Pro wrestler James Brian Hellwig, better known as “The Ultimate Warrior,” has died, according to a statement on WWE website. He was 54 years old.
The news comes shortly after Hellwig was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame. “WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior,” said WWE in a statement published on the company’s website. There was no word on cause of death.
According to reports, the former wrestler collapsed outside an Arizona hotel at 5:50pm on Tuesday while walking to his car with his wife. Warrior was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
WWE president Vince McMahon posted the news on Twitter, and fellow wrestlers paid tribute.
Helwig, who legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993, started his WWE career in 1987, where he quickly became a star, instantly recognisable by his face paint. He defeated Hulk Hogan and became WWE Champion at WrestleMania VI.
His last public appearance was April 7, at WWE Raw. “Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat, his lungs breathe their final breath,” he said.