Joe Laurinaitis, who was also known as Road Warrior Animal by all WWE fans, died at the age of 60 earlier this week. There were many former wrestlers that paid tribute to the WWE Hall of Famer, including Hulk Hogan, who worked with Laurinaitis during their time in WWE during the 1980s and 1990s. Hogan went to social media to send a message to Laurinaitis.
"RIP Animal, love you my brother," Hogan wrote on Twitter. "I know you and Hawk have a lot of unfinished business to take care of! God speed and blessings to your beautiful family, one love4Life." Hogan also wrote the same post on Instagram, but he also shared a video of him battling Laurinaitis and his tag-team partner Michel Hegstrand (also known as Road Warrior Hawk) in Tokyo. Along with Hogan, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson also sent a message to Laurinaitis as he and Hegstrand helped Johnson when he was a young star in WWE.
"Really saddened to wake up to this news yesterday — the passing of my friend, Joe Laurinaitis aka ROAD WARRIOR ANIMAL," Johnson wrote. "Joe & Mike aka HAWK & ANIMAL, THE ROAD WARRIORS were the most intense, legit tough bad a—s tag team in the history of the wild world of pro wrestling. When I was making my bones, still learning the business in the WWE as a very young 'The Rock,' - I wrestled these guys so many times on the road and they always took good care of me and made sure I learned." Another emotional tribute came from Laurinaitis' son James who is a former NFL linebacker.
"I don't have the right words to say," James Laurinaitis wrote in an Instagram post. "I'm absolutely crushed. I miss you already. I hate that I wasn’t able to say goodbye. Say hello to Mum Mum, Pop Pop, and Hawk for me. Thank you for your love and support and the many lessons you’ve taught me. I can't believe you're gone. I love you Dad."
Laurinaitis and Hegstrand made up the tag team The Road Warriors. They also went by Legion of Doom when they were in WWE. During their time with the company, Animal and Hawk won the WWF Tag Team Championship two times and were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.