Jeremy Padawer who signed Warrior to a deal for the Jakks Pacific Classic Superstars deal posted a message on the WrestlingFigs.com forum on the passing of ultimate Warrior:
I feel compelled to write this tonight about Warrior. I just received a text from my friends at WrestlingFigs.com alerting me that Warrior has passed. I’m blown away. Just a few days ago, I was sitting in the crowd at WrestleMania XXX, admiring Warrior’s clearly terrific relationship with his two little girls. Warrior was a shrewd businessman, a loving father and a branding expert.
Warrior was there at the very beginning of the JAKKS WWE Classic Superstars Series #1. He was one of the very first phone calls I made back in mid-2003 at the very start of the Classic series. I knew that Warrior in the assortment would blow people away. I thought there would be no way Vince would allow it. And, I thought even if Vince allowed it, there would be no way Warrior would join. Well, it never hurts to ask.
Vince said, “if you can sign him, sign him.” I called Warrior. He was keenly aware of his legacy, and I convinced him that we were going to do the best line of WWE / WWF action figures ever. If Warrior had said no, I wonder whether you the collector would have believed in the line. Probably not.
After about an hour of discussions and many promises regarding his personal approvals on deco, sculpt, soft goods, packaging, the financial terms and his acquisition of a few limited release 1 of 20 figures (for him only), Warrior agreed to the deal. Several months later we shipped Classic Superstars Series #1. And, we continued shipping the Classic series for 7 more years.
Warrior’s Classic Superstars deal reflected a brilliant mind for negotiation. He knew the limited edition figures were valuable. He got it immediately. Warrior had the mind of a collector, and because of that, we stayed on the same page. Moreover, his personal approvals reflected his creative nature and level of detail he demanded was second to none.
Most importantly, there wasn’t a phone call between us that didn’t include Warrior speaking about his two little girls. And, that hits home tonight. I have two girls. When we began talking about Classics, Warrior was 43. I’ll be 41 this year. Ugh. Life is fleeting. I was 29 when we started Classic Superstars – a kid. Mind you, I didn’t know I was a kid at the time. And, I can say I learned a lot from Warrior. He treated me with a great deal of respect, trusted me, and we exceeded his lofty expectations.
One final note and this one really hits the irony of Warrior. He took a lot of grief for changing his name to Warrior. Many accused him of not letting go. And, yet, if you looked at him last night on Raw or at Wrestlemania XXX, you saw a father and not a Superstar. His wrestling persona of paint, tassels and long hair were long gone. The irony is that he let go of that a long, long time ago. He was Warrior – a father, a businessman, and someone very in tune with his brand and in tune with who he had become.
Thank you, Warrior. Goodbye. :-(