Professional wrestling is a staple of popular culture in the United States and around the world with a long-standing and memorable history. This industry is best described as Sports Entertainment with its incredible fusion of theatre and athleticism, packaged into live shows and broadcast around the world. Fans of wrestling are drawn to the melodramatic story lines, the unique characters and the remarkable athleticism required to create a memorable performance. Contrary to what many say wrestling is not fake, it is a choreographed performance that requires incredible ability and carries genuine risk. The dangers of the industry are well publicized and the long term effects on its performers can be utterly devastating. As an author and researcher what draws me to look at the industry is not what happens in the ring, it is what happens behind the veil that is required to bring the public performance to life.
On October 24th, 1987 a 28-year-old named James Brian Hellwig made his primetime debut with WWF as his character “The Ultimate Warrior”. Less than three years later he would be chosen to serve as the face of the largest wrestling company in the world, becoming the world champion by defeating the legendary Hulk Hogan. He would hold that title for less than a year and was fired in August of 1991 by his boss, the head of WWF Vince McMahon. Hellwig’s career as the Ultimate Warrior would not fully recoup after he was released, but it by no means ended his wrestling career or involvement with the industry. He would return for two more stints with WWF, which became WWE, and one with WCW during the height of its popularity. Hellwig’s Ultimate Warrior character would become incredibly iconic despite his brief career, and the man himself would be a polarizing figure in the industry.
This site is not a fan site; it is a biographical site about Jim Hellwig fueled by interviews with industry insiders and research into Hellwig’s life and the world of wrestling. The complexity of Jim Helwlig’s relationship to professional wrestling and the legendary status of his Ultimate Warrior character provide an incredible avenue to explore what the world of professional wrestling looked like in the 80s and 90s and how that industry has continued to evolve. On April 8th of 2014, Hellwig suddenly passed at the age of 54 just days after being inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame. Hellwig’s story is an incredible journey that provides an opportunity to explore the culture and world that can transform a human being wearing tights and engaging in a choreographed battle into a global sensation. Few of Hellwig’s contemporaries are lukewarm in their feelings towards him as most seem to be very positive or very negative. The Ultimate Warrior’s journey allows us to peer into this popular, entertaining and often dark world. The site has been divided into the following categories.
Before Wrestling will chronicle Hellwig’s early life as a young man living in Indiana and as a body builder prior to his wrestling career
Personal Life will give the reader insight into Hellwig outside of the ring, exploring the home life of a superstar in this industry
Pop Culture is our newest page that will feature interviews, books and whatever as our site continues to expand it scope.
Interviews & Updates phone interviews with former wrestlers who worked with Hellwig or provide insight into the world of professional wrestling
Wrestling Career will provide a chronicle of his professional wrestling career through the highs, lows, success and controversy that surrounded the Ultimate Warrior character
About the Author tells you a little about the guy behind the research and writing
Professional Wrestling as a cultural phenomena fascinates me tremendously. It is a performance medium that allows people wearing next to nothing, participating in choreographed combat and wearing face paint to become household names. Wrestling is a sub-culture of this amazing world that opens up new possibilities for looking at the human race and what makes us tick. Many of the stories are triumphant, many deeply disheartening but all of them draw us deeper into our efforts at understanding the human race.
It is my sincere hope that you find the information captivating and that the world of professional wrestling will fascinate you as much as it has me.
Author and Researcher- firstname.lastname@example.org