Road Warrior Animal, whose real name is Joe Laurinaitis, passed away on Sept. 23 at age 60 due to natural causes. The wrestling world is in mourning, while one fellow performer has created a campaign to raise money. Al Snow recently unveiled a T-shirt to provide cash for Animal's family.
Snow posted a photo of the shirt on Twitter, showing off the text "RIP Animal," the dates of his birth and death and his mask. He said that he worked with the late wrestler's wife to come up with the design and that all of the proceeds will go to the family. The shirt costs $24.99 and is available in black.
We’ve worked directly with @roadwarrioranimal ‘s wife and designed this commemorative shirt. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to Animal’s family. Thank you for all the memories, Joe. Go to https://t.co/PHAAUK4vag pic.twitter.com/QEZlKQP4Po— Al Snow (@TheRealAlSnow) September 23, 2020
"Ordered mine. Genuine good dude. Will be missed," one fan commented after seeing Snow's design. Several others applauded the move to raise money for Animal's family while simultaneously asking about the availability. Many wanted to know if the shirt would be available to fans in the United Kingdom.
Following Animal's death, peers and fans alike have posted tributes to him on social media. Hulk Hogan reminisced about previous matchups with the Road Warriors and said that Animal had unfinished business with former teammate Hawk, who passed away from a heart attack in 2003. Similarly, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson posted a tribute on Instagram and talked about Animal's impact on his life and career.
"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 asses 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."
"With their intimidating face paint, outfits covered in metal spikes and an impressive array of power moves, the duo captured titles and destroyed opponents wherever they roamed," WWE said in a statement about Animal's death. "Their dominance made them so popular that the phrase 'Road Warrior pop' has been used in locker rooms to describe particularly deafening reactions from the crowd ever since."
The Animal design is not the only one available through Collar and Elbow Brand that supports a wrestler that passed away. Fans can also purchase a shirt to honor the memory of Shad Gaspard, the former wrestler who died in May after being caught in a riptide. Similar to the Animal shirt, all proceeds from the Gaspard design will go to the family.