Just days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, wrestling icon The Ultimate Warrior died on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at age 54.
Sadly, he died suddenly and horrifically, right in front of his wife. According to TMZ, Warrior collapsed without warning outside an Arizona hotel at 5:50PM Tuesday while walking to his car with his wife.
He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Around 6AM Tuesday morning, just hours before his death, Warrior posed for pictures at the airport in New Orleans with fans where he was reportedly in great spirits.
Following the announcement, WWE officials released this statement:
Warrior, real name James Brian Hellwig began his career in 1987 and through the years became one of the biggest wrestling stars in the company. He defeated Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI to win the world title, and held several title belts in his lengthy career.
On Saturday the wrestling legend was honored during the Hall of Fame induction — a ceremony that also marked his return to WWE after an 18-year hiatus. During his Hall of Fame speech, he announced that he’d signed a new multi-year deal with WWE to serve as an official ambassador. That was great news for Warrior, the WWE network, and all the worldwide fans.
Then on Monday Night Raw, Warrior appeared again and gave a warming speech to the sold-out crowd. It was a great moment to watch as he placed a warrior face mask on and shook the ropes, and did the whole Ultimate Warrior routine. Epic to say the least.
However during the induction into the Hall of Fame and his appearance on Raw, it was obvious that the Ultimate Warrior was not himself. He was sweating profusely, and seemed to be out of breath. Even when he shook the ropes, he appeared weak and weathered. But after nearly two decades of not being in the ring, no one wanted to question.
But it also leaves the question — did Warrior know he was going to die? During his Monday Night Raw speech, he spoke about fighting for your dreams, no matter what, and that every man takes his last breath. Was he alluding to his own death? We can speculate all we want but the matter is that we have lost a great inspiration — a real life Hero has passed and now we mourn.
You can watch his last epic moments from the Hall of Fame & Monday Night Raw below:
Monday Night Raw!
Hall of Fame speech
RIP Warrior. You will live on forever!