The former pro wrestler, who was just inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday, was 54.
The wrestler was walking down a hallway at the Gainey Suites Hotel in Scottsdale, AZ as he headed toward his car with his wife. He suddenly stopped and clutched his chest before falling to the ground.
Hellwig was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
James Hellwig started wresting in 1987 and legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993.
He found fame after he beat Hulk Hogan in 1990’s Wrestlemania VI, the highlight of his 13-year wrestling career.
Hellwig had an on-going feud with the management of WWE, which included several lawsuits, but was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Just a day before his death, Warrior made an appearance in the ring at WWE Raw in New Orleans.
He put on a mask that resembled his famous painted face as he channeled his alter-ego, giving a speech that eerily foreshadowed his death.
Warrior stated, “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 what makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them bleed deeper and something larger than life then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized. By the story tellers, 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, you are the legend makers of Ultimate Warrior. In the back I see many potential legends. Some of them with warrior spirits. And you will do the same for them. You will decide if they lived with the passion and intensity. So much so that you will tell your stories and you will make them legends, as well. I am The Ultimate Warrior. You are the Ultimate Warrior fans and the spirit of Ultimate Warrior will run forever.”
WWE COO Triple H wrote, “Saddened to announce the passing of the Ultimate Warrior. Icon and friend. My sympathy to his wife Dana and his daughters”.
Dwayne Johnson, The Rock, posted, “Loss always has a way of reminding us to live and love as greatly as we can. My prayers and strength to his family. RIP Ultimate Warrior.”
Hulk Hogan, who had his dirty laundry aired previously by Warrior, simply tweeted, “RIP WARRIOR. Only love.”
WWE.com released a statement that reads, “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.”
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