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Charles (Loss)

[1991-04-13-WWF-Superstars] Funeral Parlor: Ultimate Warrior & The Undertaker

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Quite the segment, as it was really the first memorable angle involving the Undertaker. He attacks Warrior from behind while being interviewed, and they lock him in the casket and seal it shut. This is sold as total panic, as Goulet, Garea and others try in vain to open the casket before finally prying it open, where they have to administer CPR. Savage is great on commentary - at first enjoying the attack, and then starting to get scared. A fantastic angle.

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I thought that they were going to do something goofy like have the Warrior disappear from the casket. It was pleasantly surprising they had him nearly suffocate instead.

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Another great, wholesome attempted-murder angle (plus one without the "attempted") in a running series in 1991 WWF. I didn't quite like all the heat being placed on the road agents for not being able to get the casket open, but everything else was great--and they do strongly get over the inability of someone to breathe in there. Warrior and Bearer even cut pretty good promos on each other. I really like how Bearer never backs down even as the Warrior is grabbing and threatening him--that makes Bearer look like a legitimate scary bastard and it makes storyline sense because he knows he's got the Undertaker backing him up. Great, great visual once the casket is open, with the Warrior unconscious and the inside torn to pieces. That's a pretty existentially horrifying image seared into the brains of all those Little Warriors and may be the single moment that makes this segment so memorable.

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It's an uneven but effective segment. Savage really does make it work, and fits as much in as he needed to to put over the seriousness of the situation by slowly starting to sympathize with the Warrior. I often do wonder if they were going to put Warrior and Savage as a team against Undertaker and Jake after SummerSlam, were it not for Warrior leaving. The way it would have been built could have been way better than the Ultimate Maniacs.

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Warrior is guest on Funeral Parlor. Paul has a special Ultimate Warrior casket. Bearer thinks Warrior is scared of Undertaker. Warrior has no fear and grabs Paul by the jacket collar and they yell back and forth at each other. Undertaker pops out of another casket and attacks Warrior from behind. Warrior ends up getting stuffed in a casket. Was laughing as various WWF officials were showing up with different tools to try open the casket. They get the casket open and have to perform CPR on Warrior. Can be hard to watch that stuff with the recent history of wrestlers. Piper questions if Warrior may have got brain damage. Agreed that Savage was great on commentary.

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This was actually very well produced, if slightly (okay way too) comic book for my tastes. A plastic bag works fine, but I guess thats an Immitable Act so they go with a casket. I didnt remember this going as fast as it did. This really had a break-neck pace once the Warrior gets stuffed in there. I know there was a trick there somewhere (like a trap door or a panel out of camera range) but Ive never figured it out.

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With all due respect to the actual stuffing of Warrior in the casket, this was really made by the commentators. When Savage, whom you absolutely know wants Warrior out of the way so he can feel better about losing his own career, begins to fear for Warrior's safety, you know this is one scary angle. I would have loved the commentary to have been live so I could have seen Savage actually run down to try and open the casket, as I believe he would have. He and Piper were brilliant in showing their concern, and Vince's usual overexcitement fits this situation to a tee. They have to revive Warrior before the segment's over to prevent hysteria in the crowd, and so they do, but Piper intimates that he might be brain damaged as the scene fades out.

 

I think the officials being unable to open the casket actually makes the whole thing scarier. What the hell is this thing made of, anyway? Can Warrior manage to stay alive long enough for help to get to him? Garea, Goulet, and the rest try their damndest, but can't get the thing open no matter what, and Taker and Percy have long since run for the hills. This is so scary and sickening that the two sickest bastards in WWF history (Piper and Savage) each want nothing whatsoever to do with it. Ponder that sentence for a moment, if you will. The gouges Warrior makes in the casket walls during his futile escape attempts provide the icing on the cake.

 

If there was ever a way to get Taker over as something beyond anything the WWF had ever seen previously, this was it. Brilliant performances from everyone, and Taker's still over to this day, although he only shows up for Mania and can barely move. This is as much the birth of a legend in its own way as 1/23/84, and I don't say that lightly. God knows we could use this kind of creativity in today's WWE.

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I'm with you guys that mentioned the commentary. It totally made this. The entire segment was good, but the commentary on top really made it something special. I agree that having Savage get serious, after just losing his career to the Warrior, was a fantastic touch. Savage totally delivered too.

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