Former wrestler James Brian Hellwig more famously and later officially known as The Ultimate Warrior or just Warrior has passed away. He was just 54. Warrior was best known for his appearances in the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) from 1987 to 1991 and again in 1992 and 1996, and in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1998. Warrior passed away on April 8th, 2014 at the age of 54. After a brief bodybuilding career, Hellwig joined a few fellow bodybuilders, including Steve Borden aka Sting, who were trying to make the transition to wrestling. He began his professional wrestling career as Jim “Justice” Hellwig of Powerteam USA in 1985 and performed for smaller promotions he debut for WCW in 86 and stayed till he moved to the WWF/E in 1987 where he got an early push.
Less than a year after his WWF television debut, Warrior won the prestigious Intercontinental Championship, defeating The Honky Tonk Man in 27 seconds at the first ever SummerSlam on August 29, 1988. The Warrior was heralded as the wrestler to become the biggest star of the 1990s, and the successor to Hulk Hogan, who had remained wrestling’s biggest star throughout the 1980s and went on to defeat Hogan at Wrestlemania VI after a Warrior Splash to become the first, and as of 2013, only wrestler to hold the WWF Intercontinental and World Championships simultaneously. Warrior would go on to feud with Savage, and the rivalry culminated in a ‘Career Ending’ match at WrestleMania VII with the Warrior victorious, forcing Savage to retire. Apparently disputes over his high payment demands and royalties led to him being suspended in 1991 until his return mid 1992. Between November 1992 and July 1995, Warrior was semi-retired. During his time away from the WWF, Warrior opened the short-lived “Warrior University”, a professional wrestling school based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Though he made brief returns since he retired in 1999 and has been a motivations speaker & writing comics.
On April 5, 2014, the Ultimate Warrior was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014. Warrior appeared at WrestleMania XXX and delivered a promo on Raw the next night. He’s been married twice and has two daughter with his second wife. Warrior collapsed outside of an Arizona hotel at approximately 5:50 p.m. on April 8, 2014. He was reported to be walking with his wife to his car during the moment of his initial collapse and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Cause of death not given at this time.
Warrior (June 16, 1959 – April 8, 2014), born James Brian Hellwig