A week ago today World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar the Ultimate Warrior collapsed in a parking lot and lost his life. Today the investigation into the cause of death has come to a conclusion.
Warrior, born James Hellwig, passed away from natural causes according to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s office. The official cause being determined as “cardiovascular disease”. The Ultimate Warrior passed away just days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame during Wrestlemania on April 6, 2014 in New Orleans.
The 54 year old Ultimate Warrior, who legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993 shook up the world of wrestling, and the ropes of the ring during the 1980’s.
During the Monday Night Raw following Wrestlemania the Ultimate Warrior spoke. “No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own,” said Ultimate Warrior. “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 bleed deeper in something that’s larger than life, then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized by the storytellers — by the loyalty, by the memory of those who honor him, and make the running the man did live forever.”
“The spirit of Ultimate Warrior will run forever,” he said last Monday.
The Ultimate Warrior is just the last in a long list of WWE superstars whose life met an untimely death. Randy “Macho Man” Savage passed away in 2011 from an enlarged heart, Eddie Guerrero and Big Boss Man (Raymond Traylor, Jr.) both in 2005 from heart failure. Edward “Umaga” Fatu in 2009 at the age of 36 of a heart attack and Paul Bearer (William Moody) in 2013 at the age of 53 of a heart attack.
During Monday Night Raw on April 14, 2014 WWE paid a very nice tribute to the life and legacy of the Ultimate Warrior.
This rash of untimely deaths has led WWE to take a hard look at their wellness policy. WWE strives to keep their stars clean of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs by enacting and enforcing a strict drug testing policy.
Wrestling legend Bruno Sammartino shared his thoughts with the press shortly after Ultimate Warrior’s death saying, “He had two beautiful little daughters that he has, and they were on stage with him,” Sammartino said. “They looked so proud.” He continues, “I felt so very, very bad thinking about those two little girls and his wife who were there. They seemed so happy that night.”
Professional wrestling has seen its share of stars pass well before their time, but not one has been so much of a shock as the Ultimate Warrior.