“Every man's heart one day beats its final beat,” said The Ultimate Warrior in his WWE Hall of Fame induction speech. “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 by the storytellers, by the loyalty, by the memory.”
James Hellwig died three days later at the age of 54.
The Ultimate Warrior was an icon of the wrestling world, a showman in neon face paint and shaggy hair who legally changed his last name to “Warrior.” In 1988 he dethroned The Honky Tonk Man in only seconds at Summerslam at Madison Square Garden. He used his signature “big splash” move to beat Hulk Hogan in Wrestlemania VI, crowning him the champion of the WWF.
We are all so sad that the Ultimate Warrior has passed away. Our heart is with his wife Dana and his two daughters.— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) April 9, 2014
RIP WARRIOR. only love. HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) April 9, 2014
Loss always has a way of reminding us to live and love as greatly as we can. My prayers and strength to his family. RIP Ultimate Warrior.— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 9, 2014
Saddened to announce the passing of the Ultimate Warrior. Icon and friend. My sympathy to his wife Dana and his daughters— Triple H (@TripleH) April 9, 2014
Deeply saddened. We just had a great talk & buried a senseless hatchet. Talked working together. RIP Warrior. Taking solace we made peace.— JakeSnakeDDT (@JakeSnakeDDT) April 9, 2014
Break my heart. I love you forever #RIPUltimateWarrior— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) April 9, 2014
Tomorrow is promised to know one!! Enjoy every second, with a tool called love!! My love to The Warrior and family. RIP— Rowdy Roddy Piper (@R_Roddy_Piper) April 9, 2014
Just heard a horrible rumor...please tell me @UltimateWarrior is ok ..,,,— Scott Hall (@SCOTTHALLNWO) April 9, 2014
So happy I embraced Warrior with a hug when we saw each other backstage Saturday night.My heart goes out to his family.Always Believe.— Kevin Nash (@RealKevinNash) April 9, 2014
Sad to pass along the news that the Ultimate Warrior has died. Condolences to his wife & two, young daughters. RIP Warrior— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) April 9, 2014