In 2010, four years before his eventual acceptance into the WWE Hall of Fame, Warrior declined an offer to take part in the yearly ceremony due to clashes with Vince McMahon over the production of The Self-Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior DVD. Ted DiBiase, who headlined the 2010 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony instead, was happy the then-Ultimate Warrior declined and explains why it would have made for quite the tense environment had he been there.
Ultimate Warrior: “[WWE released a DVD that was] a defamatory, negative, inaccurate portrayal of my professional sports entertainment career and my personal character.”
In a since-deleted March 2010 blog post on his website UltimateWarrior.com, Warrior gave his take on why he turned down WWE’s offer to have him headline the 2010 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony:
“I did decline induction. Yes, I declined. I did not ‘back out’ of anything. There was never anything to ‘back out’ of. I never agreed to appear at the Hall of Fame to begin with.
“Vince called me on December 23rd and left a voicemail saying, among other things, “let’s get you in the Hall of Fame where you belong.” After the holidays I returned his call, left a voicemail telling him to call me again when he found time. When we finally connected, I told him I would rather meet with him in person than talk over the phone. He said that would be great. He said he would find time on his calendar and call me back to set it up. When he called back a couple of weeks later he didn’t even mention finding a time scheduled to meet, and throughout the remainder of the conversation, further decided not to find one. So, given only the option to say either yes or no, my answer was quick and clear, I declined Vince’s invitation to headline [2010’s] HOF event.
“I believe my decision is simple to understand. Although Vince and I decided to settle the litigation over the production of the Self-Destruction DVD, the DVD is still what it is: a defamatory, negative, inaccurate portrayal of my professional sports entertainment career and my personal character while working in the WWF. Settlement may have changed the terms of the discussion, but not the original intent or content of the DVD. Vince himself titled the DVD. He gave the authority to produce the DVD just as it is. I can’t forget this.
“Neither can I overlook the obvious fact that Vince personally inviting me to be the headliner inductee to his Hall of Fame means either the DVD or his Hall of Fame is a joke. One is not credible. It’s inarguable.
“If the DVD is a joke, then I think it’s reasonable that all the Ultimate Warrior fans and I be told that, and something serious and substantial be done to correct the record BEFORE I ever agree to be part of the Hall of Fame, not after. Tell the true story. Obligate yourself to tell the real story and honor the Ultimate Warrior legacy as it deserves.
“If the Hall of Fame is a joke, my sense of humor has been tested enough, I think. And the fans who attend the Hall of Fame ceremony, believing it is legitimate and something to be revered, are being duped.
“I’m not interested in participating in a ‘work’ to mislead the fans any more than they already were by the production of the Self-Destruction DVD. Frankly, I don’t understand how you get from the production of the Self-Destruction DVD to an invitation to your Hall of Fame.
“The DVD is, essentially, a storytelling that you regret ever having anything to do with the Ultimate Warrior persona and me, that both were worthless and neither ever contributed anything of value to your company, and, for all you care, they can both rot in hell. Doesn’t a Hall of Fame have something to do with worthiness and honor? How do you get from one to the other? Help me understand. Many Ultimate Warrior WWF fans want to understand, too.
“I thought it was reasonable to ask Vince to explain it. Still do. Always will. That’s it. Pretty simple.”
Ted DiBiase Sr., who headlined the 2010 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony instead, was quite glad Warrior declined the offer. On the Monday Night Mayhem radio show, DiBiase explained why.
Ted DiBiase: “I’m glad [Warrior] wasn’t there because he’s somebody I don’t particularly care for, and quite frankly he’s one of those guys that has never really appreciated what was done for him.”
“I’m glad he wasn’t there because he’s somebody I don’t particularly care for, and quite frankly he’s one of those guys that has never really appreciated what was done for him.
“There’s a lot of guys that did well in the industry that may have been lacking in some areas. Every great match he had was directly dependent on who he was wrestling. If the guy across the ring from him couldn’t lead him around by the nose, he couldn’t have a good match.S o the fact that he wasn’t called on doesn’t bother me at all.
“Quite honestly, it would have been a very tense backstage environment if he and I were together. He’s one of those guys who has been given so much in terms of an opportunity in our industry, who even to this day doesn’t appreciate it, and I don’t know for the life of me who he thinks he is.”
While Warrior rightfully gets knocked for many of the unflattering comments he has made in the past, he had good reason to decline WWE’s initial Hall of Fame offer. On one hand, they were promoting a DVD that put the Ultimate Warrior in a negative light while on the other hand, they were inviting him to take part in a ceremony that would be honoring his legacy. It was a contradictory situation that he wanted nothing to be a part of. Warrior eventually made amends with Vince McMahon and rightfully accepted his place in WWE’s Hall of Fame class of 2014. Three days later, Warrior died at the age of 54 of a heart attack caused by atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.