At only 49 years old, it's a shame to see him go so young. While he was never my favorite on the show, American Gladiators is one of the shows I closely identify with my youth. I watched religiously every Saturday afternoon, and Hawk surely contributed to those memories. I was actually a big fan of his though as a commentator on the late 90's TNN action show, RollerJam.
As fans of wrestling, we are far too used to seeing our heroes die young, and I think American Gladiators is closely related to pro wrestling in the punishment some of those Gladiators took and what they may or may not have used to stay strong and cope with the pain. I just hope Hawk's case doesn't turn out like so many other stories we've seen after the deaths of our favorite wrestlers.