According to multiple sources, including the WWE, professional wrestling legend, The Ultimate Warrior –real name James Hellwig — collapsed outside a hotel in Arizona and has died at 54-years-old.
From the WWE
WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior began his WWE career in 1987 and quickly went on to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history. Warrior became WWE Champion at WrestleMania VI, defeating Hulk Hogan in an epic encounter. We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans. WWE sends its sincere condolences to Warrior’s family, friends and fans. Warrior was 54 and is survived by his wife Dana and his two daughters.
What a sad day. And I say that as someone who hasn’t consistently watched professional wrestling in well over a decade. But man, when I did The Ultimate Warrior was my favorite wrestler. It was no contest. I had his Wrestling Buddy and everything. His intensity, cool face paint, entrance music, incoherent promos and the fact that he was WAY more ripped than any other wrestler at the time made him easy for a kid to root for, but I think my favorite thing about the Warrior was always that he hailed from “Parts Unknown.” It made those times when he left the company — probably over contract disputes — much more interesting for a 10-year-old kid. “Where’d he go for the last 6 months? “Ah, fuckin’ back to Parts Unknown, obviously.”
I never knew much of Hellwig’s disputes with Vince McMahon or how rocky his relationship with the WWE was, but I always thought he left the WWE way too early, and now I’ll think the same thing about his exit from this life, too. R.I.P. Warrior.