The Ultimate Warrior

uwarriorOh, the rough and tumble! In wrestling with a grappler today and and coming off far worse, I ventured into the archive and found a relevant relic. Here is Jim Hellwig, better known as The Ultimate Warrior, or alternatively THEE ULLLLLLLLLLTIMATE WARRRRRRRRRRRIORRRRRRRRR!!! Not exactly the biggest fan of his myself, I feel compelled to drop in that I painted this for a friend – it’s one of my better old pieces, I think. It was back in the days when I used to actually paint, rather than just sketch and optionally overlay with colour. I added the background today – I’m not sure it was entirely wise.

The Warrior debuted in the WWF in 1987 and within a couple of years found himself at the top of the industry, with hopes pinned on him becoming the next Hulk Hogan. It was really a confirmation of just how the industry had mutated in a few short years; The Warrior’s ethos wasn’t in the slightest about legitimate athleticism or gripping psychology – indeed, he barely knew one hold from another. It was all about the larger-than-life character and spectacle, ignited through his weird, often nonsensical interviews and a raucous, jet-propelled entrance. These parts often lasted far longer than his actual wrestling matches.

While unquestionably popular with the fans at the time, today one cannot hide the blemishes on his legacy; there are countless recollections of his poor backstage attitude, with many of his old-school colleagues feeling he never appreciated that astronomical push he was given. Not only that, but his demands for outrageous sums of money and no-showing events saw him hired and fired on several occasions, which I daresay eroded the relationship with many of his supporters, who turned their eyes to newer, more reliable heroes.

It all leaves me wondering whether he should ever have been a wrestler, really. He could captivate a large audience and make these people route for a creation (apparently) of his own, that much is clear – and I’m sure there are many who remember his inimitable on-screen presence with affection. You can’t write off his impact, which was very much the focus of my portrait. But it just seems as if he was conflicting with the business – and those in it – at every turn, making few allies. Fascinating, really, as it is wholly perplexing and quite sad. Perhaps the ascent was too brisk for him to handle – perhaps the fame went to his head? Who knows.

Fun painting, though.

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14 comments
  1. Nah, i like the background; the colours give it extra 80’s-ness!
    I always do wonder about people who shoot to fame quickly. It must do weird things to a person psychologically.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Yay! Glad you like it!

      Yes, I’ve had similar thoughts myself, and shivered at the prospect of such a thing happening to me! These days it must be worse than ever, with social media and whatnot meaning the eye is on you 24/7, and waiting for you to trip up too. Scary thought. Fame comes with a heavy price, for sure – one so out of my price range, I won’t shop for it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yup. It’d do your head in. I can definitely see why so many musicians and actors end up with substance abuse problems n whatnot. Creative people tend to be pretty sensitive at the best of times. It’d be kinda crap having your every move and word being under so much scrutiny :/
        Having said all that, i still would love to become a famous author! I think it’d be MUCH easier to remain anonymous that way, though. You could have success without all the *rock star* shiz, then.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Yes, there are all too many examples of such wonderfully talented people being consumed by it. So sad; it goes back to what we were saying elsewhere, about the creativity and expression being as much a curse as a blessing.

        Yeah, authors (and I suppose many artists too) tend to be known almost exclusively by their work – which is how it should be! – and can be pretty reclusive if they wish. I like that idea, myself!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, it’s always sad to see :/
        Totally; it *should* be about the content of the work. Writing seems to be about the only creative domain left where one’s work rather than personality ( or clothing choices, or weight, or personal relationships) is the focus of the attention.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Gosh, he is scary, I would not want to meet him in a dark alley! I am sure he is a big softy really in reality, even if he behaved like a diva! Well done you sure have captured his aura.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Haha, well maybe he was – perhaps we can cling onto that in hope! Thanks Rebecca – the emphatic 80s vibe coming from him was a lot of fun to work with!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Haha, thanks Charlie! He does rather scream the 80s, doesn’t he, which made it lots of fun. The colours of his outfit make me think of certain seductive sweets – really I’m confused as to why I wasn’t a massive Warrior fan!

      Like

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Jade! I’m still pretty chuffed with how this one came out. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: André | jaywalks

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