BIO: Dingo Warrior

Real Name: Warrior (formerly Brian James Hellwig)

Height/Weight: 6'2"/275

Signature Moves: Gorilla press slam, clothesline, splash

WCCW Titles Held: WCWA World Tag Team titles (with Lance Von Erich), WCWA Texas Heavyweight title

Notable WCCW Feuds: Bruiser Brody, Kevin Von Erich, Rick Rude, Buzz Sawyer & Matt Borne

Need to Know Facts:  Indiana native Jim Hellwig -- whose original goal in life was to become a chiropractor -- received his initial training as a member of the Power Team USA group of bodybuilders.  Although trainers Red Bastien and Rick Bassman (owner of the California-based Ultimate Pro Wrestling promotion) decided to disband the team due to their perceived lack of wrestling ability, two of the four members would nonetheless go on to become superstars of the sport:  Hellwig and Steve Borden, later known as Sting.  The two first came to prominence in Bill Watts' Universal Wrestling Federation in early 1986 as The Blade Runners, with Borden adopting the Sting moniker for the first time, while Hellwig became Blade Runner Rock.

Hellwig made his WCCW debut in late June of 1986 as World Class was scrambling to rebuild its roster after Watts' group, which was making a bid to go national, lured away nearly every headliner whose name wasn't Von Erich.  Renamed the Dingo Warrior for unfathomable reasons, he came in as a heel, first teaming with the Percy Pringle-managed duo of Buzz Sawyer and Matt Borne, then joining Gary Hart's stable and feuding with Pringle and Rick Rude.  He also teamed on several occasions with Abdullah the Butcher to take on the popular tandem of Kevin Von Erich and Bruiser Brody.  After failing to get over as a heel, Warrior was turned babyface in October and soon became co-holder of the WCWA tag belts with Lance Von Erich, defeating Matt Borne and Master Gee.  He was upset by Bob Bradley in the finals of a Texas Heavyweight title tournament the following year, but won the belt from Bradley a few weeks later in a rematch.

Leaving World Class in July 1987, Warrior moved on to the WWF where, after a couple of months of squashing enhancement talent under the Dingo name, he would be repackaged as the Ultimate Warrior.  It was at this time that his frenetic, rope-shaking ring entrance -- which invariably left him thoroughly blown up by the time the bell rang -- was born.  Due to his extremely limited moveset (and also, no doubt, exhaustion from those mad dashes around and into the ring), Warrior's WWF matches were often kept as short as possible.  He also became known for his infamously bizarre interviews, which were intense but largely incoherent.

After feuding for most of 1988 with Bobby "The Brain" Heenan's stable (including Andre the Giant), Warrior, subbing for the absent Brutus Beefcake, beat Honky Tonk Man in ten seconds to win the Intercontinental title.  He would also renew his feud with Rick Rude in 1989.  In the 1990 Royal Rumble, Warrior was eliminated by Hulk Hogan, setting up their World title vs. Intercontinental title clash at Wrestlemania VI.  In what was widely seen as a passing of the torch, and one of the best matches either man had ever worked, Warrior scored a clean pin over Hogan to win the belt.

1991 saw a lengthy storyline in which Warrior and Hogan joined forces against General Adnan (al-Kaissey), Colonel Mustafa (aka Khosrow Vaziri, the Iron Sheik) and Sgt. Slaughter, who had turned heel in an angle designed to capitalize on the Gulf War tensions of that year.  But according to Vince McMahon, just before a handicap bout involving the five men at Summerslam '91, Warrior refused to go on, holding up McMahon for a hefty pay increase.  McMahon agreed to the raise, but fired Warrior immediately after the match.  (Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer, however, has stated that McMahon had actually agreed to renegotiate Warrior's contract about six weeks prior to the event, but later simply changed his mind.)  Warrior was brought back the following April, but was gone again by year's end:  McMahon stated that he had failed a substance test, while Warrior claimed to have quit due to a dispute over pay and marketing rights, and because he was about to be relegated to a midcard angle with Nailz (which McMahon and others in the WWF denied).  In 1993, Jim Hellwig legally changed his name to Warrior, enabling him to retain the rights to the name outside of the WWF.

With the Monday Night Wars heating up in early 1996, McMahon brought Warrior in for a third time in an attempt to boost the WWF's ratings. This time, though, he largely failed to get over, perhaps as a result of those sudden disappearances earlier in the decade; at any rate, he was soon terminated again after no-showing several cards he had been advertised to appear on.

Warrior's last in-ring appearances before his retirement took place in 1998 as part of the "One Warrior Nation" angle, WCW's attempt to incorporate him into their interminable nWo storyline.  Like so many other WCW angles, it was ludicrous, with Warrior magically appearing and disappearing in huge clouds of smoke and, in one infamous vignette, popping up in a mirror as a reflection that only Hollywood Hogan -- and viewers watching at home -- could see.  The angle was designed to build up to a rematch of the Hogan-Warrior Wrestlemania encounter from 1990, which would take place at the Halloween Havoc PPV (and, according to Warrior, was booked for the sole reason of allowing Hogan to get the win back).  Unfortunately, the bout turned out to be an unmitigated disaster that was later described by both men as one of their worst matches ever.  The angle failed to help the promotion recover from its steady ratings slide, and Warrior disappeared from WCW shortly thereafter; he officially announced his retirement from the ring the following year.

In later years, Warrior became a motivational speaker and conservative commentator.  In early 2006 he filed a lawsuit against WWE on grounds that his career had been unfairly depicted in the company's Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD, which was given that title after he refused a request by WWE to assist in its production.  The suit, filed in Arizona, was ultimately thrown out, reportedly because Warrior was no longer a resident of that state (having relocated to New Mexico).  In April 2008 in Madrid, during a ceremony at a Nu-Wrestling Evolution card in which he was presented with an award commemorating his pro wrestling career, Warrior became embroiled in an argument with wrestler Orlando Jordan; as a result, a grudge bout between the two (Warrior's first match in nearly a decade, which -- not surprisingly -- he won) was held in Barcelona, Spain on June 25.

In early 2014, having apparently buried the hatchet with Warrior, WWE announced that he was being inducted into its Hall of Fame, the ceremony taking place the night before Wrestlemania 30 in New Orleans on April 6. Shockingly, 24 hours after an appearance on the following evening's edition of RAW, it was announced that Warrior had suddenly passed away.

Warrior's words on that night's RAW, in retrospect, read like a final farewell to his fans:
Every man's heart one day beats its final beat, his lungs breath their 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 than something that is larger than life, than his essence, his spirit will be immortalized. By the storytellers, by the loyalty, of those who honor him and make what that man did live forever.
Whether one loved or hated his character, Warrior was indisputably one of the most colorful and memorable stars in the history of pro wrestling.