|These are mostly "Mystery Men." I can just tell by looking at these pics that I'm going to get emails from people who have fallen in love with a picture. They'll say "Don who is so and so tell me more" but I have no idea. I don't even know how tall they are. These men show up at parties that show up on webshots. Or they have thoughful girlfriends who photograph 'em.|
|Ultimate Warrior James Hellwig dead at 54|
APRIL 2014: Before I moved to Los Angeles in the 1980's and early 1990's the only way I could see bodybuilders (and I love to look at bodybuilders) was on professional wrestling on weekends. It was seemly on every other channel for hours on end. I turned the sound off. And the biggest and buffest of all the wrestlers on TV then, or ever, was the 6'3" (1.9m) Ultimate Warrior aka James Hellwig.
Hellwig legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993 which is also the last name of his wife and children. Warrior retired from professional wrestling in 1998 and embarked on a public speaking career, but wrestled one final match in Spain in 2008. Warrior died on April 8, 2014, at the age of 54, three days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and one day after reappearing on WWE Raw.
Prior to his career in professional wrestling Hellwig was an amateur bodybuilder, competing in a number of NPC contests and winning the 1984 NPC Mr. Georgia crown. Hellwig started training with weights when he was years old and has described himself as "the small, insecure kid who wasn't into any sports". He moved to California where, after seeing bodybuilder Robby Robinson, he decided to take up the sport. His first contest took place in Florida where he placed 5th. Later, while he was attending Life University in Marietta, Georgia, he won the Junior Atlanta contest and placed 5th at the 1998 AAU Collegiate Mr. America. In 1983, he won the AAU Coastal USA, before taking the Mr. Georgia title the following year. His last bodybuilding contest was 1985's Junior USAs, which was won by future IFBB Pro, Ron Love. Hellwig finished 5th.
In 1985, after spending six weeks in California training for a bodybuilding contest, he was invited to join a group of bodybuilders � Garland Donoho, Mark Miller, and Steve Borden aka "Sting" � who were attempting to make the transition into professional wrestling. Warrior accepted the invitation and abandoned his bodybuilding career as well as his plans to become a chiropractor.
His career in wrestling was as dramatic as any Wrestlemania, featuring contract disputes and fights with wrestling overlord Vince McMahon. They parted ways and came back together. On April 5, 204, the Ultimate Warrior was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014. The next day, Warrior appeared at WrestleMania XXX, and the following night on April 7 he delivered a promo on Raw, his first appearance on the show since 1996. During what turned out to be his final appearance on Raw, Warrior gave a speech to the fans and wrestlers past and present as his Ultimate Warrior character. During the speech he said,
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 story tellers, by the loyalty, by the memory of those who honor him and make the running the man did live forever. You, you, you, you, you, you are the legend makers of Ultimate Warrior. In the back I see many potential legends. Some of them with warrior spirits. And you will do the same for them. You will decide if they lived with the passion and intensity. So much so that you will tell your stories and you will make them legends, as well. I am Ultimate Warrior. You are the Ultimate Warrior fans. And the spirit of the Ultimate Warrior will run forever!
He died less than a day later. According to reports, Warrior collapsed at 5:50 p.m. (PDT) while walking to his car with his wife in Arizona outside of their hotel. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. It was also reported that people with Warrior backstage during WrestleMania weekend noted that he appeared to be in constant pain. They stated that he looked sweaty, and very uncomfortable. They also noticed that he looked weak while performing his signature rope shake on Raw. One source said, "We all felt like he looked like he was going to blow a gasket. It was pretty easy to see.