When one thinks of the Ultimate Warrior, they don't think of great matches. Much like Bill Goldberg or The Road Warriors, Ultimate Warrior was at his best when he ran to the ring at full speed and destroyed whoever was across from him. However, along the way, there were some great Ultimate Warrior matches and some even more memorable moments.
Ultimate Warrior was a massive star in WWE, and like stars, he would shine bright and then implode. His time at the top of WWE was short, but he was able to leave his mark as one of the biggest stars that WWE had ever seen. Here is a look at the 10 best matches of the Ultimate Warriors' career.
10 ULTIMATE WARRIOR DEBUT MATCH
Before he entered WWE, Ultimate Warrior cut his teeth in Memphis and Bill Watts' Mid-South Wrestling as Rock of the Blade Runners. He then moved to World Class Championship Wrestling as the Dingo Warrior. When WWE called him, he took his Warrior persona with him and became the Ultimate Warrior.
Ultimate Warrior got a start at some house shows before Ultimate Warrior got his chance to make his television debut. That debut turned him into a massive fan favorite, as he ran to the ring on the Oct. 25, 1987 episode of Wrestling Challenge and beat Terry Gibbs. Fans loved him, and he rocketed to the top.
9 VS. HONKY TONK MAN (SUMMERSLAM 1988)
The Honky Tonk Man was an enigma. He was not a good wrestler by any account of the term, but he was someone that the fans hated. He rarely won a match cleanly and either cheated to win or got himself disqualified or counted out to retain his title. After 454 days as Intercontinental Champion, fans wanted to see someone beat him.
At SummerSlam 1988, Honky Tonk Man came out to the ring with his manager Jimmy Hart and issued a challenge to anyone, claiming he could beat anyone. Ultimate Warrior's music started, he ran to the ring full-speed, attacked Honky Tonk and won in 31 seconds to capture his first WWE title.
8 VS. RAVISHING RICK RUDE (SUMMERSLAM 1989)
The first great Ultimate Warrior feud came when he battled Ravishing Rick Rude. The first significant match between the two men came in 1989 at SummerSlam. This match was one year after Ultimate Warrior won the Intercontinental title from Honky Tonk Man and just months after Rude won the title from Warrior at WrestleMania.
Members of the Heenan Family had spent weeks attacking Ultimate Warrior to soften him up for this match. Always the smart veteran, it was Rude who led the story in the match, and he walked Warrior through the best match of his WWE career to that point. Warrior finally won and started his second Intercontinental title reign.
7 ROYAL RUMBLE 1990
At the Royal Rumble in 1990, two of the biggest names in WWE at the time both entered, and as fans looked on excitedly, they ended up facing off at one point. Ultimate Warrior ran to the ring as the Intercontinental Champion and the 21st entrant in the Royal Rumble. After that, Hulk Hogan came out as the 25th entrant, the current WWE world champion.
Hogan quickly tossed Superfly Jimmy Snuka and Haku from the ring. After that, Ultimate Warrior then eliminated Tito Santana. Next, Hogan eliminated Honky Tonk Man and Warrior tossed Shawn Michaels. This elimination put Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior face-to-face. Warrior ended up eliminated, and Hogan won, but this set the table for WrestleMania VI.
6 VS. HULK HOGAN (WRESTLEMANIA VI)
The Royal Rumble match led to this match, one of the first times that Hulk Hogan ever put his world title on the line against a babyface. It was also a champion vs. champion match with both Hogan's WWE world title and Ultimate Warrior's Intercontinental title on the line. The fans were hot for this match, and the two guys knew how to tell a story.
The match saw Ultimate Warrior cleanly pin Hulk Hogan and win the WWE world title. That was something WWE fans had not seen in years and were enough to make Warrior the top star in the company. However, due to several reasons, his stay on top was a short one.
5 VS. RAVISHING RICK RUDE (SUMMERSLAM 1990)
One year after Ultimate Warrior won the Intercontinental title from Ravishing Rick Rude, the two men faced again. This time, Warrior was the world champion, and Rude was his challenger. After the loss the year before, Rude cut his hair and got a lot more aggressive. This was a very different Rick Rude than the one from a year earlier.
The match was a steel cage match for the world title, and Rude had already proven he could beat Warrior as he did at WrestleMania the year before. Rude could have won at one point bt wanted to inflict more damage onto Warrior, and that cost him as Warrior escaped the cage to win.
4 VS. SGT. SLAUGHTER (ROYAL RUMBLE 1991)
Leading up to the Royal Rumble, two storylines played out. For one, Sgt. Slaughter turned on the United States and became an Iraqui sympathizer. Meanwhile, Macho Man Randy Savage wanted a world title shot against Ultimate Warrior, but the Warrior refused.
That led to the Royal Rumble, where a 43-year-old Sgt. Slaughter took on the strongest wrestler in WWE for the world title. Macho Man came down and interfered and cost Warrior the match and the title. It made Slaughter the most hated man in the company and led to the Warrior vs. Savage match at WrestleMania.
3 VS. UNDERTAKER (1991)
The term "the immovable object vs. the unstoppable force" had never meant as much in WWE as it did in 1991 when Ultimate Warrior took on The Undertaker. Warrior was on a tear. In a year where he lost his world title to Sgt. Slaughter and retired Macho Man Randy Savage, he still had time for a match with Undertaker.
Undertaker was brand-new, but WWE wanted to keep him looking unstoppable. He was putting his opponents in body bags after matches, and this match was a "Body Bag Match." The two goliaths faced off, and Ultimate Warrior won by putting Undertaker in the body bag. After the match, Undertaker rose up, as if nothing happened.
2 VS. RANDY SAVAGE (WRESTLEMANIA VII)
WrestleMania VII was known for one significant moment. The match was Macho King Randy Savage with Sensational Sherri by his side against the Ultimate Warrior. The loser had to retire from professional wrestling. As with all Savage's matches, this one was immaculately planned out and told a fantastic story.
Savage led the match, and it was Warrior's best match of his career. Seeing Macho Man hit multiple flying elbow drops onto Warrior just for him to kick out was amazing as well. Warrior finally won the match and ended Savage's career. Then, after the match, Sherri attacked Savage, and Miss Elizabeth made her return to save her man and the couple reunited.
1 VS. RANDY SAVAGE (SUMMERSLAM 1992)
One year after Ultimate Warrior beat Macho Man Randy Savage to send him into retirement, Savage was back. He was also the world champion again. This turn of events was because Jake "The Snake" Roberts tormented Savage until he convinced Jack Tunney to reinstate him so he could get revenge.
Then at WrestleMania, a babyface Savage beat Ric Flair for the world title. At SummerSlam that year, Ultimate Warrior won the number one contender spot, and the two battled — both as babyfaces. Warrior won by count-out, so Savage retained. After this, the two teamed up as the Ultimate Maniacs for a short time before Warrior left WWE.