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Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Passing of Ultimate Warrior – Another Iconic Star of the Wrestling World Takes a Graceful Fall

I don't like to talk about wrestling all that often, since I have a complicated relationship with the professional wrestling world and its following. The business has undergone so many changes over the many eras, and with the internet age taking full swing and giving rise to the Smart Marks (SMARKS), it has become a bit of an argumentative hot bed for the intellectually challenged. It's tough to have a serious discussion about the backstage stuff, especially when it's become more apparent, but paired with the volatility and shallow cynicism of the typical internet SMARK who couldn't hack it in the critical thinking skills department at 4Chan.

Sadly, a good number of the outspokenly obnoxious wrestling fans are fickle and can't keep track of the facts. They're victims of historic revisionism, compounded by an unmerited sense of self-importance and business propaganda, as seen by the prevailingly sheer apologist view of the Montreal controversy that even publishers and paid writers cannot get straight because of the pervading white noise generated by this small but shrieking minority of wise crack banshees. 

Having that said, it was one hell of a shock to find out about the passing of the one and the only, Ultimate Warrior. My feelings about Warrior, also known as Jim Hellwig, have also been a very mixed bag. I've always admired the guy's spirit and gusto, but his politics, thinking and philosophy—for the large part—were an absolute turn off on account of the sheer dichotomy between said philosophies and this thing called reality. Nevertheless, character isn't about being spot on or right all the time, it is about being personal commitment, conviction and strength of will, and Warrior epitomised these traits at a level that few people could even hope to accomplish in their lives. 

Many wrestlers play a soap operatic gimmick on screen, but Warrior truly was one sincere character on and off screen, whether any of us liked the routine is beside the point; he was the real deal and he meant what he preached. 

Needless to say, I really liked this guy's spirit even though I could not agree with him on much of his politics or his utterly limited philosophical outlook. As I've already stated, I just I can't discount the fact that the world and the vast majority of an entire generation have lost one of their most fabled on-screen sources of inspiration; we've lost a real character and motivator. Jim Hellwig, truly, Warrior, exuded a king of gusto, confidence and empowering gimmick that influenced an entire era of youngsters and epitomised the individual battle cry spirit against the strife of life. Whether anyone likes it or not, he was truly inspirational to many and a strong voice in the community, which will not—likely for a long time—will be gaping at a big massive void of silence.

May his memory rest well, and may his words of inspiration—including the edgy and dangerous ones—provide delicate but worthwhile food for thought in future times to come. Very few could argue against or challenge the passion of the man's devotion to his ideals, which is something that we can't say for most these days; Warrior give rigidity a certain primal charm, and I'll always respect that strength of character.

Now I will say something in addition to what's already been said about Warrior's death. There's little rational and logical reason to assume that cardiovascular disease was just one of those infinitely growing coincidences that seem to plague the wrestling world. Calm down, you SMARK pricks, as this actually goes well beyond the sensitive issue of steroid abuse and the infamous scandals of the 80s and 90s—individuals subjected to an entire adult life span of persistent injuries, growth hormone changes, natural and otherwise, are not going emerge on the other side of that equation with the most bullet proof cardiovascular system. Sorry, wrestling chimps and gym rats: subjecting the human body to massive bouts of growth and body composition changes—that in themselves rival the weight of a small adult female—is going to result in long term problems ranging from damaged metabolic homeostasis to outright morbidity issues. Humans are ideally suited to being in good shape with basic fitness, which is not to be conflated with the madness of enduring a cataclysmic milieu of stress and growth hormones to develop an unrealistically large, beastly physique. This is likely a whole beast—pun not intended—of a topic for another time.

I'll close this on the note that Warrior did epitomise a kind of work ethic and strength of character that is rare in people these days, even among ideologues such as himself. The man even had this artistically tangential way with words and his fascination with concepts of universal majesty, and the minuteness of human life by contrast to its spirit, were often a very telling and even prophetic aspect of his worldly philosophy. One could even dare to question the coincidence and timing of his death, given his speech on WWE's Monday Night RAW show, where he talked about the very specific subject of icons and their lasting legacy in the minds of those who carry their ideas forward, even in the eventual face of death. So, on that note, Ultimate Warrior, Jim Hellwig, will be missed.

As always, your memory rests, but with your passion, Warrior.


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