SAN ANTONIO – Tag team superstar Road Warrior Animal, Joe Laurinaitis, died on Wednesday at the age of 60, World Wrestling Entertainment and his family confirm.
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
The family of Laurinaitis confirmed his death and say they plan to release a statement later today.
“At this time, we would like to confirm the passing of Joseph Laurinaitis aka Road Warrior Animal at the age of 60,” A post on Road Warrior Animal’s Twitter profile reads. “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”
Animal’s longtime teammate Road Warrior Hawk died in 2003. Animal and Hawk dazzled fans and opponents alike in face paint and metal spikes as a vicious duo that dominated the sport for decades.
WWE is saddened to learn that Joe Laurinaitis, known to WWE fans as Road Warrior Animal, has passed away.— WWE (@WWE) September 23, 2020
WWE extends its condolences to Laurinaitis' family, friends and fans. https://t.co/hurorEDVff
Legendary foes of The Four Horsemen in the National Wrestling Alliance, the Road Warriors claimed both wrestling organization’s tag team titles.
According to a World Wrestling Entertainment biography of the duo, both Hawk and Animal were born and raised in Chicago and trained in Minneapolis under Eddie Sharkey.
The Road Warriors were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame with their manager Paul Ellering in 2011.
Since learning about the famed wrestler’s death, leaders of the sport, wrestlers alike have taken to social media to show their sympathies and express their condolences. Below are a few of their reactions:
The Road Warriors were one of my favorite tag-teams, destroying theirs opponents with overwhelming strength and power. RIP, Animal. https://t.co/Se4ZVDo6rt— Kane (@KaneWWE) September 23, 2020
I’ve often been asked ...— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) September 23, 2020
“Who is the greatest Tag Team of All Time?”
The answer has always been the same.
Rest in Power brother. 💪🏽
My sincere condolences to family, friends and fans of Animal all around the world. #RIPAnimal pic.twitter.com/hQ2Av7xw1X
My heart goes out to the family and friends of 1 1/2 of the greatest tagteam in the history of this business, Joseph Laurinaitis/animal from LOD. Thank you for showing the world how tag team wrestling is done. You will be missed and never forgotten.R.I.P my friend. #RoadWarriors pic.twitter.com/5VWd9o4O3f— D-von Dudley HOF (@TestifyDVon) September 23, 2020
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
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
The Road Warriors were a team who personified excitement, physicality, and the undeniable ability to energize the crowd. @StephMcMahon and I join the Superstars, legends, and our @WWE fans in offering our condolences to the Joe Laurinaitis’ family at this difficult time. https://t.co/pDu4BH77uY— Triple H (@TripleH) September 23, 2020