WWE Star The Ultimate Warrior Dies Aged 54
Veteran grappler collapses just days after his induction into the WWE Hall Of Fame...
Former WWE star The Ultimate Warrior has passed away at the age of 54.
The veteran wrestler, real name James Hellwig, was only inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame three days before his collapse outside an Arizona hotel.
Hellwig was transported to a hospital by ambulance, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Following his induction into the Hall Of Fame on Saturday, he appeared at WWE Raw on Monday in New Orleans and gave a speech which now seems poignant.
"As I thought about what I was going to say this evening, it's been hard for me to find the words," he began.
He then pulled out a mask with markings similar to his trademark facepaint and switched into his ring voice.
"Well then, Warrior, you shut up then and let me do the talking," he roared. "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 by the storytellers, by the loyalty, by the memory."
A statement from the organisation read: "WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior.
"Warrior began his WWE career in 1987 and quickly went on to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history. Warrior became WWE Champion at WrestleMania VI, defeating Hulk Hogan in an epic encounter.
"We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans. WWE sends its sincere condolences to Warrior’s family, friends and fans."
Hellwig had feuded with WWE top brass in the past, but appeared to have made peace by the time he was inducted into the Hall Of Fame on Saturday - publicly embracing WWE head honcho Vince McMahon.
He is survived by a wife and two daughters.