Remembering The Ultimate Warrior's
Batsh*t Insane Poster Ad
It was February 1994, and if you were like me, you may have been thumbing through an edition of Pro Wrestling Illustrated that had the cover story "WWF vs. WCW; Which is better? We tell you!" (spoiler alert: they correctly chose the WWF, though it was a close call).
Once you found out the latest Ringside News with Bill Apter and read up on Eddie Ellner's Off The Top Rope feature, you may have stumbled upon an ad for a poster being sold by former WWF World Champion The Ultimate Warrior, who had dropped off the face of the earth over a year earlier, and whom fans were anxiously awaiting a comeback for.
Let's dissect the ad's contents, shall we?
Printed in a tough-to-read font that would make Comic Sans look professional by comparison, Warrior begins by saying there are only 25,000 posters being printed, yet millions of Warriors out there. It's like a Battle Royal - if you hesitate for even a moment, you could be thrown over the top rope (Warrior's words, not mine). Translation: if you stupid marks want your poster, you may have to fight other kids just to get it. How's THAT for a marketing slogan?
The poster in question has Warrior on his customized Harley driving at over 100 miles per hour while flipping the bird at authority. No, really, that's what it features. Of course, if you hang this poster up, Warrior's actually giving the finger to you, so.... yay?
It's also in black and white, captured by "one of the world's most qualified photographers," printed "on the highest grade of paper allowed" with a layer of "Ultra Varnish" to make the poster last forever. Anyone else think Donald Trump came up with some of these claims? "Believe me, no one can take a better picture of Ultimate Warrior giving the middle the finger while driving on a motorcycle than me! And those other posters that aren't using the highest grade of paper allowed? SAD."
Now.... you may be wondering what said poster looks like, given it's such a huge deal and you, the stupid mark consumer, are being asked to plunk down money to buy it.
Sorry, Yaakov. Not today! The image is just TOO INTENSE for your precious eyes. If you want to see what black-and-white bird-flipping Warrior looks like, you're gonna have to cough up the dough first, kid.
What you are allowed to see ahead of time is the "Warrior Wisdom" quote that accompanies this artistic masterpiece, and... well, I'll just let you read it to yourselves and try to decipher what the hell The Ultimate One is on about.
Is he trying to motivate people? Scare them? Enlighten them? I've read it five or six times and I'm not quite sure. One thing is for certain: you can absolutely hear this being said in Warrior's voice. Add in some grunts and snorts and this may very well be one of his pre-match promos ahead of WrestleMania VI.
But wait.... that's not all! For just $24.95 (which, even by 2018 standards, sounds like an Ultimate Rip Off), plus $3.50 shipping and handling, you get a certificate of authenticity. As though anyone else would be bootlegging these bad boys!
And it as turns out, I'm not sure anyone did. A quick search through both Google and eBay suggests that none of the 25,000 Warriors who fought, scraped and killed their way to getting copies of this poster are NOT only not selling them, but they won't even take photos or scans of it so that the world can see what Warrior was selling in 1994. Perhaps the image was TOO INTENSE for Google as well?
But that didn't deter me. Using my finely-honed Photoshopping skills, I put together the necessary elements to give you, the Wrestling Merchandise and Memories reader, an idea of what said poster may have looked like back in the day....
You're welcome. Feel free to print it on the highest quality of paper that society will allow.