The face painted muscleman who ran to the the ring and spoke to his hands and the heavens about things we mortals can't understand will never be forgotten by those who saw him. His power and intensity made him the most popular wrestler in the world at one time.
Jim Hellwig (now legally known as Warrior) was born on June 16, 1959. He was one of a group of four bodybuilders known as Powerteam USA trained by Rick Bassman. Two of them, Jim and Steve Borden, caught the eyes of promoters in Tennessee, where they went as Blade Runners Rock and Flash. Flash later became known as Sting.
Tennessee, Oklahoma, & Dallas:
As Blade Runner Rock, he fought in the Tennessee and Oklahoma territories. In 1986, he entered World Class Championship Wrestling and was renamed the Dingo Warrior. He was part of Gary Hart's stable and quickly found success by winning both the tag team titles and the Texas title. It was here where he painted his face in the pattern we are all used to.
The WWE Calls - From Newcomer to Intercontinental Champion:
In 1987, he entered the WWE and was renamed the Ultimate Warrior. Within a few months, he became the Intercontinental Champion by beating the Honky Tonk Man and he held the title for eight months before losing it to Rick Rude. He regained the belt a few months later and went on to fight for the World Title.
The World Champion:
At WrestleMania VI, he beat Hulk Hogan to become WWE Champion. He held the belt for nine months until losing to Sgt. Slaughter due to the interference of Randy Savage. He got his revenge at WrestleMania VII against Savage by beating him in a match where the loser was forced to retire. At this point, the story of the Warrior becomes very strange. He was locked in a coffin, buried up to his neck, and bitten by a cobra as part of an evil plot by Jake Roberts and the Undertaker. Then he was gone.
He's Back, He's Gone, He's Back Again, He's Gone Again:
At the end of WrestleMania VIII the Warrior returned to everyone's surprise. He was involved in a feud with Papa Shango where he had a voodoo spell cast on him that forced him to vomit and have an ooze come down his face. After winning this feud, he was supposed to main event Survivor Series '92 but was gone again. He came back almost four years later, had a feud with Jerry Lawler and was gone again.
During the Monday Night War, WCW tried to sign every former WWE superstar and was able to sign him and use the name Warrior after a legal battle with the WWE that gave Warrior the rights to his name. In his most memorable match in WCW, he and Hulk Hogan stunk up the arena in a match featuring Hogan not being able to light up a piece of flash paper.
Post Wrestling Career:
Warrior is a right wing conservative with a successful speaking career. He has appeared on C-Span spreading the conservative message and also does college speaking tours. In addition, he has created his own philosophy on life with words he created like destrucity and foke.
Realationship With WWE:
For man years, the relationship between Warrior and his former employer were not amicable. In 2005, WWE produced a DVD entitled The Self-Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior to mock him while at the same time make some money off of his name. The relationship appeared to be on the mend in 2013 when Warrior was added to a video game made by the company. The following year, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Sadly, just days after being inducted, Warrior passed away at the age of 54.
Notable matches of his career:
WrestleMania IV 3/27/1988 - beat Hercules Hernandez
SummerSlam 1988 8/29/1988 - Won the Intercontinental Championship from The Honky Tonk Man
SNME # 19 1/7/1989 - beat The Honky Tonk Man
SNME # 25 1/27/1989 - WWF Champ Hulk Hogan & I-C Champ The Ultimate Warrior beat Curt Hennig & Lanny Poffo
WrestleMania V 4/2/1989 - Lost the Intercontinental Championship to Rick Rude
SummerSlam 1989 8/2/1989 - regained the Intercontinental Championship from Rick Rude
The Main Event 3 2/23/1990 - beat Earthquake
WrestleMania VI 4/1/1990 - beat Hulk Hogan to win the WWE Championship
SNME # 26 4/28/1990 - beat Haku
SNME # 27 7/28/1990 - beat Rick Rude by DQ
SummerSlam 1990 8/27/1990 - beat Rick Rude in a Steel Cage Match
SNME # 28 Oktoberfest 10/13/1990 - The Ultimate Warrior & Legion Of Doom beat Demolition
Royal Rumble 1991 1/19/1991 - Lost the WWE Championship to Sgt. Slaughter
WrestleMania VII 3/24/1991 - beat Randy Savage in a Retirement Match
SNME # 29 4/27/1991 - beat Sgt. Slaughter by DQ
SummerSlam 1991 8/26/1991 -WWE Champion Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior beat Sgt. Slaughter, The Iron Sheik, & Col. Mustafa in a match featuring Sid Justice as the special guest referee
WrestleMania VIII 4/5/1992 - In his "possible retirement" match, Hulk Hogan beat Sid Justice by DQ. After the match, The Ultimate Warrior returned to save Hogan.
SummerSlam 1992 8/29/1992 - beat WWE Champion Randy Savage by count out
SNME # 31 on Fox 11/14/1992 - Randy Savage & The Ultimate Warrior beat World Tag Team Champions Money Inc. via count out
WrestleMania XII 3/31/1996 - binned Hunter Hearst Helmsley
IYH - Good Friends Better Enemies 4/28/1996 - beat Intercontinental Champion Goldust via count out
King of The Ring 1996 6/23/1996 - beat Jerry Lawler
WCW Halloween Havoc 10/25/1998 - Hollywood Hogan beat The Warrior due to the interference of Horace Hogan
Sources include: Pro Wrestling Illustrated Almanac & Onlineworldofwrestling.com