James Hellwig, better known to wrestling fans across the world as The Ultimate Warrior, died Tuesday. He was 54.
According to a report from TMZ, Hellwig was walking to his car outside of an Arizona hotel with his wife when he collapsed. He was taken to a nearby hotel where was pronounced dead.
Just three days prior to his death, Hellwig was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans, which was the culmination of the mending of a rocky relationship between himself and WWE.
Saturday night was the first time he appeared on WWE television since 1996. He made his final public appearance Monday on WWE Raw (video above) where he donned a mask that resembled his iconic face paint, and thanked the fans for supporting him throughout the years.
WWE confirmed Hellwig’s death via a statement on its website:
WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior.
Warrior began 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.
We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday night Raw to address his legions of fans.
WWE sends its sincere condolences to Warrior’s family, friends and fans.
Warrior was 54 and is survived by his wife Dana and his two daughters.
Members of the wrestling industry also shared their condolences via Twitter:
Loss always has a way of reminding us to live and love as greatly as we can. My prayers and strength to his family. RIP Ultimate Warrior.— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 9, 2014
So bummed to end such an amazing week with the awful news of this tragedy. My thoughts are with the family of @UltimateWarrior— Amy Dumas (@AmyDumas) April 9, 2014
We are all so sad that the Ultimate Warrior has passed away. Our heart is with his wife Dana and his two daughters.— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) April 9, 2014