Jim Ross Discusses What It Was Like to Work With 'High Maintenance' Ultimate Warrior During His 1996 Return to WWE

Posted By Caroline Walsh on 05/20/19

During his most recent Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross recalled the difficulty in dealing with Ultimate Warrior during his mid ’90s return. Warrior returned to the company in 1996 and made several demands, which led to WWE partnering with his company to promote Warrior’s gym, his infamous comic book and more. Highlights from JR are below:

On WWE giving into Warrior’s demands to return: “Yeah. In that timeframe, he knew he had leverage, he knew we needed stars. And we needed a fix, we needed something to create an interest, a buzz to ignite things. Whatever cliche you could think of. I thought — look, I worked with him in Mid-South when he was Sting’s tag team partner as the Blade Runners. He was really, really quiet then, didn’t say a lot. But he was not real well-liked by everybody on the roster. Maybe they don’t ever really like everybody on the roster. But he wasn’t liked by many, because he was so standoffish, somewhat aloof. Sting on the other hand, Steve Borden, just the opposite. He was very outgoing, and genuine. Still is. So I just thought that he was gonna hold Vince for ransom. So you couldn’t keep giving money and money, more money, more money, more money. You had to figure out ways to incorporate his other assets that he could create some cash on, and other ways. And the comic book was one of those ways to get more paydays in Hellwig’s pocket without coming out of the company’s pocket. What would come out of the company’s pocket obviously is the in-kind work of promoting it.”

On what he thought of Warrior: “I found him to be a tremendous bore. I just didn’t — for a guy that was getting a second chance, who had limited in-ring skills as it was. Who had a magnificent look, who had been booked like a crazy man amazingly well. And hand it to Hogan. Hogan put him over in Toronto, and that made the guy. But he never got better and he thought he was great.”

On not being down with the idea of giving into Warrior’s demands: “It was the same argument I had with Vince, or debate, more specifically. ‘We’ve got to create new, we can’t keep packaging old.’ And I really believe that. He was easier to work with from the standpoint that he was getting paid, and he needed the money. And needed it pretty bad, as I understand. I might be wrong on that, but I heard he needed the cash. But boy, he was high-maintenance. I don’t think we’ve ever had anybody that I can recall when I was with WWE those twenty-six years that was as high-maintenance for lesser reward than Jim Hellwig was in that return in the mid-90s.”