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WWE: Ultimate Warrior Died From Heart Disease

The Ultimate Warrior, born James Hellwig, was determined to have died because of heart disease, per multiple reports.

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WWE: Ultimate Warrior Died From Heart Disease
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WWE: Ultimate Warrior Died From Heart Disease

WWE: Ultimate Warrior Died From Heart Disease
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Ultimate Warrior died because of heart disease.

This was the finding of the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's autopsy in Phoenix, Ariz., per an April 14 Associated Press (via Yahoo! Sports) update:

"Authorities in Phoenix say former pro wrestler The Ultimate Warrior died of cardiovascular disease.

"Maricopa County spokeswoman Cari Gerchick says that the finding from an autopsy conducted Thursday by the county Medical Examiner's Office.

"The 54-year-old wrestler's given name was James Hellwig. He collapsed April 8 while walking with his wife to their car at a Scottsdale hotel and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

"Scottsdale police have said there were no signs of foul play.

"The Ultimate Warrior was one of pro wrestling's biggest stars in the late 1980s." 

TMZ goes into more specifics, saying neither drugs nor alcohol played a part in the legendary wrestler's tragic death.

"The Ultimate Warrior died from a massive heart attack...this according to the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy, TMZ has learned.

"Officials tell TMZ...the official cause of death for Warrior--real name James Hellwig--was determined to be 'Atherosclerotic/Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease'...aka heart disease

"Officials classify Warrior's death as 'natural'...meaning neither drugs nor alcohol were directly involved."

According to WWE's official website, Warrior was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame just days before he passed away. He also made an appearance in Monday Night Raw as he spoke to his fan base for the last time. 

Deadspin editor Timothy Burke was able to transcribe Warrior's last speech via his Twitter account on April 9:

"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 story tellers, 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 are the legend makers of Ultimate Warrior. In the back I see many 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!" 

Warrior, who was born James Brian Hellwig and legally changed his name to "Warrior" in 1993, embarked on a public speaking career after he retired from professional wrestling 16 years ago, per Wikipedia. 

He is survived by his wife and two daughters. 

 

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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

 

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