On Tuesday night, James Hellwig—aka The Ultimate Warrior—passed away at the age of 54, just three days after getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and just one day after making an appearance on RAW and giving a moving speech that featured several references to his own death.
"No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own," he said on RAW. "Every man's heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe a 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 and something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit will be immortalized."
You can watch the entire speech here:
Obviously, because of the impact that The Ultimate Warrior had on the world of professional wrestling, people are shocked right now to hear the news about his death. One of the first people to share his reaction to the news was WWE wrestler Triple H:
Saddened to announce the passing of the Ultimate Warrior. Icon and friend. My sympathy to his wife Dana and his daughters— Triple H (@TripleH) April 9, 2014
The WWE also released a statement shortly after Triple H's tweet went up.
"WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior," the statement said. "Warrior began his WWE career in 1987 and quickly went on to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history. Warrior became WWE Champion at WrestleMania VI, defeating Hulk Hogan in an epic encounter. 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 legion of fans. WWE sends its sincere condolences to Warrior's family, friends, and fans. Warrior was 54 and is survived by his wife Dana and his two daughters."
Since then, there have been dozens of other former and current pro wrestlers and WWE employees who have also chimed in:
We are all so sad that the Ultimate Warrior has passed away. Our heart is with his wife Dana and his two daughters.— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) April 9, 2014
RIP WARRIOR. only love. HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) April 9, 2014
Deeply saddened. We just had a great talk & buried a senseless hatchet. Talked working together. RIP Warrior. Taking solace we made peace.— JakeSnakeDDT (@JakeSnakeDDT) April 9, 2014
Heartbroken. My sincerest condolences go out to The Warrior's family. Seeing how much he loved his daughters and his wife this weekend...— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) April 9, 2014
... makes it all the more heartbreaking. The Ultimate Warrior was my favorite as a kid, and getting to speak to him this weekend was one...— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) April 9, 2014
Loss always has a way of reminding us to live and love as greatly as we can. My prayers and strength to his family. RIP Ultimate Warrior.— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 9, 2014
Break my heart. I love you forever #RIPUltimateWarrior— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) April 9, 2014
#RIPUltimateWarrior Your strength of character is to be admired. There will never be anyone like you. Your spirit lives on in your family.— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) April 9, 2014
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Warrior family. It breaks my heart after seeing how proud his girls are of their father. Stay strong— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) April 9, 2014
RIP Ultimate Warrior, may God give his family the strength to overcome this tragedy!! Rey619— Rey Mysterio (@reymysterio) April 9, 2014
After all these years I finally got 2 tell him that me shaking the ropes was an homage 2 him. Blessed to have had that moment. #onelife— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) April 9, 2014
Quite a few celebrities from all walks of life, including pro athletes and rappers, have also expressed their condolences and shared their memories of The Ultimate Warrior on Twitter:
Rip to the ultimate warrior... #TNT!!— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) April 9, 2014
Dammmmm R.I.P. to the Ultimate Warrior!!!!— Mack Maine (@mackmaine) April 9, 2014
I saw that the Ultimate Warrior passed away. Very sad.— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) April 9, 2014
The Ultimate Warrior is dead??? Smh... Wow!!! RIP— JAE MILLZ (@JAE_MILLZ) April 9, 2014
Sad, sad news. A joy to watch him perform. #RIPUltimateWarrior— Jamal Anderson (@jamthedirtybird) April 9, 2014
And WWE fans, young and old, have taken to Twitter as well to send out tweets about The Ultimate Warrior. The #RIPUltimateWarrior hashtag is currently one of the top trending topics on the social media site:
It's a huge loss, but what makes me happy is that he got to make peace with WWE and the wrestling world before leaving. #RIPUltimateWarrior— Luke James (@lukejamesbgn) April 9, 2014
Regardless of everything, there's no denying the cultural impact Warrior had. A sad day. #RIPUltimateWarrior— Aqeel Khalid (@AqeelKhalid) April 9, 2014
His last words on Monday was "The spirit of the Ultimate Warrior will run forever"#RIPUltimateWarrior— heids⭐️ (@ViperDream_ox) April 9, 2014
My buddy Mike and I loved The Warrior when we were kids. A real-life superhero. We'll never forget his electricity. #RIPUltimateWarrior— James White (@Signalnoise) April 9, 2014
Too heartbroken to go to class.. #RIPUltimateWarrior— 24/7 Mizfit (@WWELauren) April 9, 2014
I still can't believe that he's dead #RIPUltimateWarrior so sad I just got his dvd too. So depressing.— Mr. E (@EmperorfGeekdom) April 9, 2014
#RIPUltimateWarrior Rest In Power You got to shake the ropes one last time & a younger generation got to witness that.— Jimmy⚾️ (@Jimmy_2M) April 9, 2014
Our thoughts and prayers go out to The Ultimate Warrior and his family. R.I.P. to a true legend in every sense of the word.