultimate Warrior, I find no disagreement with your pro-Ultimate Warrior points. In fact, you make my case -- your article is an excellent affirmation entirely supporting the same line of defense I use to defend for my career when others throughout the industry, pseudo-friends and foes, want to irrationally bash it as if the character wasn't an impact player or even go further and speak of his career as if it did not exist at all. Ultimate Warrior "got over" (sounds like he's still "over", even with you) and was enjoyed because he struck a chord, pure and simple.
Others -- many, many others -- had the same opportunity and they failed. It's the truth --take it or leave it. I realize my immodesty, confidence and self-esteem bothers people, but I'm proud of what I accomplished during my Sports Entertainment career and am not embarrassed to defend its worth. The critics are the ones who should be ashamed, especially those who tell untruths.
It may surprise you and those like you (part despising criticaster/part zealous fan) to hear me say it, but I've had much less to do with perpetuating the legend of the Ultimate Warrior persona than all those who keep excitedly reliving him through their remembered childhood fantasies, only later to ridicule the character now that they've "grown up" and gotten oh, so mature. I appreciate it.
Now, be honest, who's swerving who?
You haven't read anything at my site. If you had, you could not honestly make (and mean) the statements you have about the contents of my numerous posts. It would be impossible. There is a disclaimer right on the front/menu page telling that the writings are a combination of different writing voices (you're a writer, you understand that, yes? no?), all relevant to an incredible and sincere learning process I set out on and want to tell others about. The story about that, and the story behind my name change which you take a potshot at, are endearing and empowering. Only a nincompoop with a cold, cruel heart could find otherwise.
I have countless communications and professional relationships that refute every letter of every word of every sentence you write attempting to ridicule my writings. Frankly, that kind of criticism has become very worn out and boring. Blatantly absurd. Each time someone comes to my site expecting to discover the discombobulation and outer-space rhetoric they've been told they will find, they end up writing me at great length telling me the only thing they disbelieve is how well I've articulated my views and how proud they are to know they followed my career. Simply put, they tell me they are glad to now know the man behind the face paint. They get it:
When one achieves chronological maturity, it is important to think and act that way. The organizations I work with across the country are some of the most-respected organizations on the planet. Anyone who wants to know can find out for themselves; those who don't, just don't want to.
I have worked very hard to build another career, invested intellectually in myself and had to prove myself all along the way. Every speech I have ever given at conferences and forums is asked for in transcript; no others are. And they aren't asked for so they can be sleazily marked-up and used as the sick satire vulgarly displayed at abundant tasteless wrestling sites that are frequented by those, who like you, find fun in making false claims. Your vague, unsubstantiated critiques are simply another affirmation, of sorts, that we live in cultural times where virtue is reviled and vice is praised. I will, though, accept your reference to Lord of the Rings, on its success merits alone. Who's swerving who?
I will meet you halfway and acknowledge that my announcement was somewhat of a swerve, albeit creatively done; a play on words. But I will add that those who have come to know me should look at themselves for wantonly expecting that an announcement was coming that I would return to work for the McMahons.
I guess in this industry that's putridly natural, seeing how every other "shooter" went back and choked on their pride and God knows what else. I happen to have a stiffer backbone and deeper sense of pride and integrity. I happen to believe that what a man says he is, that's what he should be. That's what my word means. And not even a stroke can make me go back on it. You read that last sentence right, it's no swerve.
The Warrior currently does speaking engagements for the Young
America's Foundation (www.yaf.org), and one of his primary messages to his
audience is that the "power in your life comes from using your mind not
your muscles." He contacted SLAM! Wrestling to respond to T.J. Madigan's
1st column in the Calgary Sun. "The Ultimate Warrior's career gets
bashed probably more than anybody else," he told SLAM! Wrestling's Greg
Oliver. "Take the career for what it was." The 44-year-old Warrior is
tired of being derided for moving on with his life, and now dwelling on
the past like many of his wrestling contemporaries. He writes regular
posts for his web site, www.ultimatewarrior.com and encourages fans to
head there to read more of what he has to say. He can be emailed at email@example.com.