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WWE legend Ultimate Warrior dies suddenly at 54

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WWE Hall of Famer

The Ultimate Warrior had announced he was returning to the ring after an 18-year absence, but just days later, he died suddenly.
Ultimate Warrior
Photo credit: David Mepham / WENN

Just days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, professional wrestler, The Ultimate Warrior, has died at the age of 54.

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"WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior," WWE told ABC.

The Ultimate Warrior, who was born James Brian Hellwig, legally changed his name 20 years ago. He began as a wrestler in 1987, and was well on his way to being a professional wrestling legend by 1990 when he beat Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI, winning him the world title.

On Saturday, April 5, just three days before his death, he was inducted into WWE's Hall of Fame. According to ABC, it was the first time he returned to the WWE after being gone for 18 years. He also announced on Saturday that he was rejoining the federation as an official ambassador. Monday, April 7, he again donned his mask as The Ultimate Warrior and appeared on WWE Raw.

"No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own," he said. "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 bleed deeper in something that's 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."

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"You," he said to the fans, "are the legend-makers of Ultimate Warrior."

The Ultimate Warrior is survived by his wife, Dana, and two daughters. Some of the biggest names in the wrestling community are in mourning, and sharing their grief on Twitter.

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