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“You have zero chance to make a frigging nickel in this business the way you are” – Dutch Mantell wanted two former WWE Superstars to improve

ByRD Media

Dec 14, 2022

Dutch Mantell has recalled how he did not have high hopes for Sting and The Ultimate Warrior’s future in-ring prospects in the 1980s.

Mantell managed the wrestling legends in Memphis at the start of their careers. Sting (then known as Flash) and Warrior (then known as Justice) possessed impressive physiques, but they had limited wrestling experience.

On Story Time with Dutch Mantell, the veteran wrestling booker reflected on his first impression of the former tag team partners:

“I wanted to tell them, ‘Guys, as of right now, you have zero chance to make a frigging nickel in this business the way you are,'” Mantell said. “What I was trying to tell them is, ‘Guys, you need work – and a lot of it – and you need to go out there and [improve].’ They finally got that push is when I think Warrior went to Texas, but you can only do so much with so little.” [0:35 – 1:09]

Mantell previously said Sting and Warrior were “basically still fans” at the time. He also described their in-ring performances as “worse than horrible.”

How Dutch Mantell compensated for Sting and The Ultimate Warrior’s lack of skills

While both men later made their names as singles stars, Dutch Mantell initially booked Sting and The Ultimate Warrior as a tag team.

Mantell felt that the rookie wrestlers’ poor conditioning would have been exposed if they competed in one-on-one matches:

“We had longer matches in Memphis, and that’s why we put him in a tag match, because at least if the match was 10 minutes, at most he [Warrior] could do five, and he was having trouble doing that. Sting was in better shape, not that much better, because he was all puffed up and blown up.” [2:43 – 3:06]

Sting and Warrior became huge stars in the NWA/WCW and WWE, respectively, in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Warrior passed away in 2014 at the age of 54, three days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Sting, 63, also joined the Hall of Fame in 2016. He still wrestles for AEW to this day.

What did you make of Sting and The Ultimate Warrior as wrestlers? Let us know in the comments section below.

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