Jim Hellwig, better known as the Ultimate Warrior in the WWE ring died on 8 April for reasons unknown yet. His untimely death came as a shock to the wrestling industry, especially because the news came just a few days after he was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame.
Fans were in a state of disbelief to hear the news of his demise only a few hours after his public appearance on 'Monday Night RAW' where he had said: "every man's heart one day beats its final beat." Wrestlers and fans took to Twitter to offer their respects to the legend.
On Wednesday night, TV presenter Nancy Grace had former pro wrestler Diamond Dallas Page on her show to discuss the life and times of the Ultimate Warrior. As the discussion drifted, Grace brought up the larger issue of drug abuse and steroids intake in wrestling that have probably led to many premature deaths in the past. As she speculated the cause of Warrior's death, she listed a few wrestlers who had died prematurely in the past. In the list was Owen Hart.
Hart died in 1999, at the age of 34, falling from the rafters.
Wrestlers and fans took to Twitter once again to #CancelNancyGrace and sent their well wishes to Hart's family and friends.
Page himself, after the show, posted this on Twitter:
I went on Nancy Grace last night expecting to discuss Warrior the man. Had I known the only topic discussed (cont) http://t.co/UZ6DTmaS9V
— Diamond Dallas Page (@RealDDP) April 10, 2014
Here's the full message: "I went on Nancy Grace last night expecting to discuss Warrior the man. Had I known the only topic discussed would be steroids I would not have participated. At the time I was also unaware of the list that was shown to the viewing audience. To imply that all of the wrestlers on that list died from steroids was wrong and for that they owe the families an apology. Again, my only intention was to discuss Warrior the man and share some stories about how dedicated he was to the wrestling business. I am saddened that was not what happened and my thoughts remain with his family."
Although WWE is openly admitted to be staged, the blows the wrestlers take is said to be real, sustaining severe injuries. Hence, a culture of drug abuse and painkillers has been developed. Warrior himself had admitted the use of drugs prior to his retirement in 1999.
ESPN host Colin Cowherd too went on record to say that the death of Warrior wasn't unexpected. "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]," TMZ quoted Cowherd.
The physical pain apart, the wrestlers also undergo mental stress that comes long after their glamorous careers have ended. The Warriors death has yet again brought to light the greyer side of the wrestling industry.
Here's the video of Nancy Grace interview on Wednesday night: