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Ultimate Warrior, aka Jim Hellwig, dead at 54, friends in wrestling mourn WWE Hall of Famer
WWE says it is saddened to announce the death of The Warrior, who appeared on 'Raw' for the first time since 1996 this past Monday on the heels of his induction in the WWE Hall of Fame, which took place at Wrestlemania XXX this past weekend.
BY Daniel O'leary
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 1:33 AM
Updated: Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 9:14 AM
Jim Hellwig, who played The Ultimate Warrior in the then-WWF in the late '80s and early '90s, passed away Tuesday, according to the WWE.
Hellwig was rumored to have died after he dropped out of the wrestling scene in the early '90s. He referenced these rumors in a commercial for the video game WWE2K14.
The Ultimate Warrior speaks during his WWE Hall of Fame Induction at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday, before Wrestlemania XXX.
Warrior is survived by his wife and two daughters, who escorted him to the stage for his WWE Hall of Fame Induction.
WWE HALL OF FAME ULTIMATE WARRIOR FULL SPEECH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8pbw6GOh7o
Jim Hellwig, the man who portrayed the immensely popular wrestler "The Ultimate Warrior," has died, according to the WWE.
He was 54.
Hellwig collapsed outside an Arizona hotel at 5:50 p.m. while walking to his car on Tuesday. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, reports TMZ.
Hellwig’s death comes just after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame before Wrestlemania XXX in New Orleans this weekend.
He appeared on “Monday Night Raw” this week for the first time since July 1996.
Hellwig burst onto the wrestling scene in the late '80s and skyrocketed to fame in the early '90s and he was seemingly gone just as quickly. After The Warrior disappeared from what was then the WWF, rumors that he had passed away filled up wrestling circles.
Rumored contract disputes with Vince McMahon were blamed for The Warrior dropping out of the public eye. Upon his return to the ring, skeptics said that it was a different person portraying The Warrior. Just like that, he was gone again.
Hellwig, who had his name legally changed to Warrior, made a comeback recently, beginning with a commercial for the video game WWE2K14 -- the first time he was seen regularly by the masses of fanatics he left wanting more.
In the ad, he seemingly acknowledged the rumors of his death, saying: "Not even the Grim Reaper, starving to get his hands on my Warrior soul, can keep me from hearing the battle cries of the warriors in the WWE universe to experience WWE 2K14."
The WWE released a statement on its website about The Warrior’s passing:
“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."