WWE lost a legend last week as Joe Laurinaitis, also known as Road Warrior Animal of The Road Warriors, died at the age of 60. The Road Warriors, who were also called The Legion of Doom during their time in WWE, was one of the most popular teams in the promotion's history. Laurinaitis and Michael Hegstrand, who went by Road Warrior Hawk, were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
"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. "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."
WWE continued: "Animal wasn’t the only member of his family to earn fame in athletics. His brothers John and Marcus both enjoyed careers in the ring, competing as Johnny Ace and The Terminator, respectively, with John eventually becoming a WWE producer. Animal’s son James Laurinaitis played eight seasons in the NFL before retiring in 2017." The death of Laurinaitis was shocking for the entire WWE universe. Here's everything we know.
Laurinaitis died due to natural causes, TMZ reports. Law enforcement told the news outlet that the WWE star died a Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Missouri. They received a call from his wife, but when deputies arrived on the scene, Laurinaitis was declared dead.prevnext
According to the Bruce Mitchell audio show on the PWTorch website, Laurinaitis was dealing with health issues before his death. "I'm not a doctor and I don’t know any doctor that can look at someone and say health to it," Mitchell said. "Now looking back and understand and I'm not surprised that he had some heart issues, he had some kidney issues."prevnext
Rembered by Son
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James Laurinaitis, a former NFL player, paid tribute to his father on Instagram. "I'm absolutely crushed," James wrote. "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."prevnext
Al Snow Helping Family
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
Former WWE star and trainer Al Snow helped create a shirt that pays tribute to Road Warrior Animal. All the proceeds will go to his family, and many wrestlers and fans started buying the shirt.prevnext
Remembered by Manager
Today we lost the engine of the train— Paul Ellering (@PaulElleringWWE) September 23, 2020
LOD. Animal was a partner, warrior, and friend. He will be welcomed home by a waiting Hawk. pic.twitter.com/pJ3BSYRSnQ
Paul Ellering was the longtime manager of Legion of Doom and paid tribute to Laurinaitis on Twitter. Ellering called Road Warrior Animal a "friend" and then said he will be "welcomed home" by Hawk.prevnext
Hulk Hogan Remembers Hawk
When Hulk Hogan was in the WWE, he worked with the Legion of Doom multiple times. "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."prevnext
Impact on The Rock
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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson opened up about how The Road Warriors helped him out when he was starting 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 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."prev