THE OTHER half of the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom — the famed World Wrestling Federation tandem from the '90s that sported face paint and shoulder spikes — has passed away at the age of 60, the WWE announced today.
Joe Laurinaitis, who stepped into the squared circle under the name ‘Road Warrior Animal’, reportedly passed away in Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Missouri.
TMZ Sports is reporting that the police were summoned to the scene by Laurinaitis’ wife. But no further details have been reported, except that he had passed away of "natural causes", according to the TMZ report.
“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 WWE wrote in a short tribute on their website. His partner, whose real name was Michael Hegstrand, passed away in 2003 of a heart attack.
Laurinaitis was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
Ring legend Hulk Hogan posted his condolences on Twitter.
"RIP Animal, love you my brother,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that a federal court had dismissed a lawsuit filed by 50 former pro wrestlers, who claimed that the WWE had failed to protect them from head injuries, concussions, and brain damage.
Laurinaitis was one of the defendants, along with Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka,Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff, and Chris “King Kong Bundy” Pallies.