Jim Hellwig, aka the Ultimate Warrior, died yesterday at the age of 54, shortly after being inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame and giving a speech, that whatever the case, was prophetic, and recalls the epic The Wrestler.
Jim Hellwig came up through the Von Erich run Texas outfit, World Class Championship Wrestling, as the Dingo Warrior. The last living member of the tragic Von Erich family, Kevin, tweeted on the news:
“Jim Hellwig, Warrior, who ever, he was Kerry’s friend, and was always up front with me. RIP Dingo, life turns on a dime”
Jim Hellwig flamed out in professional wrestling after one too many disputes with Vince McMahon, going so far as to legally change his name to the Ultimate Warrior to protect his copyright, which Vince claimed. After leaving wrestling, he hit the speaking tour scene, as a conservative Republican, until he spoke too plainly in those early Oughts for Young Republicans–sensitive as they are, long before A&E met with the Duck Dynasty Clan.
From Hellwig, on Monday Night television, hours before his death:
“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.”