A little while ago I wrote about the WWE and it’s recent problem when it announced The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal for it’s Wrestlemania show this year. And while it’s not a great news item to appear in the weeks before your company’s showcase of the year, there is that other bit of business in using someone else’s name to their own goals that needs to be talked about.
The Ultimate Warrior.
Now there is a lot that could be said about the man as a performer, both good and bad. He packed audiences in the late 80s and early 90s and to this day people still talk about his high energy entrances and running over wrestlers in matches back in the day. He had a lot of fans and was a big part of the product we saw on TV. Heck, he was so big at one point they had him defeat Hulk Hogan to become world champion at Wrestlemania 6 back in April of 1990.
That’s not the Warrior I’m talking about.
The Warrior that has been looked at with less than the same reaction is the Warrior late in his life in the early 2000s. Long after the glory days of wrestling had passed him by and he was trying to have people pay attention to what he had to say. Since he couldn’t be the same warrior he was back in the day, he started posting on his blog and was touring colleges around the country as a political speaker.
A man who never held a public office in his life and one that did not have the greatest relationship with anyone he worked for now wanted to be paid to tell young people how the world worked.
THAT’s where the problem starts. The WWE wants everyone to remember the snorting high energy muscleman, not the paid political commentator who spouted off things that were racist, homophobic, and downright hateful. He spouted off things like “Queering around doesn’t make the world work.”, and saying offensive things about people of middle eastern heritage sometimes too there faces during these appearances. He would talk about his “Politically Incorrect” trip to Louisianna just after Hurricane Katrina because “The fishing was good” and his numerous comments about how the wrestlers around him were dying “wanted to die” because they didn’t live like he did.
And now the WWE uses his name for “charitable causes”. Yeah, every year at the “WWE Hall of Fame” Ceremony (That isn’t what it seems either) they give out “The Warrior Award” and have his widow say something about facing adversity or some such in a desperate attempt to be charitable and be taken more seriously so that people like Stephanie McMahon (WWE head Vince McMahon’s daughter) can be looked at as a serious business leader and held in high esteem. She herself once said that “philanthropy is the future of marketing, it’s the way brands r going 2 win” and then hands out an award named after someone who had so much hate and judgment of others, mostly to make a dollar. So why would the WWE tack on such a name to a presentation meant to inspire what people can actually do and what they can overcome?
Because he died and can’t stop him.
Warrior, despite slamming the company after he was shown the door more than once and talking about how much he hated wrestling now during his speeches, was welcomed back and put into their Hall of Fame in 2014. He gave a long speech about honoring those in the company we didn’t see, The cameramen, videos editors and such. That Monday he appeared on their live show and gave another long speech about believing in him and a thank you to fans. That Tuesday he passed away from massive heart failure. The WWE then took his two speeches and edited them down and the next year presented “The Warrior Award” at their hall of fame. Not to honor those that put all their hard work and lives into making the McMahons filthy rich, but so they can spotlight humanitarian stories that the WWE had nothing to do with. Totally taking his words and editing them to fit their corporate needs.
There is little good from this whole thing.
So while the brief inclusion to name part of their event after The Fabulous Moolah made sponsors worry, maybe it’s time they hear this story as well.