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Moments in Cult: When The Ultimate Warrior Beat the Hell Out of Phil Collins

No, this isn’t another occasion like Sting or Sid Vicious, where a wrestler and a prominent rock musician share the same name. At the pinnacle of his popularity as part of his once-lost 1990 TV special “Seriously… Phil Collins” Genesis frontman and Oscar winner Phil Collins once went toe-to-toe in the squared circle with The Ultimate Warrior

“Seriously… Phil Collins” follows three television executives as they struggle to brainstorm ideas for Phil Collins’ one-hour special, bouncing them off of Collins and his talking dog (voiced by Paul Shaffer). Along with three executives (Gilbert Gottfried, Jeffrey Tambor, and Vanessa Williams), we get cameos from Bruce Willis, “Weird” Al Yankovic, John Candy, Ed Lover, and Doctor Dre.

One of their ideas: Phil Collins vs. then-WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior.

Things begin innocently enough with Collins and The Warrior dad-dancing to “Two Hearts,” until suddenly a wrestling match breaks out. If you’ve ever craved to see Phil Collins brutally assaulted, set to the tune of Phil Collins, this is the TV special for you. Ultimately (and Warrior-ly), it dissolves back as Gottfried bemoans what a dreadful idea Warrior-Collins was.

He was wrong of course.

The bizarre Collins-Warrior connection derives from professional wrestling trainer Monster Factory founder Larry Sharpe. A friend who owned a television studio contacted Sharpe about borrowing one of his rings to shoot an as-of-yet unplanned bit with the two media icons. Sharpe was asked to referee, which led to him having a sit-down chat with Collins and realizing he had a student who was the same height and weight. The colossal collision was born by putting a matching skull cap on both Collins and his double, and thanks to the magic of tight editing Collins v Warrior was born.

While the special was aired once and never broadcast again, it eventually re-emerged as an extra on 2004’s Phil Collins: Finally… The First Farewell Tour DVD.

If this evening you hear something calling in the air tonight, there’s a decent chance it’s the spirit of the Ultimate Warrior.

 

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Stephen Pryde-Jarman is a Cult TV and Film journalist, award winning short story writer, playwright and screenwriter. A natural hoarder, second hand shopping fulfils his basic human need for hunter-gathering; but rummaging through a charity shop’s bric-a-brac shelf also brought him the inspiration for his novel Rubble Girl having seen a picture of a Blitz survivor sat amongst the rubble of her house with a cup and saucer. Rubble Girl has been described as " thought-provoking" and "fast paced ... with plenty of twists and turns." Amazon.

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