Former professional wrestler The Ultimate Warrior died suddenly yesterday of a heart attack. He was 54.
Warrior’s death came only 24 hours after appearing on World Wrestling Entertainment’s RAW program for the first time in nearly 18 years. This appearance followed his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday. I watched an excerpt of the induction speech on Monday night and remember his heartfelt tribute to his wife and two young daughters. Needless to say, I can only imagine what they are now going through.
During his appearance on RAW, Warrior told the audience:
No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized.
In light of passing those words become even more meaningful.
Warrior (who was born Jim Hellwig and later legally changed his name to Warrior) rose to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His energetic ring entranceand intense mannerisms in what was then known as the WWF and became its champion when he defeated Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania VI in Toronto.
After his wrestling career ended in the late 1990s, Warrior became a vocal conservative and was invited to speak to conservative audiences. He was also an accomplished sketch artist as these drawings of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain demonstrate. Warrior’s light is now extinguished, but it burned bright.