WWE Legend Ultimate Warrior Dead At 54
Just days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, wrestling legend Ultimate Warrior has died.
WWE officials confirmed the news in a statement Tuesday evening (April 8). "WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior," the statement reads.
The Warrior (real name: James Hellwig) was just 54 years old.
TMZ says the former wrestler collapsed outside an Arizona hotel at 5:50 PM Tuesday while walking to his car with his wife. He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
It's sad news for fans, especially coming off a big weekend for Warrior... where he returned to the WWE after an 18-year absence. On Saturday (April 5), he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014 in New Orleans during a special ceremony, which also included fellow inductee Mr. T. The following day, he appeared at WrestleMania XXX and then on WWE RAW on Monday evening (April 7), his first appearance on the show since 1996.
During Monday's episode of WWE Raw, he slipped on his mask and embraced his character a final time, before saying that the Ultimate Warrior would live on ... forever. "No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own," he said. "Every man's heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them bleed deeper in something that's larger than life, then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized by the storytellers -- by the loyalty, by the memory of those who honor him, and make the running the man did live forever.
"You, you, you, you, you," he said, pointing to the fans, "are the legend-makers of Ultimate Warrior."
The Ultimate Warrior began his career in 1987 and would go on to defeat Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI to become WWE Champion... and cement his place in promotion's history.