The wrestling world is mourning the loss of one half of one of the greatest tag teams of all-time.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Joe Laurinaitis, also known as Road Warrior Animal, had died at the age of 60. A cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
The Road Warriors, known as the Legion of Doom in WWE, are one of the most popular and successful tag teams in the history of professional wrestling. Animal and his partner, Road Warrior Hawk, garnered such a strong reaction from crowds that the term “Road Warrior Pop” was coined.
Whether it was the painted faces and spiked shoulder pads, or their trademark interviews that almost always included the catch phrase “Oh, what a rush,” The Road Warriors’ in-ring and on-screen persona resonated with fans everywhere they went.
Road Warrior Hawk, whose real name was Michael Hegstrand, died of a heart attack in 2003.
Animal and Hawk worked all over the world, finding success at every stop along the way. The duo worked in North America for the AWA, NWA, WCW, WWE and more, while also finding ascendancy in Japan. The Road Warriors were inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
After news of Laurinaitis’s passing, tributes poured in from around the wrestling world.
I Am More Than Saddened To Hear Of The Loss Of My Good Friend And GREAT Opponent Joe Laurinaitis Of The Legendary Road Warriors. They Were Iconic! The Road Warriors And The Four Horsemen Drew More Money And Had More Fun And Entertained Fans Worldwide At The Highest Level. RIP pic.twitter.com/eiZ2udqGNm
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) September 23, 2020
— Jimmy Korderas (@jimmykorderas) September 23, 2020
Very Saddened To Hear of The Passing of “Animal” Joe Laurinaitis This Morning & That Was NOT A ”Rush” For MEMy Heart Felt Sympathies Go Out To His Loved Ones. R.I.P. My Friend
— SGT SLAUGHTER (@_SgtSlaughter) September 23, 2020
— NattieByNature (@NatbyNature) September 23, 2020
I’ve often been asked …
“Who is the greatest Tag Team of All Time?”
The answer has always been the same.
Rest in Power brother.
— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) September 23, 2020