The Ultimate Warrior Dead: The Timing & Farewell Of It All

Justin LaBar

Ultimate Warrior DeadI write a wrestling column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review every Monday and Friday. It can be found on TribLIVE.com.

Today, a special column was warranted given the breaking news of the Ultimate Warrior passing away. The following is an excerpt:

We should always embrace those we care about because you never know the next time you'll see them — a worldwide wrestling audience of millions got to do that with the Ultimate Warrior.

The wrestling legend, who legally changed his name years ago to Warrior, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 54 when he collapsed in front of his wife at an Arizona hotel.

Throughout the years, Warrior's always had a larger-than-life mystique around him even when he was not seen in public for years at a time. Rumors of whether the same wrestler always portrayed the character or if the original had died were always among the wrestling myths.

When I first heard the news of the Warrior's passing, I wanted to believe it was another myth. Unfortunately, it wasn't.

This sudden death of a man leaving behind his wife and two daughters is tragic. The timing of it all adds to the shock.

Warrior left WWE in 1996 after what was technically his third stint with the company. As big of an attraction as he was to the fans, his time with WWE, which first began in 1987, wasn't without controversy surrounding his work ethic, money demands, steroid use and attendance.

It was so much so that WWE put out a DVD titled “The Self Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior” in 2005. It depicted how popular Warrior once was, the potential he had and how he lost it all due to negative attributes that many of his peers spoke about on the DVD.

In a business where it seems nearly everyone eventually mends fences and comes back for one more day of glory, it appeared Warrior would forever be a black sheep in WWE history.

Finally, in 2013, new hope was given to his allegiance of fans he called “Warriors.” It was announced that Warrior would be featured in WWE's new video game “WWE 2K14” and was working with WWE to help promote it.

Excitement came from fans as they got to see Warrior, face-painted, screaming into the camera for the commercials, telling fans to buy the video game. Even more excitement began to generate as thoughts of this being the first step to Warrior returning to the WWE family and getting inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame.

And that's exactly what happened.

CLICK HERE for how he helped sell out WrestleMania 30 and a positive to take away from the timing of this tragic news.

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