Jim Hellwig, who wrestled under the name the Ultimate Warrior, is reportedly dead at the age of 54.
The Ultimate Warrior was recently inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame and made an appearance on Monday Night Raw. He had also signed a new Legends contract with WWE only a few days ago.
The WWE released a statement about the Ultimate Warrior's death saying,
"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."
Hellwig started off as a body builder and even won the title of Mr. Georgia in 1984. He gave up bodybuilding and began wrestling on Powerteam USA along with Steve Borden, who would become the professional wrestler Sting. Hellwig and Borden left Powerteam USA and began wrestling as a tag team with Jerry Jarett's Continental Wrestling Association.
The tag team later changed their names to the Blade Runners and moved to Mid-South wrestling. Hellwig and Borden eventually parted ways and Hellwig began to play the character of the Ultimate Warrior while wrestling with WCCW in the late 80's. He left WCCW in 1987 and signed a contract with the WWF. He took the Ultimate Warrior name and character with him.
The Ultimate Warrior found success while wrestling with the WWF and throughout his career he often feuded with Mr. Perfect, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, and the Honky Tonk Man. He left the WWF and signed with WCW in 1998 where he feuded with Hollywood Hulk Hogan and the NWO. The Warrior's last appearance with WCW was on the November 9, 1998 edition of Nitro. He officially retired the following year.
During The Ultimate Warrior's most recent appearance on RAW, he eerily referenced death and his legacy saying,
"No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man's heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe a 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 and something 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. 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. Ultimate. You are the Ultimate Warrior fans. And the spirit of Ultimate Warrior will run forever!"
The Ultimate Warrior was an amazing wrestler and an inspiration to many. He will be missed, but remembered fondly by his family, fellow wrestlers and his fans.
What was your favorite Ultimate Warrior match?
Image via YouTube