James Brian Hellwig was an American professional wrestler and bodybuilder. He was best known for his work with and WWE. He is the only wrestler to hold WWF and Intercontinental Championship at the same time. Hellwig passed away in 2014.
Hellwig began his professional wrestling career with a group of bodybuilders. One of the bodybuilders was Steve Borden (Sting). They formed a team called Freedom Fighters. After their departure from CWA, they were known as Blade Runners in UWF. They left within a few months.
In June, he debuted at WCCW as The Warrior. The crowd often compared him with Road Warrior due to their physique. A year later, he won WCWA Texas Heavyweight Championship. In April, he lost the title as he signed with WWF.
Hellwig joined the promotion in 1987 and debuted as The Ultimate Warrior. Hellwig defeated various jobbers before starting a feud with Hercules Hernandez. At WrestleMania IV, he defeated Hernandez.
At SummerSlam, Hellwig substituted for Brutus Beefcake and defeated Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Championship. It ended Honky's 454 days reign as a champion. At Survivor Series, he captained his team and was the sole survivor. At WrestleMania V, Hellwig lost the title to Rick Rude due to outside interference by Bobby Heenan. At SummerSlam, Hellwig won the title back.
At Survivor Series, Team Warrior defeated Team Andre, where Hellwig was the sole survivor. At WrestleMania VI, Hellwig challenged Hogan for the WWF and Intercontinental Championship. After defeating Hogan at WrestleMania, Hellwig relinquished the Intercontinental Championship. After being the champion for over ten months, Hellwig lost the title to Sargent Slaughter. At WrestleMania VII, Hellwig faced Randy Savage and won.
Hellwig had several contractual issues with the company. He held McMahon verbally hostage, as he would not appear for SummerSlam without a raise in his contract. McMahon raised the amount and Hellwig teamed up with Hulk Hogan to defeat Team Slaughter. After the match, Hellwig was suspended. Hellwig didn't return until WrestleMania, where he saved Hulk Hogan from Sid and Papa Shango.
He got two title matches but was unsuccessful in it. In 1992, there were plans to make Hellwig a two-time WWF Champion. However, there were performance-enhancing drugs and growth hormones were found in Hellwig's place, led to his release from the company.
Hellwig wrestled for small promotions and similar faces, such as Hercules Hernandez, Honky Tonk Man, and André the Giant during his time away from WWF.
Return to WWF (1996)
At WrestleMania XII, Hellwig returned and defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley. After a few matches, Warrior missed several house show events, which led to his termination from the company.
Hellwig was signed with WCW and created a stable to counterattack NWO. He wrestled only three matches with the promotion at Fall Brawl, Halloween Havoc, and Nitro. In 1998, Hellwig retired from wrestling.
WWE Hall of Fame (2014)
In 2013, Hellwig mentioned he discussed his plans with Vince McMahon. In 2014, Hellwig headlined WWE Hall of Fame. He, unfortunately, passed away a week after his induction.