Wrestling icon Ultimate Warrior dies in Scottsdale at age 54
Scottsdale police said pro wrestling icon Ultimate Warrior, who was born James Hellwig, died Tuesday after collapsing at a Scottsdale hotel. (Source: Associated Press)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS5/CNN) -
The professional wrestling world is mourning the loss of one of its most popular stars from the World Wrestling Federation.
Ultimate Warrior died Tuesday evening after collapsing in the parking lot of a Scottsdale, AZ, hotel, said Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark.
The 54-year-old wrestler known for his trademark "warrior" face paint, was walking to with his wife to their car at the Gainey Suites Hotel at 5:50 p.m. when he collapsed, Clark said.
Clark said it appears Ultimate Warrior died of a "sudden and catastrophic medical condition."
He was taken to a Scottsdale hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.
Ultimate Warrior was born James Hellwig but legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993.
He is survived by his wife, Dana, and two daughters.
"WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior," read a statement from the WWE, the modern version of the WWF.
"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."
Ultimate Warrior's death comes only days after his induction into the World Wrestling Entertainment's Hall of Fame, and just a day after appearing on WWE Raw.
Tributes to the former WWF world champion poured in from throughout the wrestling world, including from his former rival Hulk Hogan.
Triple H, real name Paul Michael Levesque, is one of the modern day WWE "superstars" and he also mourned the death of Warrior.
During his appearance on Raw, Warrior gave a poignant speech.
"No man becomes a legend on their own," he told the arena. "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 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."
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. CNN contributed to this report.
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