the official Twitter account for WWE Hall of Famer “Road Warrior Animal” Joseph Laurinaitis announced that the pro wrestling legend has passed away at the age of 60. It was noted that more details will be confirmed later today when the family releases a statement.
WWE has issued a statement of their own on Animal’s passing, remembering him as one of the most intense Superstars to step in the ring. You can see their full statement below, along with the tweet from Animal’s official Twitter account.
Road Warrior Animal passes away
WWE is saddened to learn that Joe Laurinaitis, known to WWE fans as Road Warrior Animal, has passed away at the age of 60.
One of the most intense Superstars to ever step into the squared circle, the 6-foot-2, 300-pound Animal spent the majority of his career alongside his tag team partner, Hawk. Together, they formed what was arguably the most successful, popular and feared tandem of all time — The Road Warriors.
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. 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 thrived in multiple stints with WWE, where they were known as The Legion of Doom. The team won the World Tag Team Titles on two occasions and were eventually enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame.
WWE extends its condolences to Laurinaitis’ family, friends and fans.
It was reported by TMZ that Animal passed away from natural causes, at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Orange Beach, Missouri. Police reportedly received a phone call on Tuesday night at 11:49pm, from Laurinaitis’ wife. Authorities arrived Laurinaitis was declared deceased already. It was noted on Laurinaitis’ Twitter account that he and his wife Kim had been celebrating their wedding anniversary on Wednesday, shortly before police were called.
Hulk Hogan was the first to pay tribute to Animal, commenting on his death before the official Road Warrior Animal Twitter account made the announcement.
Hogan wrote, “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”
Triple H remembered Animal on behalf of Stephanie McMahon and the rest of WWE.
“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,” he wrote.
JBL paid tribute to The Road Warriors and named them the greatest tag team of all time.
He wrote, “The greatest tag team of all time was the Road Warriors. Often imitated, never duplicated. Loved both of them as friends and idolized both as the GOATs. RIP Animal-love you my brother, my condolences to everyone affected by this tragic loss.”
Tag team legend Bubba Ray Dudley also called Animal and his late partner Hawk the greatest. He wrote, “I’ve often been asked … ‘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”
Ric Flair commented on the history between the Four Horsemen and the Road Warriors, writing, “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”
AEW also paid tribute to Animal, writing, “AEW and the wrestling world mourn the passing of the legendary Road Warrior Animal, our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans.”