Joseph Laurinaitis, best known as Road Warrior Animal during a legendary wrestling career, has died. He was 60.
A tweet from Laurinaitis' account revealed that he has passed away with WWE confirming the news with a lengthy statement.
According to TMZ, Animal passed away at a Tan-Tar-A resort in Osage Beach, Missouri of natural causes. Laurinaitis' wife reportedly called the cops around 11:49 pm. Emergency personnel had already declared Animal dead when deputies arrived on the scene.
Laurinaitis is best known for his lengthy tag team run with Road Warrior Hawk as The Road Warriors and Legion of Doom for a number of promotions across the world, especially in the WWF and WCW where they won numerous tag team titles.
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
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.
Laurinaitis started his wrestling career in the 1980s and would go on to wrestle well as recent as the 2010s. He and Hawk were inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2011.
Fightful extends its condolences to Laurinaitis' family and friends.