The Ultimate Warrior made his WWE debut in 1987. Before that, Warrior wrestled for several territories across the nation. But once Warrior was under the commission of the Vince McMahon media machine, he blew up. He went from a relative unknown to becoming the second most celebrated wrestler in the WWE, second only to Hulk Hogan. The Ultimate Warrior went on to capture the WWE Championship in 1990, and soon left the WWE in the summer of 1991. Less than one year later, The Ultimate Warrior returned to the WWE at Wrestlemania 8. When he came back to defend Hulk Hogan from a vicious double team beat down, he looked trimmed down and slim. His hair was much shorter and he truly looked contradictory from when he left the WWE months earlier. And thus, a legend was born.
Fret not wrestling aficionados, it has been ascertained time and time again that there has only been one man who portrayed The Ultimate Warrior. And that man was Jim Hellwig, who legally converted his name to Warrior Warrior in 1993. When the frantic wrestler returned in 1992, all he did was cut his hair and he had narrowed down due to Vince McMahon being investigated for steroid distribution. The former Jim Hellwig has made a few appearances for wrestling conventions in the last couple of years. He has confirmed that there has been only one Ultimate Warrior. In addition, Vince McMahon admitted that there has only been one warrior in the WWE produced DVD "The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior."
Although there has only been one Ultimate Warrior, there has been a few instances of wrestling personalities being re-introduced as a former personality. Here is a list of five imposter wrestlers.
Fake Diesel and Razor Ramon
After Scott Hall and Kevin Nash left the WWE for World Championship Wrestling, Vince McMahon pronounced he was going to reuse the names he created. After all, he owned the trademarks. But the experiment was a conclusive failure and the crowd rejected the new Razor Ramon and Scott Hall. On a funny side note, Diesel was characterized by Glenn Jacobs, who would later become Kane.
At the 1994 Royal Rumble, the Undertaker was stuffed inside a coffin and "buried alive." Months later, Ted Dibiase infiltrated a new Undertaker, played by Brian Lee. The imposter was introduced to fans to set up for a match with the original Undertaker at Summerslam 1994.
Invasion of Doink
One of the most iconic gimmicks of the 90s was Doink the Clown. Matt Borne, who wrestled for WCW as Big Josh, was the original Doink the Clown. A well known substance abuser, Borne was fired from the WWE due to not being able to confine his demons. Since then, Doink the Clown was played by several wrestlers including the Brooklyn Brawler Steve Lombardi and enhancement talent Phil Apollo. Numerous played Doink the Clown during that period of time, until the character was circumstantially retired.
The New Rockers
The popular tag team The Rockers returned to the WWE in 1995, but this time without the talent and charisma of Shawn Michaels. Instead, the tag team consisted of Marty Jannetty and Al Snow. It was a lame endeavor at repackaging an 80s tag team. Much like the other imposters, the gimmick did not last long.
It seems like in pro wrestling, imposters cannot succeed. They are destined to fail. Men like The Rock, Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and John Cena prove that originality is king.