Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/09/23/road-warrior-animal-passes-away-at-the-age-of-60/
It has been confirmed via the Twitter account of Road Warrior Animal that the NWA, WWE and Minnesota Wrestling Hall Of Famer has passed away at the age of 60. Animal, real name Joseph Laurinaitis’ family is planning to release an official statement on his passing later today.
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
Road Warrior Animal was spotlighted on the most recent season of Dark Side of the Ring on VICE along with his late tag team partner Hawk. He also hosted his ‘What A Rush with Road Warrior Animal’ podcast along with co-hosting a WWE RAW recap show with Chris Featherstone on Sportskeeda.
Laurinaitis was a part of one of the most highly regarded tag teams in pro wrestling and before Hawk’s passing, the duo found success in WWF, NWA, WCW and in several Japan-based companies including All Japan. Both Hawk and Animal are a part of multiple pro wrestling Hall Of Fames across North America as many in the sport classify them as one of the greatest tag teams of all-time.
POST Wrestling would like to send our condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Joseph Laurinaitis.
Oof. This is pretty out of nowhere as far as I’m aware.
Not to make light of the situation, just an interesting fact. Harley Race’s death in August 2019 marked the first “full” Survivor Series team to pass away: the 1988 team of Andre, Rude, Hennig, Dino Bravo and Race.
Animal’s death makes it two more: the 1990 team of Ultimate Warrior, Kerry Von Erich and the LOD as well as the 1991 team of Big Boss Man and LOD.
I don’t know why this one hit me like it did. Maybe all the memories I have from WrestleFest from back in the days, maybe after that when I discovered that I can rent tapes in a local VHS rental with wrestling, then came RTL2, DSF and Sky Sports. Through these years he and Hawk were always the team for me to watch and root for as “the Champions”.
Rest In Peace, big man.
Crazy. He looked to be in great health when he was on Dark Side of the Ring.
Can’t believe he was only 60. RIP Animal.
Oh man, RIP Animal.
What a great tag team the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom were. One of my favourites as a kid.
They were an amazing force in the ring & super popular. There’s a reason they call it a Road Warrior Pop.
The look, the attitude, they had such a presence about them. You might have suspected something wasn’t quite on the up & up about pro wrestling as a kid but there was no way you’d pick a fight with Hawk & Animal.
Both gone too soon.
Really sad news. It was seeing the Road Warriors on NWA Main Event when ITV briefly showed it in 1989 that got me into wrestling. I’ll never forget the Marietta Massacre angle with The Freebirds and SST that set up the ‘89 Bash War Games. That was a hot angle.
He wished his wife a happy anniversary a mere 24 hours ago so this comes as quite the surprise to me. However like Chadwick Boseman you never truly know what someone is dealing with so I won’t speculate.
It’s a big loss to the wrestling world but in a small positive The Road Warriors are back together…
Thanks for the memories Animal… WHAT A RUSH!
Dammit, this sucks. Way too young to pass away. My condolences to his family.
RIP Animal,RIP The Roadwarriors.
Thanks for making me feel old!
Good for Billy though. He looks like he’s in great shape for his age.
Billy Gunn doesnt look 57, but if I didnt know it and someone told me, I’d believe it.
Road Warrior Animal was only in his late 30’s in the Attitude Era, that just seems crazy to me, when guys like Orton, Styles, Jericho and others are still going over 40.
Probably my earliest recollection of wrestling was the Road Warriors vs. The Midnight Express. The moment life changed for me
My favourite Road Warriors moment was Summerslam '92 against Money Inc.
As a kid I loved that match, but its hard to enjoy now knowing Hawk was inebriated.
I think it’s a testament to the impact the Road Warriors had in the business that someone like my father, who never really liked or watched wrestling from his own admission, knew who were the Road Warriors and found them very intimidating. That’s how you know you’re a draw.
But yeah, 60 is way too young to die. Same age than my mom so that one stung hard.
I was starting to watch wrestling in in a regular basis when he came back for his 2005 run Rick Heidenreich hopefully he’s in a really good place
That’s John (Jon or John? ) Heidenreich.