Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Way Back WhensDay: The Dingo Warrior

Vintage Dino Warrior
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Before the Ultimate Warrior signed with the WWF in 1987, he was known as the Dingo Warrior in World Class Championship Wrestling.  Before that, he and Sting went by their real names, Jim Hellwig and Steve Borden.  They were the Freedom Fighters and dressed alike, but wore no makeup.  Here's a clip from Memphis.

Gary Hart & Dingo Warrior
Because this was a regional terrority, I had never seen the Freedom Fighters.  I remember reading a little about them, but it was really that Dingo Warrior persona in WCCW that I started following.  When he first came in to WCCW he was a heel and managed by the evil genius Gary Hart.  The two worked well together, as Hart was a great mouth piece for the men in his stable.  Dingo Warrior had what would become the widely known war paint design even back then.  He wore the tassels too, but was no where near as intense.  The hair wasn't long and flowing like most fans might remember and at one point he even had a mustache.

Dingo Warrior 
He and Hart would eventually split, as a guy like the Warrior was someone fans loved to support.  Back then it was the era of the big, strong guy and obviously Warrior fit that mold to a tee.  Kerry Von Erich, "The Modern Day Warrior" was the next closest to fit that mold, but was recovering from a motorcycle crash.  The company needed a new hero. 

Warrior & Von Erichs
Dingo Warrior feuded with former friends "Mad Dog" Buzz Sawyer and Matt Bourne while teaming with the popular Lance Von Erich.  The two wore the tag time titles in World Class.  Warrior would also team up with up and comer Steve Simpson.  As you can hear, his promos were much different in those early days.

Dingo Warrior vs. Matt Bourne
As a singles star, Dingo Warrior won the World Class Texas Heavyweight championship.  His charisma and energy didn't keep him in Texas long, as he caught the eye of the folks in New York and would quickly sign with the WWF.  The quest for superstardom meant leaving behind the title. It didn't take long for Dingo Warrior to become the Ultimate Warrior and then a household name and the legend we all know and love today.  

Rest in peace Warrior.  

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