Warrior (born James Brian Hellwig on June 16, 1959) is a retired American professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s as the Ultimate Warrior, during which time he won the WWF Championship and pinned Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania VI. Hellwig legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993. He wrestled both as a heel and as a face. Warrior retired from professional wrestling in 1999 and embarked on a public speaking career. On June 25, 2008 he returned to wrestle one final match, defeating Orlando Jordan in Barcelona, Spain in a match booked by the Italian Nu-Wrestling Evolution promotion.
In professional wrestling, Warrior is a former world champion by winning the WWF championship, and the NWE World Heavyweight Championship once each.
 Early life
Warrior was born as James Brian Hellwig. He was the eldest of five children and was raised by his mother (along with, later, his stepfather) after his father left his family when young James was 12. He spent a year at Indiana State University. It was also during this time he began to compete in amateur bodybuilding..
 Bodybuilding career
Prior to his career in professional wrestling Hellwig was an amateur bodybuilder, competing in a number of NPC contests and winning the 1984 NPC Mr. Georgia crown. Hellwig started training with weights when he was 11 years old and has described himself as "the small, insecure kid who wasn't into any sports". He moved to California where, after seeing bodybuilder Robby Robinson, decided to take up the sport. His first contest took place in Florida where he placed 5th. Later, while he was attending Life University in Marietta, Georgia, he won the Junior Atlanta contest and placed 5th at the 1981 AAU Collegiate Mr. America. In 1983, he won the AAU Coastal USA, before taking the Mr. Georgia title the following year. His last bodybuilding contest was 1985's Junior USA's, which was won by future IFBB Pro, Ron Love. Hellwig finished 5th.
In 1985, after spending six weeks in California training for a bodybuilding contest, he was invited to join a group of bodybuilders - Garland Donoho, Mark Miller, and Steve "Flash" Borden - who were attempting to make the transition into professional wrestlers. Warrior accepted the invitation and abandoned his bodybuilding career and his plans to become a chiropractor.
 Professional wrestling career
 Early career (1985–1986)
Main articles: Powerteam USA and Blade Runners
Hellwig began his professional wrestling career as Jim "Justice" Hellwig of Powerteam USA, the group of bodybuilders trained by Red Bastien and Rick Bassman.
Hellwig and Steve Borden, who would later go on to success as "Sting", formed a tag team known as the Blade Runners, with Hellwig changing his ring name to "Blade Runner Rock" and Borden changing his name to "Blade Runner Flash". Debuting in the Memphis, Tennessee-based Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) promotion, run by Jerry Jarrett, the team played baby faces at first, but fans were actually slow to take to the hulking duo in a territory that had featured sympathetic "good guy tag teams" like the Rock 'n' Roll Express and The Fabulous Ones. They were quickly turned heel as The Blade Runners. The Blade Runners went on to wrestle for the Mid-South Wrestling promotion, which became the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) in 1986. They were part of Eddie Gilbert's Hotstuff International group, before disbanding in 1986 when Hellwig left the UWF.
 World Class Championship Wrestling (1986–1987)
In 1986, Warrior debuted in the Dallas, Texas-based World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) promotion, where he wrestled for $50 a night. He adopted the ring name "Dingo Warrior" after a member of the WCCW locker room remarked that he looked like "a warrior". Warrior formed a tag team with Lance Von Erich, and the duo began competing for the WCWA World Tag Team Championship. On November 17, 1986, Warrior and Von Erich defeated Master Gee (substituting for champion Buzz Sawyer) and Matt Borne to win the title. They held the Championship until December 1 of that year, when they lost to Al Madril and Brian Adias.
In 1987, Warrior began competing for the WCWA Texas Heavyweight Championship, losing to Bob Bradley in a tournament final on January 12. He won the title from Bradley on February 2 of that year. The title was held up in April 1987 after Warrior left the WCCW. He was reinstated as champion upon returning, but vacated it once more upon resigning from WCCW to join the World Wrestling Federation, where he adopted the ring name Ultimate Warrior. There is dispute over who created the Ultimate Warrior name. Bruce Prichard stated that Vince McMahon did not know what a "Dingo" Warrior would be, but because there was the "Modern Day Warrior" Kerry von Erich and the Road Warriors there should not be one more simple warrior, but The Ultimate Warrior. However, Warrior claims after one of his first matches, McMahon had him do a pretaped promo. It was there Vince said we want you to do Warrior, but we don't want Dingo. The Warrior then proceeded to cut the promo and stated that he was not this warrior or that warrior, he was The Ultimate Warrior.
In the late 1980s, while Warrior was still wrestling in Texas, he appeared in several TV ads for Westway Ford, a car dealership in Irving, Texas. Warrior interacted in full wrestling costume with Westway's wacky character, "Mean Joe Greed."
 World Wrestling Federation (1987–1991)
As a World Wrestling Federation (WWF) performer, the Ultimate Warrior was known for his high-energy ring entrances, which 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 paint. Warrior enjoyed two stints as Intercontinental Champion, defeating The Honky Tonk Man (in 31 seconds at the first ever SummerSlam in 1988) and Rick Rude at SummerSlam 1989. The Warrior was heralded as the wrestler to become the biggest star of the 1990s, and the successor to Hulk Hogan, who had remained wrestling's biggest star throughout the 1980s. Following a few confrontations with Hogan, most notably at the 1990 Royal Rumble, the Warrior was written in as Hogan's opponent for WrestleMania VI. Ultimate Warrior faced Hogan on April 1, 1990, at the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario. The event was billed as "The Ultimate Challenge", as both Hogan's WWF World Championship and Warrior's Intercontinental Championship were on the line (either way, the Intercontinental Championship would be declared vacant). The match ended when Warrior performed the Warrior Splash, which pinned Hogan for the three count.
After winning the WWF World Heavyweight Championship from Hogan, Warrior continued to build his popularity with successful defenses against the likes of Rick Rude and Ted DiBiase. Then, in January 1991, Warrior faced Sgt. Slaughter at the Royal Rumble. Slaughter's gimmick at the time was a traitor who had betrayed America by aligning himself with a (kayfabe) Iraqi military general, General Adnan. In the context of the Gulf War, this made Slaughter one of the most hated heels at the time. An interference from Sensational Sherri culminated in Savage striking Warrior over the head with a metal sceptre, which allowed Slaughter the opportunity to pin Warrior for a 3 count. In a stunning upset, Warrior had lost the title he had won from Hogan less than a year earlier. Hogan was given the title shot at WrestleMania VII, defeating Slaughter to regain the title he had lost to Warrior. Warrior, meanwhile, defeated Savage in a retirement match, forcing him to retire.
The next chapter of Warrior's career was an encounter with The Undertaker, after Undertaker and his manager, Paul Bearer, locked Warrior in a coffin on the set of Bearer's Funeral Parlor. WWF officials worked feverishly to break the casket open, finally revealing Warrior's seemingly lifeless body, and the torn fabric inside of the coffin indicating Warrior's desperate struggle to get out. Warrior was finally revived by the officials performing CPR. This led to Jake "The Snake" Roberts offering to give Warrior "the knowledge of the dark side" in order to prepare Warrior to take his revenge on the Undertaker. This involved Roberts giving Warrior three "tests" shown on WWF TV in consecutive weeks. For the first test, Roberts locked Warrior inside of a coffin for a second time.
For the second test, Warrior was "buried alive" by Roberts. For the third test, the Warrior entered a room full of snakes, to find "the answer" in a chest in the middle of the room. However, waiting inside the chest was a King Cobra, which (kayfabe) bit Warrior in the face. As Warrior weakened from the effects of the cobra's strike, Roberts was joined by the Undertaker and Paul Bearer, revealing the three were working together all along. Roberts then uttered, "Never trust a snake." The stage was now set for a match between the Ultimate Warrior and Roberts. However, the match would never take place. In August 1991, Warrior was involved in an alleged pay dispute with WWF owner Vince McMahon over the SummerSlam main event, teaming him with Hogan against Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa, and General Adnan. WWF alleges that Warrior threatened to no show the event unless he was paid for his previous Wrestlemania appearance. According to McMahon, Warrior was paid that amount, then fired immediately after SummerSlam. McMahon released Warrior from WWF as an example to other wrestlers