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WWE Icon, Ultimate Warrior

The Ultimate Warrior is one of the most iconic professional wrestlers of all time. His look and charisma were worshiped by WWE fans. The superstar passed away in 2014.

Making A Warrior

James Brian Hellwig was born on June 16, 1959. He is from Indiana. Hellwig would have a tough time growing up. His family struggled with finances and emotional stability. Hellwig would turn to football and weightlifting to fill the void in his life. He would continue to pursue bodybuilding until it led him to professional wrestling. He worked in different wrestling promotions before showing up in the WWE in 1987.

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When James Brian Hellwig came into the WWE he debuted as the character, Ultimate Warrior. Warrior wore face paint, tassels and he was always bursting with energy. Thanks to his bodybuilding background, the Ultimate Warrior had an almost absurd physique. The makeup, costumes and his huge muscles made the Warrior look like a comic book superhero. He clicked quickly with the WWE’s young fanbase. Ultimate Warrior would become a WWE superstar practically overnight.

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The Ultimate Challenge

The 1980s were owned by Hulk Hogan in the WWE. He was the face of the company. By 1990, Ultimate Warrior was challenging the reign of Hogan when it came to fan popularity. At Wrestlemania VI, in 1990, Hogan and Warrior faced off in the main event. Warrior defeated Hogan in the match, and it marked a passing of the torch of sorts. A few years later Hogan would move on to the WCW. Ultimate Warrior was positioned to be the number one professional wrestling star of the 1990s.

WWE Disputes

Ultimate Warrior did not live up to the hype when it came to owning the 90s the way Hogan owned the 80s. Contract disputes kept the Ultimate Warrior from reaching his full potential in the 1990s. He would face suspensions and was eventually fired from the WWE.

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Hall of Fame

Ultimate Warrior and the WWE would end a more than a decade long feud in 2014 when the wrestler made the WWE’s Hall of Fame. Sadly, Ultimate Warrior would pass away soon after his HOF induction. James Brian Hellwig, who legally changed his name to Warrior in the 1990s, was complicated individual that made some ugly and bigoted statements late in his life. Regardless of how you view the actual man, you cannot argue that the fictional Ultimate Warrior character is an icon.


- Adam C. Better

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