Ultimate Warrior died from cardiovascular disease

04/15/2014 2:55 AM

04/15/2014 2:57 AM

PHOENIX -- Authorities in Phoenix say former pro wrestler The Ultimate Warrior died of cardiovascular disease.

Maricopa County spokeswoman Cari Gerchick says that's the finding from an autopsy conducted Thursday by the county Medical Examiner's Office.

The 54-year-old wrestler's given name was James Hellwig. He legally changed it to Warrior in 1993.

He collapsed April 8 while walking with his wife to their car at a Scottsdale hotel and was pronounced dead at a hospital. Scottsdale police have said there were no signs of foul play.

The Ultimate Warrior was one of pro wrestling's biggest stars in the late 1980s, early 1990s. During WrestleMania Weekend in New Orleans, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 5, just three days before his death. He gave a heartfelt speech, thanking fans, on WWE’s signature TV program Monday Night Raw (USA Network), the night before he died.

On Monday, April 14, WWE paid tribute to the Ultimate Warrior throughout Raw, and WWE Network is honoring him with various Ultimate Warrior programming during the week.

Video links for WWE Raw tribute and more Ultimate Warrior

http://www.wwe.com/videos/a-tribute-to-the-memory-of-the-ultimate-warrior-raw-april-14-2014-26235644

http://www.wwe.com/videos/playlists/raw-april-14-2014-highlights

http://www.wwe.com/inside/ultimate-warrior-passes-away-26223975

• Miami Herald wrestling editor Jim Varsallone contributed to this report.

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