(CNN) — On Wednesday the wrestling community and fans around the world mourned the passing of Ultimate Warrior, one of the biggest and brightest stars of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
Born James Hellwig, before legally changing his name to Ultimate in 1993, he is fondly remembered by many for his rivalries in the ring and for his trademark vivid face paint.
He died aged 54 and is survived by his wife and two daughters. The cause of his death is not yet known.
“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 fron WWE, the modern incarnation 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 came just days after he had been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. On Monday he appeared in the WWE’s weekly Raw show.
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 Ultimate.
During his appearance on Raw, Ultimate 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.”
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