The professional wrestler known as the Ultimate Warrior has died at the age of 54, just days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
The wrestler, born James Hellwig, becomes the latest to die an early death.
“WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior,” World Wrestling Entertainment Inc said on its website.
The cause of death was not immediately announced.
The Denver Post via Getty Images, file
The Ultimate Warrior, pictured in 1992, rose to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history.
Hellwig began his WWE career in 1987 and became one of its biggest stars.
He was inducted into WWE's Hall of Fame on Saturday.
The company highlighted an "epic encounter" in which he defeated Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI to become a WWE champion.
"We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans."
Supporters and wrestlers took to the internet to express their respect for Hellwig, survived by his wife Dana and his two daughters, WWE said.
"Shocked and very saddened to hear about Ultimate Warrior passing. Prayers go out to his family! RIP. Loss for words," wrestler Curtis wrote in a Twitter message.
First published April 8 2014, 10:35 PM