Not everyone in the wrestling industry gets along. Not by a long shot! When there’s a cocktail of long hours on the road, mixed in with time away from families, a stark contrast of backgrounds, personalities, and testosterone levels, it has a way of bringing out the best and worst out of people. Take, for instance, the not oft-discussed hatred between Bobby Heenan and Ultimate Warrior.
Bobby Heenan and Ultimate Warrior had a disdain for one another. They had a different level of commitment for the business and approached life in very different ways. The one thing they had in common: they both were very outspoken! Here’s what the two had to say about one another…
BOBBY HEENAN on the Ultimate Warrior: "I don’t like Ultimate Warrior. He looked good, but it stopped there. Once the bell rang, it was over."
"I don’t like the Ultimate Warrior. He wasn’t raised as a wrestler. He wasn’t in the business because he loved wrestling. He was a guy who used to work out, and he thought this was easy money. He had a great body, and his paint looked good, and his hair was long. It all stopped there. Once the bell rang, it was over.
He just…he just wasn’t an athletic kind of guy to me. He looked like he was clumsy all the time, and he wouldn’t listen. You’d tell him not to clothesline because I got a bad neck. I jumped up on the apron. I told him to come from behind and run me into the post. So he runs from behind and clotheslines me.
In the dressing room, I said, ‘Hey, why’d you do that?’ I wasn’t prepared for the bump…’
‘Because I never know where I’m gonna be…’
ULTIMATE WARRIOR on Bobby Heenan: "Bobby Heenan is a two-faced bastard!"
"Bobby Heenan is just a two-faced bastard! Always has been in the business…
He should’ve said something to somebody if he had a problem with it…I mean, I never went out to the ring to try and hurt anybody or anything like that.
Not being a ‘technical’ wrestler is kind of a silly bad rap I get all the time from guys like Bret Hart and industry pundits.
My response is, look, you guys were in the business for a dozen years before I even got there. A dozen years and you never figured it out that wrestling skills per se were not where it was at.
It was about being a gimmick.
I got there, and in two years, I figured it out.
I’d also busted my ass in painful ways they never had—years of training in the gym, self-discipline in working out and dieting.
If they want to criticize anybody, they should criticize the promoters who were, in effect, telling them, ‘Your little bag of fancy wrestling moves don’t sell tickets, t-shirts, posters, dolls, etc…so leave them and your tears at home – instead show up with some muscle and some energy.’
What, am I supposed to apologize I did what it took, at that time, and they didn’t?
It wasn’t part of my gimmick—it wouldn’t fit Ultimate Warrior—to keep doing the wrestling stuff. I was smart enough to know that. Making that decision is up to the talent.
I didn’t get in the business to be just a pro wrestler. Let alone one who had a whole bag of technical moves.
I got in it to succeed at its highest levels. And I did."
And if that wasn’t bad enough, here is what Warrior had to say about Heenan when he was dying of cancer (via Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com):
"As for you, Booby Heenan, it’s just too difficult to keep a straight face talking about the pure two-faced bag of shit you are (and have always been), what, with you also actually wearing one as a piece of body jewelry. You are dying, diseased on the inside, and no more time is left to get back any of the integrity that matters the most on death’s bed. Imagine what it will be like, lying there taking in your last breaths, knowing you whored yourself out your whole life, and had to, in your final years, be faced with emptying your own personal shit bag, affirming to you the true value of what you achieved in your life. Not even Vince could come up with a better finish than this. Karma is just a beautiful thing to behold."
I think we could all agree that karma worked in strange ways…
Watch Bobby Heenan vs. Ultimate Warrior:
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Sources used in this article: WrestleView.com, FlynnFiles Warrior Shoot Interview
Some quotes above compiled by Matt Pender and shared here with thanks to our friends over at ‘Wrestling’s Glory Days’ Facebook page.