After a career built on death rumors, it's finally true. Jim Hellwig, who had legally changed his name to Warrior, died last night in Arizona at the age of 54. Fewer than 24 hours earlier, he appeared on WWE Monday Night RAW, and to celebrate his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, he addressed the fans one final time.
Hellwig's freeform speeches had always been obsessed with death and immortality, so this final speech carries an eerie weight now. But the subject matter, combined with Hellwig donning the mask and drawing a clear distinction between Warrior (the man) and the Ultimate Warrior (the force), make this the single best eulogy anyone could have delivered for one of the wrestling world's biggest stars
Speak to me, Warriors! As I thought about what I was going to say this evening, it's been hard for me to find the words. [Puts on mask.] Well then, you shut up Warrior, and let me do the talking.
No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man's heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe a final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others, and makes them bleed deeper, and 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 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 Ultimate Warrior will run forever!
Below, our story from last night on Hellwig's passing.