Wrestling Icon 'Ultimate Warrior' Dead at 54
James Brian Hellwig collapsed outside hotel
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2014 9:00 AM CDT
In this April 5, 2014 file photo, James Hellwig, aka Ultimate Warrior, is escorted by his daughters to the stage during the WWE Hall of Fame Induction.   (Jonathan Bachman/AP Images for WWE, File)

(Newser) – The Ultimate Warrior was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Saturday, appeared at WrestleMania XXX on Sunday, and on Monday, he appeared on Monday Night Raw for the first time in years. Yesterday he died unexpectedly, at the age of 54. "Every man's heart one day beats its final beat," he had said during what would turn out to be his final appearance Monday. "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."

Warrior, who was born James Brian Hellwig but changed his name in 1993, started wrestling in 1987 and soon became an icon of the sport and one of its biggest stars, ESPN reports. He's being mourned by his colleagues, including "longtime nemesis" Hulk Hogan, the New York Post reports. "RIP WARRIOR. only love. HH," tweeted Hogan, whom the Warrior defeated at 1990's WrestleMania VI. The Warrior had been away from WWE for 18 years prior to this past weekend, during which he announced he had signed a deal to be an official ambassador for the company. His cause of death is not yet known, but TMZ reports that he was walking outside an Arizona hotel last night with his wife when he collapsed. He also leaves behind two daughters.

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Apr 9, 2014 2:01 PM CDT
Back when my nephews were younger, they were serious WWE fans and while babysitting them, I got to watch enough pro wrestling to lose a few IQ points. I learned enough about it to know this guy was nuttier than a 50-lb fruitcake, a lousy wrestler, and using steroids to the point where his butt swelled up. So he gets called an icon and inducted into a "Hall of Fame". Go figure.
Apr 9, 2014 1:57 PM CDT
So sad. But also that final speech is a pretty awesome thing to say in public the day before you die.
Apr 9, 2014 11:57 AM CDT
I thought he was one of the ones who beat the odds. Sad to see his two young daughters have to experience this.