Road Warrior Animal Dead: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Shares Emotional Message About WWE Legend

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson loves and respects WWE legends as his father, who died earlier this year, is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. And when Joe Laurinaitis died this week, Johnson went to Instagram to pay tribute to the man who was called Road Warrior Animal. In the Instagram post, Johnson talked about the many times he would battle Laurinaitis and his tag-team partner Michael Hegstrand, also known as Road Warrior Hawk, who died in 2003.

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.

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Johnson ended the post by writing: Tough as nails. Good men. Greatest tag team of all time. And apple fritters (our inside joke). Much love and I'll always be grateful to you both." The Road Warriors, who were also known as the Legion of Doom during their time in WWE, made a huge impact in the tag team division during the 1980s and 1990s. While in WWE they won the tag team titles twice, which led to them being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.

"With their intimidating face paint, outfits covered in metal spikes and impressive array of power moves, the duo captured titles and destroyed opponents wherever they roamed," WWE said in a statement. "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."

During his time in WWE, Johnson had a very successful singles career. However, the eight-time WWE Champion was strong in the tag team division also as he won the WWF Tag Team Championship five times with three different wrestlers. Johnson had the most tag team success with Mick Foley as they made the team The Rock 'n' Sock Connection. The duo won the title three times and was very popular among WWE fans.