Fighting

Interview with Dana Warrior, promoting Ultimate Warrior Day, book signing during WWE SummerSlam Weekend in Brooklyn

Dana Warrior -- wife of the late, great WWE Hall of Famer Ultimate Warrior -- will be meeting his fans on Saturday, Aug. 22 during WWE SummerSlam Weekend in Brooklyn. She will be promoting the book Ultimate Warrior: A Life Lived “Forever” (Insight Editions / $39.99 / September 2015).
Dana Warrior -- wife of the late, great WWE Hall of Famer Ultimate Warrior -- will be meeting his fans on Saturday, Aug. 22 during WWE SummerSlam Weekend in Brooklyn. She will be promoting the book Ultimate Warrior: A Life Lived “Forever” (Insight Editions / $39.99 / September 2015).

Ultimate Warrior Day is Saturday, Aug. 22, during WWE SummerSlam Weekend, and Dana Warrior will be at The POWERHOUSE Arena in Brooklyn celebrating her late husband Ultimate Warrior’s enduring legacy and promoting Insight Editions’ new book, Ultimate Warrior: A Life Lived “Forever.”

Known for his vibrant face paint, Ultimate Warrior’s true colors can be seen in Ultimate Warrior: A Life Lived “Forever.” Releasing on Tuesday, Sept. 15, this biography showcases the WWE Hall of Famer through stories and photographs of his historic matches, as well as rare candid, behind-the-scenes images and personal ephemera from his family, making this the ultimate collectible for diehard Warrior fans.

This book launch will feature an autograph table, Warrior statue, museum displays, a face paint artist, and more.

Ultimate Warrior Day, on Saturday, Aug. 22, begins at 3 p.m. and is open to the first 300 fans at The POWERHOUSE Arena at 37 Main St., Brooklyn, N.Y., 11210 and is exclusive to Ultimate Warrior book purchases made at POWERHOUSE.

Interview with Dana Warrior

JV: The book Ultimate Warrior: A Life Lived “Forever” means what to you?

DW: “The entire project is a culmination of the life that my husband lived...It was a dream of his to have a book published, and so upon losing him I wanted to move that forward. I wanted to complete the mission.

“When WWE proposed we partner with the publisher, I saw other books they put out, and they were so well done and so beautiful and honored legends before him. I thought, ‘Yea, this is the mission I need to complete.’

“It is something to give the fans who have given him so much – kind of an entire overview of his life.”

JV: How emotional will it be meeting his fans?

DW: “I’ve had the honor of meeting them in different venues before we lost him and after, and to have the opportunity to shake their hands and speak to them and hear their stories, I always appreciate it. I never, ever forget that they are the reason that my husband’s blood pours through his veins. I look forward to it more than I can even tell you. To meet them is to meet a part of him, truly.

“I couldn’t even measure it. I read absolutely everything that comes to me – fan mail, email, things that people post on Facebook, because my husband did that. My husband taught me that is the way to treat the fans who really have been there from the time they became fans way back in his Dingo Warrior days.

“It has kept us going, and every single day that I’ve woken up, since I lost him, I put my feet on the ground and say to myself, ‘How can I make you proud? How can I carry on your legacy moving forward?

“WWE has held my hand and helped me do that, and his fans have been the wind behind my back and moved me to keep moving – to make sure that I help carry the mantle.”

JV: What has it been like with WWE?

DW: “It’s been like being at home. From the second that [Ultimate Warrior] returned [to WWE] and made his triumphant speech and then came to Monday Night Raw and did his incredible talk with his paint on, we have been welcomed back with open arms and thought the future was spread out for us with excitement and anticipation, but that was not the story to be written.

“We had tragedy, and when that happened, I could have really fallen apart, but [WWE] helped me pick up the pieces and move in a direction that he would have been proud. That is my ongoing mission everyday is to make him proud.”

JV: Did you or he ever think WWE would return to his life?

DW: “That is a really tricky question. In my heart, I couldn’t have imagined him not returning to a place I knew he loved so much with people he loved and respected.

“Even if he fought with them, that’s what families do. Families have fights, and then they make up. You have these epic matches of tough people and tough battles, and my husband had that with [WWE CEO/Chairman] Vince [McMahon], but more than he ever battled him, he loved him.

“So having Triple H reach out a hand and sort of built a bridge between the two of them, I was quietly on the sidelines knowing that’s the best thing that could have happened for both parties -- because ultimately you waste too much time fighting, instead of just getting on and enjoying and respecting and loving and working together.

“I think he would always go back to, ‘Never say never,’ and I would sit on the sidelines and say, ‘It needs to be done.’”

JV: What was he like away from the ring, and did he have any books or TV shows or movies that he loved?

DW: “He was always intense. There’s no doubt about it, but my husband obviously was different than the Ultimate Warrior character. Still, in order to be that character, you had to have a great deal of intensity behind you.

“At home, he was [gasp] the love of my life, and the most incredible father to my girls. He enjoyed movie nights so much. We did that every Saturday night. We all got our popcorn popped and sat on the couch together, and he would let the girls choose any movie they wanted. He was so adorable, because he had such a soft heart, and we had these very girly Disney movies often time, and we’d get to the end, and we looked over at him, and he would get all misty and verklempt over how … [Dana deepens her lovely, spirited voice to speak like him] … ‘Oh what a good movie, good message.’

“He was absolutely adorable, maybe not what you would expect in a house full of girls, but his very favorite movie and the soundtrack and the one he and I loved so much was ‘Braveheart.’ That was out go-to movie, when we needed some inspiration and a warrior movie.”

JV: What was that WWE Hall of Fame experience like for him and for you?

DW: “For him, it was returning home. It was seeing all those guys who he loved and missed and worked with. [Gasp] It was such a warm reception and such a good feeling. Even when I talk about it to you, it conjures about those emotions in my stomach, and I remember how good I felt sitting back and watching him.

“My husband was the performer, and I was like the girl who put up the ring. I was one who did the nuts and bolts stuff, and he was the public personality. So just to watch him in his element was so satisfying for me. It was so fun to watch, and it made me excited for him.”

JV: Did he reveal his WWE Hall of Fame speech to you beforehand?

DW: “He did not let me in on that, but there were little glimpses of it he would run by me or little things he would say, ‘I think I’m going to do this, or I think this is,’ and I would say, ‘Do it. Go for it. You got this. You know what you’re doing.’

“Those were the kind of things he really held close to his vest. Even me, and I was his biggest cheerleader, and we were a team, but he wanted it all to be what he felt, and he didn’t want any outside influence.

“When I sat there [at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.] and listened to it for the first time, I was so overwhelmed with pride. I felt so much pride.”

JV: Did he say anything to you afterward about the whole Hall of Fame and WrestleMania [and Monday Night Raw] experience?

DW: “That weekend was long, and we had gone, gone, gone, and the adrenaline was flowing, and I had not ever really experienced such a whirlwind.

“So we were in bed the night of, after that Monday Night Raw, and neither of us could fall asleep, and it was like little kids at camp. We’re laughing, and we’re talking. There was this feeling of hope and anticipation for [gasp] what the future held and how much he wanted to contribute to WWE and how excited he was for the girls to be in this place that he had felt so at home for so long. So there was nothing but excitement and anticipation and joy – pure joy.”

JV: Did the girls get to see him wrestle through video, DVDs or YouTube?

DW: “They did. He was so humble, and it was so funny because his home life was his home life, and the girls didn’t know a lot about wrestling. One time -- it’s on the DVD, because it’s so cute with [daughter] Indiana -- he was getting something ready. He was putting videos together. He was in the TV room, and she came walking in, and she was tiny, just talking, maybe 3-years-old, and all of a sudden his music comes on and the run to the ring, and he has the face paint and the trunks and the tassels and the wild hair, and she goes right up to the television and puts her hands on the TV. I can remember her tiny, little baby body and her tiny, little hands, and her eyes are as big as saucers, and she says, ‘That’s my daddy. That’s my daddy,’ and he and I just cracked up laughing. How did she know underneath that face paint -- that maniacal man -- that was still daddy? She just knew. He is that person, and that person is ‘my dad.’ It was pretty cute.

“Every once in a while on movie night, I would talk him into putting in a DVD of his best matches, and the girls got the biggest kick of it, and they teased him, too. They made fun of his hair and his 80s style, but they were really proud.

“My younger one [Mattigan] really hopes someday she can claw her way to the top of the business, too. All she would do is shake her head, when she watched the DVDs of her dad, and go, ‘That’s so cool. That’s so cool dad.’ It was really, really fun.”

JV: What is that positive message he has for kids, for people?

DW: “Always believe. That blankets so many things. I’m sitting here, and I have one of his paintings where he drew his logo and painted ‘Always Believe’ across it. He wanted children of all ages, up until our adulthood, to believe in yourself, to believe in the dream, to never stop striving to be the best you could, to never give up, You can be better today than you were yesterday, and tomorrow you can be better. There was never a ceiling for my husband. He never thought there should be a place where you would say, ‘Oh, it’s good enough.’ You would always believe in the next step for your future. Thank goodness he imparted that message to me, because even when the worst thing happened, I clung to the fact that I, too, must always believe.”

Twitter @UltimateWarrior

About Insight Editions:

Insight Editions is a publisher focused on creating superlative illustrated books on photography, music, and popular culture. Lavishly produced and visually stimulating, every volume from Insight is dedicated to the skillful interplay of word and image.

The books produced are unique works that combine the highest quality print production values with time-honored traditions of publishing and rich subject matter. Elegant and informative, books from Insight showcase the best of art and photography in exquisite presentations of the bookmaker’s craft.

For information, visit

www.insighteditions.com.

About POWERHOUSE Arena:

The POWERHOUSE Arena is a laboratory for creative thought. Home to world-renowned art book publisher powerHouse books, the Arena is a gallery, boutique, book store, performance, and events space located at 37 Main Street, in New York City’s scenic DUMBO neighborhood.

With soaring 24- foot ceilings on the 5,000 square foot ground floor (with more than 175 linear-feet of glass frontage and amphitheater-style seating), The POWERHOUSE Arena showcases a series of landmark exhibitions, performances, and controlled mayhem fusing the worlds of art, photography, design, fashion, pop culture, advertising, music, dance, film, and television into a glorious whirlwind of captivating spectacle.

For information, visit

www.powerhousearena.com.

- WWE SummerSlam is Sunday, Aug. 23 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on pay-per-view and WWE Network.

Bell time is 7 p.m. EST.

There is a pre-show at 6 p.m. EST on WWE Network.

Visit

http://www.wwe.com/shows/summerslam

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