A date that will forever live in glorious infamy for me would be March 26, 1991. A day where all my dreams of brightly colored outfits, incredible arena entrance music, and the ever so amazing Tonka Wrestling Buddies and giant Hulk foam fingers being sold up and down the aisles of the Thomas and Mack arena in lieu of overpriced bags of popcorn. Ok, there was that too but as an eight-year-old, I needed those damn buddies to smack my little brother in the face with just like the TV commercials. Anyway, it was my first LIVE WWF all-star that would later air on Superstars of Wrestling and I was here for it. Yep. I was pretty goddamn excited for the show. I was about to see all my muscular heroes: Hulk Hogan, Legion of Doom, Randy Savage, and of course, the goddamn Undertaker who had just made his debut several months prior at the 1990 Survivor Series. So yeah, it was pretty exciting guys.
About halfway through the program that involved exciting matches between superstars and also filler matches with “jobber” wrestlers, the attention from the ring was drawn to a dark corner of the stadium. The dim lighting gave way to what looked like, a grimly decorated memorial service with gothic candles and wreaths of flowers strewn about. OOOOOOOOHHHHH YESSSSSSSS. It was time for the mother-fuckin’ Funeral Parlor with Sir Paul of Bearers- a sideshow skit notorious in the WWF glory days where a superstar or manager hosts another guest into their realm. And usually ends up in a fight more or less. We can all thank the Rowdy one for starting that treasure up with Piper’s Pit. Anyway, today’s guest was the ever so popular Ultimate Warrior, and little did we know shit was about to get really intense.
Before we get into it, and I may be opening myself up for a lot of turmoil here, I was never really a fan of the Warrior. I can’t explain it other than, maybe I felt like he was taking away from Hogan’s glory. Yes, I know the torch was set up to be passed to him, but I just wasn’t buying it even as a seven-year-old. My little brother, on the other hand, was a die-hard fan of the Warrior. And I had a new-found admiration for this dark, brooding figure that was making waves in the world of wrestling. And holy shit, this was a tense moment for my little brother and I. His favorite wrestler was about to enter the Funeral Parlor with one of my favorites, so it was as if we were about to have a “who has the bigger dick here” sibling battle in the sense these big burly men were representing us. Yes, I’m a female. But that doesn’t mean I can’t measure out my “Phantom Dick” too? Why be sexist here?
Back to the story.
Ok, so here we are. Bearer is setting up for the show with his “Paul Bearer-ish” ramblings and Warrior comes out doing his growl and all that jazz. Bearer is stoked to see he made the appearance because apparently, The Undertaker has made quite the gift for him-his own custom casket! What a sweet gesture, eh? Anyway, the casket was covered with a black tarp-like sheet and once revealed, the Warrior looked kind of freaked out. Which pretty much made all my insides giggle. Paul commences to taunt the crap out of him by indeed, pointing out how scurred he really is of death, and of course, the Undertaker. Warrior starts getting all huffy, pointing his finger in Paul’s face mumbling some gruffs or something, and out from behind out of nowhere, Undertaker comes at him! Beats up on him pretty good, and manages to stuff the Warrior into his own coffin. A stunned, yet still resistant Warrior tries to fight the closing of the lid, but unsuccessfully. I sort of screamed with delight, not going to lie and sneered at my brother who was held up by my father so his tinier self could see the action better. Victorious, Undertaker and Bearer retreat slowly back to the dressing room and here we are, Warrior stuck in a casket. Now we have a bunch of WWF officials trying to pry this thing open in front of a crowd of thousands. After what seems like an eternity, and it was truly only about maybe 5 minutes, they finally get the sucker open to reveal a lifeless warrior.
And that’s when a sea of tears came about to just about every kid in the crowd, including my brother. I say just about every kid because I was laughing hysterically like the sick little bastard I was, and well, still am I guess. He literally asked our Dad with tears welling up and stuttering, “Is he dead?!” And then I got to thinking under all that, “haha my guy just owned your guy,” well shit. Maybe something bad happened here! Remember now, we were little kids, thus thinking anything here was FAKE was not a thing. It was all very real to us. And then I started to get a little scared myself. Like holy shit, maybe he actually killed the guy! My parents had to assure us that everything would be ok, and of course, it was magically. But hey, we did get some sick as hell Wrestling Buddies out of it! Which is what I was eyeing the whole time anyway. So thanks to that little skit that scared the ever-loving shit out of us and every goddamn kid at Thomas and Mack, I totally got myself a bad-ass toy. The Warrior wasn’t so bad after all!