(TMZ) - The Ultimate Warrior is dead ... he died suddenly and horrifically, right in front of his wife, reports TMZ.

TMZ reports Warrior collapsed without warning outside an Arizona hotel at 5:50 PM Tuesday ... while walking to his car with his wife.

He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Warrior -- real name James Hellwig -- was a true WWE legend ... and was one of the most iconic wrestlers of all time.  He was 54-years-old.

The KiddChris Show's Ultimate Warrior Song:

Warrior was just inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before Wrestlemania XXX this weekend ... and this week he made his first appearance on "Monday Night Raw" in years.

Watch his WWE Hall of Fame speech from this past weekend and a classic promo here >>