James Hellwig

James Hellwig Warrior, Wrestler, NYC

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James Hellwig Warrior

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Warrior (born James Hellwig on June 16, 1959) is a former American professional wrestler known to many as The Ultimate Warrior. He legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993.


Warrior began his pro wrestling career as Jim "Justice" Hellwig of Powerteam USA, a group of bodybuilders formed in 1985 by Red Bastien and Rick Bassman, but the gimmick went under when they discovered that, in their estimation, the team had limited wrestling potential.

Of the four members of Powerteam USA, only Hellwig and Steve "Flash" Borden had subsequent wrestling careers of any note (Borden went on to become Sting). They formed a tag team called The Blade Runners with Warrior as Blade Runner Rock when they wrestled in the UWF and on the independent circuit, but the group ended, and Warrior became Dingo Warrior for a short period in World Class Championship Wrestling, winning the Texas Title. After WCCW, Jim Hellwig signed with the WWF and adopted the name Ultimate Warrior.

As a World Wrestling Federation (WWF) superstar from the mid-'80s to the early '90s, the Ultimate Warrior was known for his high-energy wrestling style. The Ultimate Warrior's ring entrances featured him racing into the arena at full speed, bursting into the ring, and violently shaking the ropes up and down. He was also known for his distinctive pattern of face painting.

WCW signed Warrior in 1998. After debuting on Nitro in Hartford, Connecticut, he created a storyline where he formed a stable opposing Hulk Hogan's New World Order: the "One Warrior Nation." The acronym OWN for One Warrior Nation was a play on the name nWo. Highlights of the storyline included Warrior kidnapping and "converting" The Disciple and frequent instances of "magic smoke" knocking out all of the nWo members except for Hogan (and covering Warrior's movement through a trapdoor in the ring). The British Bulldog suffered a near career-ending injury when he landed on Warrior's trapdoor at Fall Brawl '98; Perry Saturn was also injured by the trapdoor, though not as severely.

Warrior only participated in three matches in WCW. The first was the War Games main event (along with seven other wrestlers) at Fall Brawl. Then on WCW Monday Nitro, he tag teamed with Sting to defeat Hogan and Bret Hart by disqualification, in which he had virtually no participation besides single handedly chasing several nWo members down the entry way and whipping them with Hogan's belt. Lastly was his loss to Hogan at Halloween Havoc.

In the build-up to their match at Halloween Havoc, Warrior played mind games with Hogan by projecting backstage "apparitions" of himself in a mirror that only Hogan could see. The WCW storyline portrayed Hogan as "cracking up" in seeing these apparitions. However, the announcers could also see them, as well as the television audience.

In the Halloween Havoc match an attempt to "blind" Warrior with a fireball backfired when Hogan faced complications igniting the flash paper, causing the fire to go up in Hogan's face instead. The match finally came to an end when Horace Hogan hit Warrior in the back with a chair while Eric Bischoff had referee Nick Patrick distracted. Hogan then scored the pinfall.

Warrior's last appearance in WCW was the Nitro after Halloween Havoc, when he chased nWo Hollywood out of the ring. He announced his retirement the following year.

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