The wrestling world is steel reeling over the sudden and unexpected death of the Ultimate Warrior less than 24 hours after his final appearance on WWE television. Warrior died of a massive heart attack while walking his wife to their car outside a resort in Scottsdale, AZ. He was 54 years old.
Wrestling fans were just as shocked and saddened by the untimely passing of Eddie Guerrero in Nov. 2005. Guerrero was an active performer in WWE at the time of his death, and had wrestled on television only a few days before he was found dead in his hotel room.
So, what does this have to do with Warrior?
There are similarities to Guerrero’s death that go beyond the fact that both men were on TV shortly before they passed away. Guerrero died of a massive heart attack, brought on by undiagnosed Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease. An autopsy revealed the same cause of death for Warrior.
Guerrero abused drugs in the past, including PEDs. It was later determined that anabolic steroids contributed to his heart disease, and therefor had a direct impact on his death. This despite the fact that no drugs or alcohol were found in his system at the time of his passing.
Warrior’s autopsy was also negative for drugs and alcohol.
Like Guerrero, Warrior was an admitted steroid abuser who used them for most of his life. He made no bones about the fact that his image was his bread-and-butter, and he did what he had to in order to maintain his physique – even after his career was over.
You can understand some of his motivations, but he made a choice that drastically shortened his life and permanently scarred his family. It’s a shame that so many wrestlers have made the same choice.
What isn’t understandable are comments Warrior made in respect to the deaths of Curt Hennig, Heath Ledger and others. Warrior was outspoken regarding the “weaknesses” (drug addictions) that led to their demises, yet he followed the exact same path. Warrior’s own passing is his ultimate contradiction.
It will be some time before the final toxicology reports are released for Warrior. While we still don’t know everything for sure, it’s pretty easy to see the writing on the wall.