News

Former WWE star The Ultimate Warrior dies at 54

Former WWE star The Ultimate Warrior dies at 54

ULTIMATE WARRIOR:he Ultimate Warrior speaks during the WWE Hall of Fame Induction at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday, April 5. Photo: Associated Press/Jonathan Bachman

(Reuters) – The Ultimate Warrior, one of U.S. professional wrestling’s most celebrated names, has died at the age of 54, days after being inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc Hall of Fame, the company said late on Tuesday.

“WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior,” the Stamford, Connecticut-based company said on its website.

The Ultimate Warrior, whose given name was James Hellwig, began his WWE career in 1987 and rose to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history, the company said, highlighting an “epic encounter” in which he defeated Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI to become a WWE Champion.

The cause of his death was not given. He was added to the Hall of Fame on April 5.

PHOTOS: 2014 Notable Deaths

“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,” World Wrestling Entertainment said.

The 6-foot, 2-inch tall, 280-pound wrestler commanded the ring in his signature neon garb and long, blond hair, and face paint, WWE said.

His family could not immediately be reached, and an email sent through his website was not immediately answered.

In a statement on his website peppered with sarcasm, Hellwig expounded on philosophy and funneling energy from the ring into writing, motivational speaking, and his family life after retiring in the late 1990s.

“Ultimate Warrior ran because I was running him. He was intense because I already was. Whatever I am doing – wrestling, writing, working out, speaking, even weaving pot holders – I am going to do it with action and intensity,” Hellwig wrote.

“I have built an incredibly empowered life on my OWN terms. As a devoted husband and father, I could not have custom-ordered a more loving, healthy, spirit-filled, and happy home life,” he wrote.

Fans, supporters and wrestlers took to the internet to express their respect for the wrestler, who is survived by his wife Dana and his two daughters, WWE said.

“Shocked and very saddened to hear about Ultimate Warrior passing. Prayers go out to his family! RIP. Loss for words,” wrestler Curtis wrote in a Twitter message.

“RIP WARRIOR. only love. HH,” Hulk Hogan tweeted.

“Tomorrow is promised to know one!!” fellow Hall of Famer Rowdy Roddy Piper tweeted. “My love to The Warrior and family.

RIP.”

“Icon and friend,” WWE Chief Operating Officer Triple H wrote in a Twitter message.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Recent Headlines

4 hours ago in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘How To Be Single’ feels the same while trying too hard to be different

22-overlay-9

"How to Be Single" makes a valiant attempt to send up rom-com clichés but it borrows so much from other, better movies that you start to wonder if the film’s title should be "How to Commit Larceny."

5 hours ago in Music

Springsteen promises to show his mind in autobiography

springsteen

Springsteen, 66, has been working on the autobiography, called "Born to Run," for seven years.

6 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Star Wars’ producers face charges in Harrison Ford’s on-set accident

18-overlay-7

The "Indiana Jones" star broke his leg when the door of the Millennium Falcon fell on him during filming in 2014.