Legendary professional wrestler the Ultimate Warrior (né James Brian Hellwig, though he legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993) died April 8 at the age of 54.
Though Warrior’s public image was occasionally marred by controversial statements, there’s no denying that he was one of professional wrestling’s true legends, an outsize figure who became one of the sport’s defining superstars.
For proof of this, look no further than the following six clips, which offer an idea of both Warrior’s range of influence during his heyday (appearing with Arsenio Hall and Phil Collins) and his unique brand of extraordinarily intense charisma.
The Greatest Anti-Smoking PSA Ever
Both genuinely frightening and inspirational: Don’t deprive yourself of the full power – be a survivor.
Ultimate Warrior Vs. Phil Collins
The ’80s were a magical time, when pop stars such as Cyndi Lauper and Phil Collins were dipping their toes in the world of professional wrestling. That’s how we got this video, and it is magical.
Vintage Warrior Insanity
The Warrior’s best promos and interviews were free-flowing bits of stream-of-consciousness nonsense, but they were also positively riveting.
Warrior, Meet Arsenio Hall
From the start, where Warrior sprints out from backstage and runs through the crowd before flipping Hall’s couch, it was clear this was going to be an amazing interview. “Everything about me is larger than life,” Warrior says at one point. Indeed.
Warrior Trashes Regis and Kathie Lee’s Set
Warrior is actually quite restrained and charming in this video, until he’s shown a promo clip from rival wrestler Ravishing Rick Rude, at which point he proceeds to destroy the Live with Regis and Kathie Lee set, before hugging Kathie Lee Gifford at the end.
Warrior’s Last Speech
Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 5, Warrior made an appearance on Raw less than 24 hours before his death. His speech was both characteristic and eerily prescient.
“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.”
“Larger than life” barely does him justice.
Like us on Facebook for more stories like this!