Tributes to the Ultimate Warrior are flooding the Internet after his untimely passing at the age of 54.
The wrestling community was especially saddened by the news. Another legend of the wrestling business gone much too soon.
Tim Disbrow, a director and producer, once had the pleasure of working with Jim “The Warrior” Hellwig on a video. He was kind enough to share his memories of the maniacal but memorable Ultimate Warrior.
“Well…I was honored to be working with Warrior on a non-scripted project called ‘Warrior University.’ Over the summer we shot a pilot episode. The idea was basically Warrior Boot Camp. He took 10 wrestling fans and put them through a CRAZY day of “character building”.
The shoot began at 4am, when he woke the group up and made them walk from the hotel they were at to the training center (about 4 miles). From there it was a non-stop barrage of intense physical activities including flipping tractor tires, carrying bags of sand, crawling on pavement with 20lb chains around their necks ( Ya know, my normal workout routine.)
The thing to remember is that Mr. Warrior….IS THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR. The entire time these poor folks were being voluntarily tortured, Warrior was SCREAMING at them to keep going. I don’t mean Military style, drill instructor yelling. I’m talking: ‘SHOVE THE PLANE INTO A NOSEDIVE–HULK-HOGAN!’ kind of yelling. As one 40-something year old man was gasping for air and trying to keep from fainting, Warrior posed to him this question: ‘WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO TELL YOU’RE FAMILY WHEN THE SHIT HITS THE FAN AND YOU CAN’T PROTECT THEM?!’ The man was certainly motivating! At points I felt really terrible for the guys taking part in the show. Hell, I paid my crew extra cause that morning was so strenuous.
I’m not sure I ever heard Warrior not yelling. That was just the natural tone of his voice. He had the same intensity during the filming of the show as he did at lunch with myself and the crew. I have voice mails on my phone that all start: ‘TIM – THIS IS WARRIOR!’
Anyhow, that show was something I was very honored to be working on, not just because it seemed like a fun show to be a part of but because it was the Warrior. I grew up with Warrior. I was there in the Hoosier Dome when he sprinted to the ring to save Hulk Hogan from Sid Justice and Papa Shango. Warrior is just as much of my childhood as Mr. Rogers or Sesame Street.
Warrior was the genuine article! Honestly a great guy. Intense to his core! During the post production process of the pilot we were sending each other hard drives and tapes back and forth. In one he included a handwritten note (on UW notepaper) that reads ‘Thanks, Tim – Appreciated! Warrior’, I didn’t think much of it and just tacked it up above my desk as a novelty.
That little note is a lot more than just a nostalgic novelty now…”
Rest in peace, Warrior.