Sunday, April 13, 2014

Burying the Hatchet

Vince & Warrior
Photo courtesy WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

Over the past year or so, I think the WWE has given us lessons in forgiveness.  It was first demonstrated in 2013 when the company announced they'd come to terms with legend Bruno Sammartino to induct him into the Hall of Fame.
Vince, Bruno, & Triple H
Photo courtesy: WWE

For years the two sides were at an impasse, as the former champion refused to be inducted.  Presumably, Triple H in his corporate role, was able to smooth things over with Bruno and he took his rightful place in the Hall of Fame.  At Wrestlemania 30 weekend, the WWE unveiled a statue in honor of the legend.  It's good to see them working together again.

In summer 2013, WWE announced the Ultimate Warrior would be a part of the Y2K14 video game.  It was the first time the two sides had worked together in nearly two decades.  Soon after that, Warrior was announced as the first member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2014.  This was great news to me, as I had been waiting for years for this to happen.  Rumors ran wild that he was going in at Wrestlemania 26 in 2010, but it never happened. Warrior will go down as one of the most popular and charismatic stars in the history of wrestling.  He deserved to have a spot in the HOF.

Unlike Bruno though, the WWE had not tried to establish a relationship with the Warrior.  In 2006, the company released a DVD called "The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior."  I watched it and was saddened to hear all the jabs and cheap shots taken against the former champ.
Hulk Hogan, Pat Patterson, Ultimate Warrior

Again Triple H extended the olive branch and the two sides made amends.  Warrior seemed to gain closure as he addressed the WWE Universe and his colleagues during his induction.  Over the course of Wrestlemania weekend he and Hulk Hogan apparently buried the hatchet.  Same goes for Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Kevin Nash, and others.

Sadly Warrior died days later.  In the wake of his death, other wrestlers have come forward and apologized for how they had treated Warrior.  Bret Hart said he was too hard on him, calling Warrior a good guy.  Iron Sheik admitted he loved Warrior and his words toward him were a work.  I'm still shocked and sad, but I'm glad Warrior was able to get this resolution in his life before dying.
Wrestlemania main event 30 years later
Photo courtesy: WWE 

On a much lesser level, we saw another example of forgiveness at Wrestlemania 30.  I'm sure it was more storyline driven than personal, but it was nice seeing Hogan, Roddy Piper, Mr. T, and Paul Orndorff all shake hands and put the past behind them.  By all accounts, Piper had legit heat with Mr. T for years.  I don't know if all is really forgiven or if they just smiled and played nice for the camera, but I'm hoping the backstage segment at Mania was genuine. 

Forgiveness is easy to say, but much harder to practice.  WWE and some of its greatest legends are setting an excellent example.  I truly think we could all learn from it. 

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