Warrior's Death Is NOT Shocking
Wrestlers 'Roll the Dice With Their Lives'
4/9/2014 12:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The death of the Ultimate Warrior wasn't shocking or unexpected ... it's par for the course with wrestler who abuse their bodies ... so says ESPN host Colin Cowherd.
Cowherd went on his radio show this morning and said pro wrestlers are dying at an alarming rate -- and at a very young age ... and blames it on a culture of drugs and painkillers.
"The story behind the story is ... drugs, painkiller, HGH ... it's the roll of the dice that pro wrestling dudes with limited options not good enough to play pro sports [take]."
Cowherd didn't specifically accuse Warrior of drug abuse -- but said it's something that nearly all wrestlers acknowledge.
Colin went on to compare wrestling to pro baseball -- saying, "You think baseball season is long? There's is double and they don't get 4 at-bats. They're getting batted on all night."
Cowherd's point -- he wants people to stop pretending to be shocked when wrestlers like Warrior, Mr. Perfect, Doink the Clown die way before their time.
He Looked Very Sick and In Pain
Days Before Death
4/9/2014 9:44 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ultimate Warrior looked like he was on the verge of a medical catastrophe all weekend -- sweaty and stressed, like he was about to "burst at the seams" ... eyewitnesses tell TMZ.
According to sources who were with Warrior this past weekend, the WWE legend looked like he was in constant pain ... sweaty and looked very uncomfortable, like he was choking on his tie. It was apparent to everyone ... something was seriously off.
Another warning sign -- when Warrior did his signature rope shake after his big speech on Monday Night Raw, he looked weak ... and people around him noticed.
One eyewitness put it this way ... "We all felt like he looked like he was going to blow a gasket. It was pretty easy to see."
It makes Warrior's speech on Monday Night Raw even more ominous ... "Every man's heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe a final breath." 24 hours later he was dead.
TMZ broke the story ... Warrior was walking in a Scottsdale hotel Tuesday when he grabbed his chest and collapsed.
Clutched Chest Before Collapsing
... Witnesses Say
4/9/2014 8:09 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The Ultimate Warrior "clutched his chest" moments before he collapsed at an Arizona hotel Tuesday afternoon ... this according to law enforcement sources who spoke with witnesses.
TMZ has learned ... Warrior was walking down a hallway at the Gainey Suites Hotel in Scottsdale, AZ and headed toward his car with his wife -- when he stopped, clutched his chest and went down.
We're told Warrior never recovered.
Sources connected to the situation tell us officials believe Warrior suffered a "catastrophic medical event" and so far, we're told there is no evidence to show drugs or alcohol were a factor in his death. All signs point to massive heart attack.
We're told an investigation is underway. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner tells us the autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.
Wrestlemania Loss Was Dead Wrong
4/9/2014 12:02 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Dead at 54
Collapsed at AZ Hotel
4/8/2014 8:59 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The Ultimate Warrior is dead ... he died suddenly and horrifically, right in front of his wife.
We've learned Warrior collapsed without warning outside an Arizona hotel at 5:50 PM Tuesday ... while walking to his car with his wife.
He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Warrior -- real name James Hellwig -- was a true WWE legend ... and was one of the most iconic wrestlers of all time. He was 54-years-old.
Warrior was just inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before Wrestlemania XXX this weekend ... and this week he made his first appearance on "Monday Night Raw" in years.
Triple H just tweeted, "Saddened to announce the passing of the Ultimate Warrior. Icon and friend. My sympathy to his wife Dana and his daughters."
Stephanie McMahon also tweeted, " Your strength of character is to be admired. There will never be anyone like you. Your spirit lives on in your family."
Hulk Hogan -- Warrior's greatest rival -- has also tweeted, "RIP WARRIOR. only love. HH"
Kevin Nash wrote, "So happy I embraced Warrior with a hug when we saw each other backstage Saturday night.My heart goes out to his family.Always Believe."
Warrior posed for some pics at the airport in New Orleans around 6am Tuesday morning. We're told he was in great spirits and offered to take photos with any fan who approached him.
WWE posted a message on the official website saying, "WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior. "
"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 legions 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."
Story developing ...
Undertaker's Loss Was a Conspiracy!
4/8/2014 2:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The Iron Sheik has joined the grassy knoll lunch club ... claiming The Undertaker's loss at WrestleMania 30 was an off-the-cuff conspiracy triggered by an injury during the match.
It was a shocking loss ... breaking a record 21 wins in a row.
Undertaker suffered a serious concussion during his match against Brock Lesnar. A fringe cell -- including Iron Sheik -- believes Undertaker was supposed to win but after the injury there was a mad scramble to change the plan because Undertaker wasn't physically able to seal the deal.
The problem with the theory -- lots of people at the center of the WWE say Undertaker handpicked Brock years ago and more than likely planned to pass the torch at Sunday's event.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
... I'll Be at WrestleMania!
4/3/2014 12:48 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Stone Cold Steve Austin just touched down in New Orleans to make an appearance Sunday at WrestleMania XXX ... but when it comes to what he'll be doing, the legendary wrestler remains tight-lipped.
Stone Cold hightailed it to N.O.L.A. this morning for the 30th anniversary of WrestleMania -- which airs live on the WWE Network -- but refused to tell a photog at the airport what role he'll play at the event.
Austin hasn't been to Mania in 3 years ... and we're guessing he didn't fly all the way across the country to NOT Stone Cold stun some jabroni.
... and that's the bottom line.
WWE Star Jerry Lawler
Andre the Giant Was a Legend
... At The Bar
3/23/2014 12:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The only undefeated pro wrestling champ ... when it comes to drinking ... is Andre the Giant -- so says another WWE legend -- Jerry "The King" Lawler.
Before he was announcing, Lawler used to wrestle and hang with the French giant -- and tells us A.T.G. could drink more than anyone he knows ... or YOU know, for that matter.
As Jerry walked out of LAX ... he also revealed the exact amount of beer it took to get 7'4", 500 lb. Andre drunk, and let's just say ... George Lopez would be proud.
Definitely ... Eighth Wonder of the World.
BIG Girl Thieves
RIPPED OFF My Store!
3/19/2014 12:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Hulk Hogan's Florida beach shop was hit by three chicks who distracted the manager ... while a fourth made off with a signed boot. Simple, and effective.
Hogan tells TMZ his staff discovered one of the pieces of Hulk memorabilia -- a signed wrestling boot -- went missing. But a quick look at surveillance video solved the mystery.
Here's what happened ... four girls came in and chatted up the manager. After luring the manager to the front of the store, one of the four snuck back in and lifted the boot. Someone who has seen the video tells TMZ ... the women are large and in charge.
Hulk tells us he's planning to file a police report today and hand over the surveillance video. He also says the girls showed off Michigan IDs to the manager, so they're probably in town for spring break.
Clearwater PD tells TMZ they are investigating the theft. They say the shoe was taken by "a heavyset white female in her 50s" -- while a worker got distracted by someone knocking over a statue of Hogan outside the store.
I'm Down For WrestleMania, IF ...
3/18/2014 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Rowdy" Ronda Rousey is totally down to get in the ring with the WWE's finest at WrestleMania ... but she'll only appear with her posse.
Rousey and her roommate/UFC fighter Shayna Baszler posted a video of the two mixing it up in the ring last week -- the rumor mills went wild ... and we're told she'd be stoked to wrestle a legit match at WrestleMania.
Sources close to Ronda say she's busy with movies and real fighting ... but if WWE honchos wanted to make it happen they can get the ball rolling by hiring her crew -- the Four Horsewomen -- Baszler, Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke.
We're told the fighter is saying WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans next month would be out of the question ... but if the WWE is interested, she'd be down to make it happen at next year's event in SF.
Fun Fact: Ronda confesses she jacked her nickname Rowdy from Roddy Piper.
To Be Inducted Into WWE Hall of Fame, Fool
3/17/2014 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Mr. T pities anybody who isn't in the WWE Hall of Fame ... because after playing a pivotal role in launching WrestleMania 30 years ago -- the 80s star is finally getting his due.
Vince McMahon says ... T will be this year's celebrity inductee into the Hall of Fame, telling TMZ, "His WWE appearances were instrumental in helping to establish WrestleMania as the pop-culture phenomenon it is today."
Mr. T famously said he turned the WWE down for a H.O.F. spot in 2009 ... but now the two sides have buried the hatchet -- and the "A-Team" star will take his rightful place in the celebrity wing.
If you're too young to remember -- Hulk Hogan and T teamed up at the inaugural event ... he also took part in a special boxing match at WrestleMania II against Roddy Piper.
The Hall of Fame ceremony airs on April 5 ... and will air in its entirety on the WWE Network.
No word on who's inducting T.
With Hogan recently returning to the company though -- we're guessing he's a lock, brother.
Hulk Hogan to CM Punk
Please Come Back
to the WWE!
3/9/2014 8:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Count Hulk Hogan among the legion of WWE fans who hope CM Punk makes a wrestling comeback in the near future.
Punk has been radio silent (no interviews and his Twitter account has been quiet for over a month) since he quit the WWE. As TMZ first reported, Punk was pissed that he was passed over for the title match at next month's WrestleMania event in favor of Batista.
When our photog spotted the Hulkster yesterday in New York, he made it clear ... he wants CM back in the squared circle where he belongs.
From your lips to Vince McMahon's ears.