Jim Ross knew when The Ultimate Warrior returned to WWE in 1996 that the legendary superstar’s comeback was destined to fail.
Warrior cemented his status as one of wrestling’s biggest names in the late 1980s and early 1990s. After a four-year absence from WWE, he defeated Triple H in a 96-second squash match upon his return at WrestleMania 12.
Ross, a WWE commentator at the time, spoke on his Grilling JR podcast about Warrior’s WrestleMania appearance. The veteran announcer said he was not excited about the former WWE Champion’s return due to his poor attitude behind the scenes:
“No, I wasn’t [excited] because I knew he was gonna be a giant pain in the a** to work with.” Ross continued, “If he had the magic and the commitment and the energy that he once possessed and brought to the table, then hell yes. Who wouldn’t be excited? Because it means he’s gonna draw you some money and it’s gonna be good for the company, etcetera, etcetera.” [22:24-22:47]
Ross is one of many people in the wrestling business who had difficulties with Warrior. He said on another episode of his podcast last year that he “never met a wrestler with less ability” than the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame inductee.
Jim Ross did not expect The Ultimate Warrior to become popular again
The Ultimate Warrior’s biggest career moment came in 1990 when he defeated Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania 6. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon viewed him as Hogan’s long-term successor, but the superstar soon became difficult to deal with outside the ring.
Jim Ross added that Warrior’s 1996 return was never going to work, especially after such a lengthy absence from in-ring competition:
“I didn’t think he was gonna get back over [become popular again]. You’re kind of waiting on him to tear something, he’s so heavily muscled. He was always a problem child… dressing room lawyer, as the boys liked to say, so I wasn’t overwhelmed with it. If it worked, good for us, but I didn’t think it was gonna work.” [22:47-23:13]
Following WrestleMania 12, Warrior feuded with Goldust and Owen Hart before leaving WWE once again just three months after his return.
Please credit Grilling JR and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.
Find out the real reason why Sting came to WWE only to lose his debut match right here.