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Wrestling legend dies

World Wrestling Entertainment star James Brian Hellwig, better known as the face-painted "Ultimate Warrior," has died at the age of 54.

WWE confirmed Hellwig's death in a statement, saying it was "deeply saddened" by the passing of one of the "most iconic" WWE stars. No further details of his death were provided in the statement published online Tuesday.

Hellwig’s death comes days after his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.

During his induction ceremony Saturday, Hellwig spoke at length about his experience of being in the ring.

"Being able to experience pushing your body that far is the greatest feeling I ever had in my life, it's the thing that I miss the most," he said.

"I remember blowing up sometimes in the ring so bad, all I could hear was the beat of my heart, I couldn't hear anything else. And it was so incredible that I would give a few years of the life I have left to go back and experience that kind of thing again."

Two days after making that speech, he appeared on the WWE’s "Monday Night Raw" event, where he thanked his legions of fans for their support over the years.

"No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own," he told the crowd. "Every man's heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized.

"You, you, you, you, you, you are the legend makers of Ultimate Warrior."

After Hellwig joined the WWE in 1987, he had a colorful career highlighted in 1990 by his winning the WWE Championship at Toronto's SkyDome, after pinning Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI.

He is survived by his wife Dana and two daughters, the WWE said.



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