The famous (and famously troubled) professional wrestling star dies just days after Hall of Fame induction.
World Wrestling Entertainment has confirmed that retired Superstar James Brian Hellwig, who famously wrestled under the name "The Ultimate Warrior" in the 80s and 90s, had died at the age of 54.
An amateur bodybuilder before transitioning to wrestling, Hellwig gained early attention as part of the "Blade Runners" tag-team with Steve "Sting" Borden. But it wasn't until he debuted in the then-WWF as "The Ultimate Warrior" in 1987 that his career took off. Though popular with fans, his reputation for volatile and unpredictable behavior (he legally changed his name to "Warrior" in 1993) led to tension during his employment in the 90s and eventual retirement, though he made brief returns to the ring for the WCW and NWE outfits in 1998 and 2008, respectively. In recent years, he had gained new notoriety as a motivational speaker and political-blogger.
In a cruel twist of fate, Warrior's death came just days after having been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame prior to WrestlemaniaXXX. Just over 24 hours prior, he had made a live appearance on Monday Night RAW wherein he told a cheering crowd that "The spirit of The Ultimate Warrior will run forever."
At this time, the circumstances of his passing have not immediately been made public.
Source: World Wrestling Entertainment