The Ultimate Warrior was a phenomenon in the WWE. He paved the way for many others to unleash their inner warriors when it came to pursuing the dream of professional wrestling. Just like those he inspired whether it was in or out of the ring, he also had his moments of failure, victory, defeat and conquer. In honor of The Ultimate Warrior’s legacy, every Wednesday is Warrior Wednesday. This week, we take a look back at his early wrestling career.
Photo credit: Unknown // Edit: Betty B.
Warrior began his wrestling career as Jim “Justice” Hellwig of Powerteam, USA, this being a group of bodybuilders that were trained by Rick Bassman and Red Bastien. Later on in his career, Hellwig and Steve Borden teamed up as The Freedom Fighters, wrestling as Justice (Hellwig) and Flash (Borden) under the management of Dutch Mantel at Memphis’ Continental Wrestling Association. The duo then formed a TagTeam called The Blade Runners where Hellwig went by the name “Blade Runner Rock” and Borden “Blade Runner Flash”. The Blade Runners debuted at Continental Wrestling Alliance in Memphis, Tennessee as faces, but the fans did not take due to multiple baby face tag teams already developed such as Rock N’ Roll Express and The Fabulous Ones. They soon turned heel and continued to wrestle for Mid-South Wrestling when then became Universal Wrestling Federation in 1986. The Blade Runners were apart of Eddie Gilbert’s Hotstuff International Group until 1986 when Hellwig left Universal Wrestling Federation.