U.S. wrestler The Ultimate Warrior died of heart disease: autopsy

Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:51pm IST

(Reuters) - The Ultimate Warrior, one of the most celebrated names in U.S. professional wrestling, died of natural causes attributed to heart disease, an Arizona coroner's office said on Tuesday.

An autopsy on the 54-year-old wrestler, whose given name was James Hellwig, confirmed his cause of death was "atherosclerotic/arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease," according to the Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner.

The condition occurs when blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the body become blocked or hardened, restricting blood flow, according to medical experts.

Hellwig collapsed on April 8 outside a hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona, police said.

His death came just days after he was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc Hall of Fame.

The 6-foot, 2-inch tall, 280-pound (127 kg) wrestler was one of the most recognizable characters in professional wrestling, commanding the ring in his signature neon garb, lengthy blond hair and face paint.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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