This morning I awoke to the news of the Ultimate Warrior’s passing. For those of you who don’t know who he is, he was (and still is to most) one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. When I heard this news I did shed a few tears. Now only is his passing the death of a father, husband, brother, and son but also the death of a legend and role model. For those that are not fans of the WWE or sports entertainment it may seem stupid to be upset about his passing or for the end of the Undertakers streak at Wrestle Mania. What non-fans fail to realize is that for many it is more then just a wrestling show!
My childhood was not your typical childhood. The reason being is that for the first 14 years of my life my sister Angel was very sick. She had Aplastic Anemia along with some other serious medical issues. She finally lost her battle with the disease when she was 20. Throughout the years since her passing many memories have faded, mostly the bad ones. What I remember the most about my sister includes 3 things. She loved Halloween, Rock Music, and Wrestling. For her these were things she greatly enjoyed because they gave her an escape from the countless doctors appointments, hospitalizations, and the pain. But it was more then that too.
Wrestling, much like Halloween, gave her a chance to pretend to be someone else. You get so drawn in to the characters and the action that for that brief moment in time none of the bad stuff going on exists. She went to every WWE event that came to our town of Salisbury, Md. She once got to deliver flowers to Hulk Hogan. (My grandparents owned one of the most popular flower shops in town.) The picture above taken at a WWE live event in the 80’s is very very rare for 2 reasons. One because she hated and I mean HATED to have her picture taken (I only have maybe a dozen pictures of her) and Two because she is smiling. When this picture was taken she was going through a really difficult time. Although WWE has been a partner with the Make a Wish Foundation for over 30 years, my sister never wanted to make a request. She always felt like there was another child that needed it more then her. So attending the live events was just like having a wish granted.
Some of her favorite wrestlers were the Ultimate Warrior, the Undertaker, the British Bulldogs, and of course Hulk Hogan. I remember her showing me autographs she had gotten at the events. She was so happy and proud. I also remember us watching the pay-per-views and cheering on our favorite wrestlers. (What I wouldn’t do to go back to that time!)
Yes, for the most part, we all knew the matches were/are prearranged but that doesn’t matter. You see for wrestling fans it isn’t just a show. It is a time when for a brief moment that you can forget all the bad things that may be happening in your life and be more then who you are. For that I say Thank You to all those past, present, and future wrestling stars. The WWE made my sister smile and to me that is priceless.
To the Ultimate Warrior’s family, my heart and prayers are with you. He meant a lot to his wrestling fans but I know his proudest accomplishment was his family. #RIPUltimateWarrior