World Wrestling Entertainment announced on its web site late Tuesday night the death of Warrior, born James Brian Hellwig, better known as newly inducted WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior. He legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993.
He was 54.
The statement reads:
“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. Warrior was 54 and is survived by his wife, Dana, and his two daughters.
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More on Warrior
The Ultimate Warrior was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 5 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. He was acknowledged for the honor during WrestleMania 30 the following night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
During WWE Monday Night Raw on April 7, Warrior returned to the Smoothie King Center where he addressed fans, thanking them for making him a WWE Hall of Famer and someone who will always be remembered. Raw is broadcast live each Monday on the USA Network.
His death came as a shock.
No details were given as to the cause.
WWE fan James @Jamesfspencer who met the Ultimate Warrior and his wife on Tuesday morning, the day of his death, at the New Orleans Airport and had a photo taken with him.
“I met the ultimate warrior this morning at New Orleans airport pic.twitter.com/BlafbrEUyc”
James also answered tweets from people tweeting him questions about it, after learning of Warrior’s death.
“...he seemed really happy especially for that time in the morning both he and his wife were so nice.”
“he just said thank you after I congratulated him. His wife took the photo both really pleasant.”
“I'm in complete and utter shock”
WWE Hall of Famer Rowdy Roddy Piper: “Tomorrow is promised to know one!! Enjoy every second, with a tool called love!! My love to The Warrior and family. RIP.”
Former TNA and WWE superstar Orlando Jordan, who wrestled him in 2008 in Spain -- Warrior’s only match since retiring in 1998: “It was a great opportunity working with you in Barcelona and, time did made a difference Brian, RIP. Condolences to Dana & her 2 daughters.”
WWE manager Zeb Colter, aka former manager/wrestler Dirty Dutch Mantell: “Here's a photo of me with Jim [Ultimate Warrior] and Steve [Sting]..in Memphis...the Blade Runners really went all the way to the top.
WWE Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim Ross: “Sad to pass along the news that the Ultimate Warrior has died. Condolences to his wife & two, young daughters. RIP Warrior”
WWE commentator and former WWE superstar John Bradshaw Layfield: “Really saddened to hear about @UltimateWarrior passing away. RIP A tremendous legend.”
Former WCW and WWE superstar Diamond Dallas Page, who inducted Jake the Snake Roberts at the WWE Hall of Famer ceremony where Warrior was also inducted: “Deeply saddened to find out about the passing of #WWE LEGEND, @UltimateWarrior. You & your legacy will FOREVER be remembered in our hearts!”
WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus: “Sad to hear news of Warrior passing. Just seeing him happy last 3 days - it puts life in perspective that it can't be taken for granted. RIP”
Former WCW and WWE superstar Kevin Nash: “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.”
WWE superstar Titus O’Neil: “Very disappointed 2hear of the passing of @WWE HOF #ultimatewarrior my Kids just met him this weekend&I enjoyed meeting his family. #Wow”
WWE superstar Rey Mysterio: “RIP Ultimate Warrior, may God give his family the strength to overcome this tragedy!! Rey619”
WWE superstar Epico: “Met Ultimate Warrior Saturday, now he's gone. Life is crazy. Happy I met one of my childhood heroes, even if it was for a moment #RIPWarrior“
WWE diva Natalya Nattie Neidhart: “Thoughts and prayers go out to Warrior and his family. Incredibly sad to hear this news.”
WWE superstar Cody Rhodes: “I am privileged to have spent some time with Warrior on Sunday and shake his hand. Rest in peace.”
WWE superstar Seth Rollins of The Shield: “I just don't know what to say....Warrior was a huge part of why I fell in love with pro wrestling...Life is too damn short.”
WWE superstar Curtis Axel: “Shocked and very saddened to hear about Ultimate Warrior passing. Prayers go out to his family! RIP. Loss for words...”
WWE superstar Xavier Woods: “Can't believe the news about @UltimateWarrior this is unreal.”
WWE superstar Curt Hawkins: “Blown away by the news of Warrior's passing. My generation grew up on him & his career has a sentimental element that affected all of us.”
WWE superstar and commentator Jason Albert, aka A-Train and Tensai: “Glad I was able to shake the man's hand and speak for a moment. My thoughts and prayers to your wife and two daughters.RIP #UltimateWarrior”
WWE superstar Zack Ryder: “I’m in shock. The Ultimate Warrior has passed away. I just met him yesterday. RIP. I’ll always believe!!!”
WWE diva Emma: “So shocked and saddened by the news of the ultimate warrior passing! #RIP #UltimateWarrior”
WWE superstar Darren Young: “Having his daughters walk him out during the #HOF was beautiful. All I can think about is his family. #Warrior”
WWE superstar Yoshi Tatsu: “I'm really shocked and saddened to hear the passing of one of the my heros Ultimate Warrior ... Rest in peace Ultimate Warrior”
WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts: “was on top of the world last night from announcing him to the ring on RAW. Very sad tonight
“He was the 1st superstar I met as a kid/got me hooked on WWE. Proudly wore his jacket my entire childhood. RIP Warrior http://instagram.com/p/mjiWP3scG6/”
WWE referee Jason Ayers: “Absolutely shocked at the sudden passing of @UltimateWarrior - a true legend of our industry. Rest in peace, Warrior.”
WWE Director-Live Events Marketing John Porco: “I can’t believe I am writing this after such a great weekend with one of my childhood heroes. RIP… http://instagram.com/p/mjl5GFFTOE/”
WWE SmackDown GM Vickie Guerrero: “I'm saddened by the news of @UltimateWarrior...it was a pleasure meeting you. Prayers are being said for family”
WWE NXT superstar Corey Graves: “When I was in first grade, I was Ultimate Warrior for Halloween. I just watched his HOF speech two hours ago. I don't even have words.”
WWE NXT superstar Scott Dawson: “My very first Hasbro action figure was the 'Gorilla Press' Ultimate Warrior. Sincere thoughts & prayers to his family
WWE NXT superstar Brian Reed: “I can see the #UltimateWarrior running down the ramp into Heaven right now. I'm sure he's at peace.”
WWE NXT diva Bayley: “This is crazy. We just saw him. My prayers go out to the family of @UltimateWarrior.”
TNA wrestler Austin Aries: “I am in disbelief...there are no words. Prayers to his family and friends. #RIPUltimateWarrior”
TNA wrestler Jessie Gooderz of the BroMans: “My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to the family of The Ultimate Warrior. He was 1 of my childhood heroes. I'm in shock. Rest in Peace.”
Former WWE superstar Domino (Cliff Compton): “Another one gone to soon. RIP Warrior. pic.twitter.com/FE5yytvI5V”
Former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas: “Shocked & saddened by the news the Ultimate Warrior has passed away. Sincere & deepest sympathy to his family! RIP”
Former TNA and WWE superstar Elijah Burke: “Alas, he did it his way: He made peace, returned, headlined, became enshrined, then ascended to the heavens & beyond~PHS #RIPUltimateWarrior“
Double J: “RIP Ultimate Warrior. I'm shaken in so many ways. Can't believe this.”
Trademark629: “Inducted into the Hall of Fame, got a segment on Raw, got to see the fans and made his peace with WWE. No better way to go.”
Writer John Squires: “So glad that Warrior got to make amends, get into the Hall of Fame and return to WWE before he passed away. That's a beautiful thing.”
Podcaster Jason Solomon: “Happy I was there to see his final appearances. I did meet Warrior many years ago and he was nice to me.
# RIPWarrior pic.twitter.com/H5YIKbYcy0”
Wrestling Writer Scott Fishman, who covered the WWE Hall of Fame, WrestleMania 30 and Raw: “I can't believe 24 hours ago the Ultimate Warrior was on #Raw. Was such a special moment. Tragedy. #WWE #RIPWARRIOR pic.twitter.com/zXftbAeNAD
“At least Ultimate Warrior had his #WWE Hall of Fame moment with his family +got to make peace with Vince McMahon+the company. #RIPWarrior”
Bill Apter, the Dean of wrestling writers/photographers: “Some final Ultimate Warrior thoughts for now ... http://youtu.be/vhTED-mPjD8”