Known for his unintelligible interviews and superhero-like physique, former WWF champion “The Ultimate Warrior” is a professional wrestling legend, despite his relatively brief time in the industry.
In a bizarre consequence of timing, the wrestler formerly known as Jim Hellwig died a day after speaking to his own mortality during a live taping of WWE RAW – his first appearance in the show in nearly two decades:
Two days prior, Hellwig (who legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993) was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame – something most wrestling fans assumed would never happen due to the bad blood between him and Vince McMahon.
While he made enemies later in his life due to his outspoken political views, I’ll always fondly remember watching him (via a scrambled cable signal no less) come to Hulk Hogan’s rescue at Wrestlemania VIII, as well as me and my wrestling buddies marking out over his WCW debut in 1998. I’m glad he was able to make his peace with the industry that made him famous, and say goodbye to all his fans during the days leading up to his death.
Currently there is no official word on the cause of death, but as with most wrestlers who die early, it’s not a stretch to assume he had heart issues stemming from steroid abuse.
He leaves behind two young daughters, his wife, and his mother.
Rest in peace, Ultimate Warrior.