Wrestling legend Joe ‘Road Warrior Animal’ Laurinaitis has sadly passed away at the age of 60.
The news was first confirmed by Hulk Hogan on Twitter when he posted:
RIP Animal,love you my brother, 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. HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) September 23, 2020
Animal’s brother Marcus confirmed the news on Facebook, writing:
“This morning my heart is heavy. My oldest brother Joe Laurinaitis died at age 60. He was known to most as one of the greatest tag teams of all time, the Legion of Doom, the Road Warriors, Animal, WWE HOF, Husband, Father, Brother, PopPop, and Friend! You were larger than life and your heart was even bigger, you are loved and missed Bro.”
This was followed by his wife also confirming the news on Twitter on Animal’s official account:
Animal was active just last night on Twitter, wishing his wife a happy anniversary.
Animal was one half of the Road Warriors / Legion of Doom tag team alongside Hawk, with the pair widely regarded as one of the greatest and most important duos in the history of the business.
The reaction from fans to the Mad Max-inspired duo was so huge that other wrestlers backstage coined the term “Road Warrior pop” due to the monster reactions they received from crowds.
The pair had headline runs in every major territory in the 1980s, capturing tag team gold everywhere they went. They eventually landed in the WWF in 1990, where they became an iconic act thanks to their unique look (which included face paint and spiked shoulder pads) and memorable promo style.
After Hawk passed away in 2003, Road Warrior Animal returned to WWE for one final run, partnering Heidenreich in a new version of the Legion of Doom.
Everyone at Inside The Ropes is saddened to hear of the loss of Joe Laurinaitis, and we send our condolences to his family at this difficult time.