Guest Author - Vance R. Rowe
Professional wrestling fans from the early to mid 1990s know the name of the Ultimate Warrior. He is a former World Heavyweight champion and Intercontinental champion for the World Wrestling Entertainment sports entertainment company.
The Ultimate Warrior was a crowd-pleaser wherever he went to wrestle. Kids had their faces painted to emulate him and everyone got excited when his music played and he ran down to the ring like a runaway fright train. Then he would climb into the ring and would shake the ring ropes as if he was having a seizure. His microphone skills are relatively unmatched and would leave people scratching their heads trying to understand what he was saying most times. The Ultimate Warrior always spoke cryptically and his speeches were often filled with riddles. He also referred to his fans as “his Warriors”. He would give a loud snort into the microphone after he finished his rants as well.
James Brian Hellwig was born in 1959 and grew up to first become an amateur body builder before getting into professional wrestling. Hellwig started body building around the age of 11 and hasn't looked back since. In the early 80's, Hellwig began to get serious about it and won several body building crowns.
Hellwig then fell in with a group of body builders who were trying to get into professional wrestling. One of these body builders was Steve Borden, who is better known today by professional wrestling fans as the “Icon Sting”, who was most recently wrestling for the Total Non-Stop Action wrestling organization or more simply known as TNA.
Hellwig and Borden became a tag team wrestling team with the other body builders and were known as Power Team U.S.A.. Eventually Hellwig and Borden broke away from the team and went out on their own as the Blade Runners, a name taken from the 1980's science fiction movie starring Harrison Ford in “Blade Runner” Hellwig's wrestling name was Justice and Borden's was Flash. Hellwig would later change his name to Rock. They wore paint on their faces to appear more intimidating than they already were.
The duo were not a team for very long and split up. Borden went to the UWF and later to the NWA/WCW wrestling organizations where he wasknown as Sting. Hellwig soon began wrestling in Texas with the World Class Championship Wrestling organization where the Von Erichs ruled supreme. His wrestling name here was the Dingo Warrior. The Warrior would eventually leave and join the WWF, now known as WWE, and turned his wrestling persona up a few notches to become the wildly unpredictable, Ultimate Warrior.
The Warrior would then eventually win two different Intercontinental championship belts and went on to pin Hulk Hogan in Wrestlemania VI to win his first and only World Heavyweight championship. The Ultimate Warrior was just inducted into the WWE's Hall of Fame Class of 2014, this past weekend on April 5th, 2014.
It is with great sadness that I report that the Ultimate Warrior was found dead in his hotel room, yesterday, April 8th, 2014. He will be sorely missed and leaves a wife and two young daughters behind. It was these daughters that appeared on stage with their father and they inducted him into the Hall of Fame, this past weekend.