James Hellwig, aka the Ultimate Warrior, passed away Tuesday, and while expressing joy for the passing of a human being is something I frown upon, Hellwig’s death does have a karmic ending. When the Britsh bulldog Davy Boy Smith passed away, Helliwg took to his blog to….you guessed it…express joy at the passing of a fellow human being.
Hellwig was a huge star with the World Wrestling Federation in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. Save for Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and Ric Flair, Ultimate Warrior was the star of the ring for Vince McMahon’s brand. For my brief affair with the WWF, he was one of the characters I enjoyed watching.
I grew up and grew out of wrestling.
Sadly for Hellwig, he couldn’t do the former. For the better part of 20 years, he has been doing his best to burn bridges with as many former coworkers in the wrestling industry as possible. Hellwig has also done his best to express his unwanted opinions about the LGBT community (spoiler alert: homophobia and bigotry). Warrior also made a few racist public statements in his time. There is also the stigma of steroids attached to the wrestling industry. There is no doubt that the Ultimate Warrior put time in at the gym, but if “hard work and dedication” are all that went into his training, I’d be shocked.
Hellwig was only 54 when he passed. Genetics are still on the table as to why he died, but based on wrestling’s recent losses, there is little doubt that steroids or drugs played a role. Andrew “Test” Martin (33), Chris Benoit (40), Sherri Martel (49), Mike Awesome (42), Scott Charles “Bam Bam” Bigelow (45), Eddie Guerrero (38), Matt Obsborne aka Doink the Clown (55), Randy “Macho Man” Savage (58), Luna Vachon (48), Lance Cade (29), and Chris Kanyon (40) all had ties to steroids and/or drugs.
That is not a small sample size to say that wrestling may have a problem, including the Ultimate Warrior.
I will never root for the death of a human being. I will never dance on the grave of another person’s loved one. I will say that I wish Hellwig changed his tune before his passing. I also wish that he would have thought about his choices in life now that his wife and two children are without a father.
Follow Jeff on Twitter @sckih_ffej for more mindless drivel. Jeff is also a production assistant at 120 Sports (@120Sports).Follow paulmbanks