(WCCO)- WWE announced Wednesday that legendary tag team wrestler Joe Laurinaitis, a.k.a “Road Warrior Animal,” died at the age of 60. The Minnesota native won multiple tag team titles across several wrestling promotions including the WWE. He attended Irondale High School in New Brighton, Minnesota.
Laurinaitis was one half of the “Road Warriors” tag team that later became known as the “Legion of Doom” when they arrived at the WWE. Along with his partner, Michael Hegstrand, a.k.a “Road Warrior Hawk,” Laurinaitis made his way up through the wrestling ranks, winning titles in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and the American Wrestling Association before moving on to the WWE.
The tag team won World Tag Team Titles in 1991 against “The Nasty Boys” and 1997 against “The Godwinns.” Laurinaitis went on to win another tag team title in the federation in 2005 which he dedicated to Hegstrand, who died in 2003. The Road Warriors were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
Laurinaitis’ son James, played eight seasons in the NFL from 2009-2016 after being selected in the second round by the Los Angeles Rams. James credited his work ethic to his father when he was with the New Orleans Saints in 2016.
No official cause for his death was disclosed.
Some the wrestling world’s biggest names offered their tributes after learning of Laurinaitis’ passing.
Just found out that Road Warrior Animal has left us. Very sad to hear this, always such a nice guy whenever I would see him. So, I have a Tasmanian Devil tattoo on my right arm, he was my inspiration to get that before I started wrestling training. #RIP pic.twitter.com/iynxmE8pkb
— TAZ (@OfficialTAZ) September 23, 2020
MY ROAD WARRIOR ANIMAL BROTHER. YOU WERE MOST OVER TAG TEAM EVER. WE HAVE THE BEST TIME IN THE MINNESOTA FOREVER I LOVE YOU. RIP BUBBA pic.twitter.com/dLzAy2uRaa
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) 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
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
— Dustin Rhodes (@dustinrhodes) September 23, 2020
Source: CBS Minnesota