April 9, 2014 8:29 pm -

James Hellwig died this week. He’s better known as the WWE star “The Ultimate Warrior.” John Prager writes that his childhood hero was no hero after all.

When I heard that James Hellwig, the Ultimate Warrior, died just after his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, his appearance at Wrestlemania XXX, and a followup on Monday Night Raw the kid inside me died a little, as well. One of the most prominent figures in my young life was forever lost to me. I don’t cry often, but this particular loss hit me hard because of how important a figure he was to the young John Prager. I’ll admit I shed more than a few involuntary tears.

However, someone sent me something that caused him to die a second time in my eyes–something that will forever tarnish the memories I have of him. The man behind the mask is not nearly as heroic as the character he portrayed in the wrestling world, I discovered. I am specifically referencing a speech he gave at the University of Connecticut in 2005, in which his bigotry–his hatred–are laid bare.

I did not know of his views until today, and a part of me wishes that I had never seen this–but, unfortunately, I did. In the speech, Hellwig (he is no longer the Warrior to me) rails against the poor and the LGBT community. “Nothing subject to moral relativity is left out between these two extremes–that the bum is as legitimate as the businessman? That homsexuals and homosexuality…let me come down off my politically correct horse. That queers are as legitimate as homosexuals?”

A student asked him how they are not equally legitimate, with Hellwig responding, “Because queering doesn’t make the world work.” While some applauded his awful statement, one student, quickly joined by others, challenged him, demanding to know why gay people are not legitimate in his eyes. His answer? ”I just told you. Queering doesn’t make the world work. Homosexuality is not as legitimate as heterosexuality. It doesn’t work that way. Reality.”


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.