10 Things We Learned From Dark Side Of The Ring: The Ultimate Warrior

An incomplete story that verges on WWE's 'Self Destruction Of The Ultimate Warrior'.

The Ultimate Warrior Dark Side Of The Ring

Any doc that spotlights The Ultimate Warrior will have at least some negativity - that's just the way it is. Warrior was a polarising dude, and he p*ssed off a fair chunk of people who crossed paths with him during his spells in pro wrestling.

VICE didn't shy away from that negativity.

Their latest 'Dark Side Of The Ring' episode drafted in talking heads like Jim Ross, Jim Cornette and Eric Bischoff. For balance, they spoke to Warrior's ex-wife Shari Tyree. She definitely levelled the playing field, but her often-kind reminiscing couldn't offset the crushing hostility coming from elsewhere.

The result was a tale that opened up on controversy (one ex-WWE star wanted to kill Warrior, for example) and some notable high points without ever really scratching beneath the surface. Was it bad? No. VICE's filmmakers have their formula, and they're damn good at dancing from story-to-story.

It's just...well, they missed some key parts of the man's career out. This, like those Brian Pillman epics that kicked off the third season, could've easily been a two-parter. It wasn't to be, and at least there was still a lot to learn from Warrior's story...

10. His First WWF Bouts Were ‘Popcorn Matches’

The Ultimate Warrior Dark Side Of The Ring

Shari Tyree was by far the most balanced of the talking heads.

She refused to lampoon her ex-husband's legacy, but also didn't shun facts. Warrior wasn't the greatest pro wrestler on the planet, and he did have personality traits that deflected potential friends. Still, it wasn't always his way or the highway. In fact, Warrior asked Shari to sit in the crowd during his earliest WWF matches to gauge the reaction.

To her horror, Tyree noticed that loads of fans got up to go to the restrooms, check out the merchandise stalls or grab some food. In essence, her hubby's first string of matches in the company were 'popcorn bouts' that failed to grip the audience. Unsurprisingly, Warrior wasn't exactly chuffed by that.

The interesting thing here is that WWE's narrative would tell fans that Warrior was a smash hit straight away. The truth is somewhat different. Yes, he did suddenly explode and become a mega-star, but early house show matches played before mass indifference.


Lifelong wrestling, video game, music and sports obsessive who has been writing about his passions since childhood.