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WWE wrestler Ultimate Warrior dies at age 54

The pro wrestler superstar known as The Ultimate Warrior has died at age 54. 

James Brian Hellwig began his career in 1987 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame just days ago.  He became WWE Champion at WrestleMania VI by defeating Hulk Hogan.

Hellwig said in his induction speech that he was returning to the WWE as an "official ambassador" after an 18-year absence.

Although the WWE confirmed Hellwig’s death on its website, few other details were released.   Scottsdale, Ariz., police spokesman Sgt. Mark Clark said Hellwig collapsed while walking with his wife to their car at a hotel and was pronounced dead at a hospital. An autopsy is planned.

Hellwig is survived by his wife, Dana, and two daughters.

Warrior began his 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 what has been described an epic encounter.

The WWE released a statement reading, “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.”

WWE CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon added, “We are all so sad that the Ultimate Warrior has passed away. Our heart is with his wife Dana and his two daughters.”

AP contributed to this report.

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