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Video: The Ultimate Warrior, Now Dead at 54, Talks About His Steroid Use


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James Hellwig—best known as “The Ultimate Warrior”—has died suddenly, at the age of 54, for an unspecified reason. He was one of the icons of WWF/WWE in the ’80s and ’90s, known for his face paint, his frenzied persona and his bulging physique. Of course, few observers of the “sport” of pro-wrestling believe that the muscles on display are acquired by purely natural means.

The Ultimate Warrior freely admits as much in the interview below, in the context of the death of another pro-wrestler, Chris Benoit, who killed his wife, his son and himself in 2007. “Oh, steroids are used throughout the industry all the way through,” says Warrior. “I mean it’s easier to say, or point out the number of guys who aren’t doing steroids than those that are.” He says he used steroids throughout his own career. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), steroid use is “associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart attacks and strokes, even in athletes younger than 30,” as well as other health problems.

Just last weekend, The Ultimate Warrior was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and gave a retrospectively poignant speech: “Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe 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 in something that’s larger than life, then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized by the storytellers.”