Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Chris Jericho: The Ultimate Warrior was a legendary guy
Chris Jericho has described the late Ultimate Warrior as a "legendary guy" who gave him a confidence boost when he was starting his career.
The Fozzy singer - who still competes on a part-time basis for WWE - was as shocked as anyone when the wrestler tragically passed away on April 8, just days after he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Jericho met Warrior at the start of his grappling career when he was competing for now-defunct company WCW (World Championship Wrestling) and he never forgot the words of encouragement he gave him backstage at a TV taping and he says he totally deserved to be honored for his impact of the wrestling business.
Speaking to BANG Showbiz, Jericho said: "I only treat people the way that they treat me and I only met Warrior once and he was really gracious and really cool to me back in 1998 in WCW. He was there to do something with Hulk Hogan and I remember I went up to say hi to him and he went, 'Hey, Chris Jericho, I know you, you're doing a great job you're doing some good work.' I was a nobody at the time and I remember thinking, 'Wow, the Warrior likes me that totally smokes.' It made me feel that I must be doing something right and it gave me a little bit of a boost and I always remembered that ... He's definitely a legendary guy that deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, I'm glad he got to go in when he was still alive."
As a youngster Jericho, 43, was a huge fan of the Warrior - who died from a heart attack - and he never will forget the intensity he had in WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).
He added: "As a fan in the late 80s when Warrior came out, he had this energy, this intensity and his look; he was like a heavy metal guy - or he came across that way - and so was I, so I liked that.
"I always respected him as a performer, some of his matches were pretty quick I remember he came in the Winnipeg arena once and beat Andre the Giant in 30 seconds, at the time I was like, 'What a rip off! That sucks.' But I remember WrestleMania VI where he had a classic with Hulk Hogan, much like a lot of guys from that time period he had good matches when he had the right opponent."
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