On April 14, wrestling fans gathered for a 10-bell salute and tribute show to the fallen, “Ultimate Warrior.”
April 6 was the date of pro wrestling’s biggest event, Wrestlemania XXX. As part of Wrestlemania week, the night before the event is the annual Hall of Fame Ceremony, which featured Warrior as part of the 2014 class.
On the following edition of “Monday Night Raw,” Warrior, who was born James Brian Hellwig on June 16, 1959 before a legal name change, gave a speech thanking his fans. The appearance was his first on TV in nearly 20 years, and his last.
The following were his final words inside the squared circle:
“Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat, his lungs breath 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 storytellers, by the loyalty, by the memory, of those who honor him and make whatever the man did live forever.”
24 hours later, according to ESPN, Warrior succumbed to cardiovascular disease at the age of 55. Local wrestling fans shared their thoughts. “It’s eerie how he spoke about death the night before. It’s almost like he knew he was going to go too soon,” former Computer major, Brandon Wock said.
Warrior was a two-time WWE Intercontinental champion and the face of the company from 1990- 91 as WWE champion.
“What I do know is that he was a really intense wrestler who loved what he did,” Business major Jacob Clendenen said.
Warrior leaves behind two daughters and his wife of 20 years, Dana.
“He taught me to live by his creed, ‘Live Strong, Act Bold, Be Brave.’ Nothing’s too hard to do, ALWAYS BELIEVE, and with that creed I will carry on and make him proud,” Dana said via WWE.com.
In addition to the customary 10-bell toll and tribute show, the week after was dubbed “Warrior Week” on the WWE Network.