Eight days ago the wrestling world lost former WWE champion The Ultimate Warrior at the age of 54. Since his passing we hadn’t heard from his family. This morning his wife Dana made her first statement since her husband’s passing.
It is with an absolutely broken heart I reach out to you. Since the passing of my husband, I have been fortunate enough to insulate my sweet girls and myself from the outside world. In this bubble we have grieved and continue to do so. For a week, I did not allow any television or media to seep through our cocoon. I was told, though, of the outpouring of love for my beloved husband and support for, as he always called us, his Warrior Girls. I can only say thank you.
On Sunday night, I was told WWE would pay tribute to Warrior and so I set the DVR planning to watch it when we were ready. As the hour neared, I broke resolve and turned on every TV in the house to full blast and snuggled our daughters close to me on the couch, unsure what we would see. As the scene unfolded with that amazing roster of talent gathered donning Ultimate Warrior shirts and even his face paint, we cheered and sobbed simultaneously. To everyone who stood there, thank you. My girls will remember your bowed heads for the rest of their lives. You are not just Superstars; you are super people.
I cannot put words to what that video tribute meant. We watched it multiple times and, this morning, it was how I started my day; mornings are the hardest for me. I will treasure that song and those images more than anything I own. Vindication. ULTIMATE PERFECTION.
I was told it was reported WWE was “there” for us. “There” is the understatement of a lifetime. They were a warm blanket to us three and we were quickly absorbed into their family. Words are cheap; promises are forever. This family is one I’m honored to be a member of and will gladly be the warm blanket to any of them who need me next.
My husband’s speech had so many highlights for me as I sat proudly in the audience looking on at his moment … I most loved his request for the Hall of Fame to include the, as he called them, “true Superstars,” those behind-the-scenes people who make the machine run. See, I’m the person who puts up the ring in our house. I’m the background person who makes things happen seamlessly. I am surrounded by performers in my husband and children, so I felt a kinship with all the people he wanted to shine a spotlight upon who make WWE work. He loved you all, and knew that each of you made his run there possible. Thank you!
To all the ULTIMATE WARRIOR fans: THANK YOU!! He told me when he shook the ropes it was him gathering strength from each of you. Warrior respected you and loved you as do the girls and I. I will reach out to the ropes for your strength to sustain me in the sad days that the girls and I face. UNWAVERING is what you’ve been. GRATEFUL is what we are.
The Undertaker and I have a lot more in common than you might think. You see, I had a bit of a streak of my own going for the last 20 years. Yes, Warrior and I would have matches of our own … He would yell, I would cry, he would submit, I would win – always. My quivering chin and “pooched” lip was always more powerful than any clothesline or gorilla press slam. He’d laugh and shake his head and say,”you win, Pooch,” but really we both did.
My streak was broken April 8, 2014 when he collapsed. I fought and screamed and cried for him not to leave me, but I wasn’t to win this round. Heaven won and I lost, but I had the ULTIMATE love for 20 years and my children learned to be Warriors from THE ULTIMATE DAD. I wouldn’t trade a moment of the life we shared, good or bad, for anything on God’s green earth. He is the love of my life and gave me the gift of our beautiful, sweet, amazing girls. He was loyal and kind and strong and brave. He taught me to live by his creed,”Live Strong, Act Bold, Be Brave. Nothing’s too hard to do, ALWAYS BELIEVE,” and with that creed I will carry on and make him proud.
Streaks are broken but legends live forever.
Dana A. Warrior
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