WWE legend Animal, who was one half of the famed tag team known as the “Road Warriors” and “Legion of Doom,” has died, according to a post on his official Twitter account. He was 60.
“At this time, we would like to confirm the passing of Joseph Laurinaitis aka Road Warrior Animal at the age of 60,” the Twitter post said. “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.”
WWE said it was “saddened” to learn of Animal’s passing and expressed condolences to his family.
Animal and his tag team partner Hawk were two-time WWE tag team champions and were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011. Hawk, real name Michael Hegstrand, died of a heart attack in 2003 at age 46.
“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 its 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.”
The Road Warriors, who were managed by Paul Ellering, began as a duo in Georgia Championship Wrestling before wrestling in the AWA in the mid-’80s. They also worked for WCW and had stints in Japan.
“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,” Hulk Hogan wrote on Twitter.
Animal’s son James Laurinaitis was an NFL linebacker with the Rams from 2009 to 2015 before finishing his career with the Saints in 2016.