Owner turned WWE 'Warrior's' gym into restaurant - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Owner turned WWE 'Warrior's' gym into restaurant

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

Pro-wrestling legend "The Ultimate Warrior" died last night here in the Valley. He was 54 years old. He was born James Hellwig, but had legally changed his name to "Warrior."

He had plenty of connections to the Valley. Such as one in Scottsdale with New York Bagels and Bialys on N. Scottsdale Rd. About 10 years ago it wasn't a restaurant. Instead, it was the place that Warrior called "home."

"I remember as a little kid, we rooted for Hulk Hogan all the time because that's what you did. He was everybody's hero. The Ultimate Warrior was the bad guy," said Ruth Leatherman, owner of New York Bagels and Bialys.

Leatherman and "The Ultimate Warrior" share a special connection of their own.

"It [the restaurant] was actually a Pure Fitness. But before that it had been Warrior's gym," Leatherman explained.

Though it's known as "NYBB" today, there are still remnants of Warrior there.

"These lockers were the original lockers that were here when we ending up renting the place," Leatherman said.

It was the place, presumably where, the legendary WWE wrestler prepared for his energetic matches.

"Right in the center of the [restaurant] floor was this raised floor, two or three inches high. It was probably about the size of a ring," Leatherman said as she described what the now-restaurant looked like back then.

It's two degrees of separation that are more poignant today. Tuesday evening, while walking with his wife out of Scottsdale's Gainey Suites Hotel, the "Ultimate Warrior" passed out. He later died at the hospital. His sudden death came just after his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame just two nights ago in New Orleans.

"I'm here tonight because of you," Warrior told the packed crowd of fans.

Later that evening he addressed fans at Wrestlemania 30. His words were eerily prophetic.

"Every man's heart one day beats it's final beat, his lungs breathe their final breath."

Scottsdale police say foul play doesn't appear to be involved in the Warrior's death. They say it appears he just suffered some sort of catastrophic medical episode.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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