The Ultimate Warrior has died … this according to the WWE.
Warrior — real name James Hellwig — was a true WWE legend … and was one of the most iconic wrestlers of all time. He was 54-years-old.
Warrior was just inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before Wrestlemania XXX this weekend … and last night, he made his first appearance on “Monday Night Raw” in years.
Born James Brian Hellwig, Warrior was among the most memorable and long-lasting characters in WWE history. With long, feathered hair, distinctive face paint designs that matched his trunks and an energetic, frenetic demeanor, Warrior was always destined to stand out. But it was the constant energy, unforgettable backstage shoots and classic rivalry with Hulk Hogan that helped keep him in the minds of wrestling fans to this day.
Warrior was the type of performer that, no matter what he did, gave everything—and then some. There are numerous compilations of old Warrior promos sprinkled across the Internet, his intensity never wavering and his decibels of emotion fluctuating from a barely audible whisper to an enraged shout. His ring entrances were also among the most lauded in the sport’s history, with Warrior scampering to the ring full sprint before violently shaking the ropes on all four sides.
“The Ultimate Warrior is a legend…Ultimate Warrior fans are legendary,” Warrior said in his acceptance speech (via Brian Fritz of the Orlando Sentinel). “He was appreciative of his time in the ring, saying he was glad he got to ‘experience the magic.’ The Ultimate Warrior didn’t give me what I needed to make a match work, it gave me what I needed to make life worth.”
Of course, Warrior was far more than just a memorable character. He was also a wildly accomplished in-ring performer. He held the intercontinental championship multiple times and then defeated Hogan at Wrestlemania VI to capture his first WWE (then WWF) championship in 1990.
Like many characters of his ilk, though, Warrior’s time in the spotlight was only outshined by the notability of his departure. Warrior left and came back to WWE programming at different stages in the early 1990s, with bad blood festering for years beyond his last hurrah with the company in 1996.
Although Warrior would join WCW for a short period, his career as a wrestler was effectively over. He rebranded himself as a public speaker, earning a living by capitalizing on the intensity of his past Warrior promos—just without the makeup.
With years having passed since they had severed ties, the feud between WWE and Warrior soon began to thaw. His induction into the Hall of Fame was seen by many as a reintegration of Warrior—a classic character despite his short run—into the wrestling world. Monday’s promo in many ways indicated that he still had it, with the New Orleans crowd feeding off his every word.
Warrior is survived by his wife, Dana, and two daughters.
Source: TMZ & BleacherReport