Wrestling Hall of Famer Road Warrior Animal Dies At 60
A pro wrestling legend, and frequent Shreveport performer, has passed away. Joseph Laurinaitis, better known as Road Warrior Animal, has passed away at the age of 60. His death was confirmed by his family through his official Twitter account.
Laurinaitis, along with his tag team partner Michael Hegstrand, or as he was known...Road Warrior Hawk, formed one of the greatest (if not the greatest) tag teams in pro wrestling history. The Road Warriors took over the pro wrestling world in the 1980s, creating what is referred to as a "Road Warrior Pop", which describes the sonic boom like reaction crowds would have as the team would be announced for their match.
The Road Warriors became one of the biggest draws in the world in the 80s, from Shreveport to Japan...and that's not hyperbole.
During the 1980s, Mid South Wrestling made it's home in Shreveport, Louisiana. Taping promos at local TV stations, and filming their matches at the Irish McNeil's Boys Club on the State Fairgrounds. Which is where you would often find The Road Warriors, like in this clip from 1983 that features a ring FULL of future Hall of Fame talent. The ring announcer is Jim Ross (Hall of Fame), as The Road Warriors (Hall of Fame) take on Art Crews and a young Rick Rude (Hall of Fame). Jump to the 10:35 mark to see their match.
The Road Warriors won multiple Tag Team Championships across the globe. Including multiple NWA Tag Team Championship variations, All Japan Pro Wrestling titles, IWS titles, and WWF/WWE Championships. They were Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Tag Team Of The Year in 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1988. As well as Wrestling Observer's Tag Team Of The Year in 1984, and Rookies of the Year in 1983.
All of their accolades led to their eventual induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.