Sad news has been announced this week as professional wrestling has lost one half of its most legendary tag teams in history. WWE Hall Of Famer Road Warrior Animal, one half of the legendary tag team The Road Warriors, has passed away at the age of 60.
No official word has been released as to the cause of death at this moment. His passing was announced on his Twitter this morning.
At this time, we would like to confirm the passing of Joseph Laurinaitis aka Road Warrior Animal at the age of 60. The family is planning to release a statement later today. At this time we ask for you to keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers. #OhWhatARush
— RoadWarriorAnimal (@RWAnimal) September 23, 2020
Straight out of Chicago, Animal trained to become a professional wrestler along with Michael Hegstrand, aka Road Warrior Hawk. They would form their legendary tag team The Road Warriors alongside their manager Paul Ellering in Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1983.
The Road Warriors would dominate the territories in the 80’s such as the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and the American Wrestling Association (AWA) by capturing their tag team championships.
They would also make history as they competed in the first ever WarGames match in 1987 when they teamed up with “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff to take on The Four Horsemen.
The Road Warriors would eventually make their way to the WWE in the 90’s under the name ” The Legion Of Doom” where they would add the WWE Tag Team Championships to their list of accolades, defeating The Nasty Boys in 1991.
They would continue to dominate the tag team division wherever they went, competing in WCW against teams such as Lex Luger and Sting, Harlem Heat and The Steiner Brothers.
In 2003, Michael Hegstrand passed away at the age of 46. Animal contiued to carry on the Road Warrior name as he would capture the WWE Tag Team Championship along with Heidenreich at the Great American Bash in 2005 where he would dedicate the win to his fallen partner, Hawk.
In 2011, the teams legacy along with Paul Ellering were recognized as they were inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame.
Road Warrior Animal was survived by his wife, daughter and son as well as his brothers John Laurinaitis and Marcus Laurinaitis.
We send our condolences to the family and friends of Road Warrior Animal.