In an eerie bit of foreshadowing, WWE legend The Ultimate Warrior spoke extensively about death in his final public appearance on Monday, just hours before he collapsed and died in Arizona Tuesday night.
After a decades-long feud with WWE management, The Ultimate Warrior, whose real name was James Hellwig, had reconciled with the brand; he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday and appeared at WrestleMania 30 on Sunday. During an appearance on this week’s “Monday Night Raw,” Hellwig discussed his career, his loyal fans and, ominously, the notion of death and his own legacy.
"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 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. Ultimate. You are the Ultimate Warrior fans. And the spirit of Ultimate Warrior will run forever!”
On Tuesday night, WWE Superstar and Chief Operating Officer Triple H confirmed that The Ultimate Warrior had died at the age of 54, just hours after his appearance on "Raw." Officials told TMZ that Hellwig was walking to his car with his wife in Arizona when he suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. News of Warrior's passing led to an outpouring of sympathy from his WWE compatriots.
In the wake of Tuesday night’s events, Warrior’s Monday Night Raw speech may have served as a sort of eulogy. Officials have not yet revealed his cause of death, but eyewitnesses reportedly told TMZ that Hellwig clutched his chest right before he collapsed.
A video of Ultimate Warrior’s Monday Night Raw speech can be viewed below.