Here's an anecdote that probably will never make it to the "Story Time" show on the WWE Network.
In what may be a new industry standard for the anecdote best epitomizing professional wrestling's party days of the 1980s and 1990s, the Road Warriors delivered their finisher to Vince McMahon in a strip club.
Animal told the story during a recent interview in SI's Extra Mustard feature, recalling that it happened in Texas (where else?). According to Animal, he, fellow Road Warrior Hawk, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, the Warlord, and McMahon were among a large group unwinding at the club.
“Hogan waved at me when Vince wasn’t looking and gave me the thumbs up,” Animal said. “I looked at Hawk and said, ‘Bro, let’s give Vince a Doomsday.’ So I got behind Vince and got him on my shoulders, and Hawk literally jumped on the stage at a male dance place—with female dancers, mind you—and the dancer moved aside, because she probably wasn’t used to seeing a 275-pound man with traps coming out of his ears. Then Hawk came running off the stage and clotheslined Vince off my shoulders.”
Animal noted that Hogan caught McMahon, rather than force the WWE Chairman to take a flip bump on the move.
"You can only imagine all of us doing this right in the middle of a dance club, but it was all done in fun. Shortly after, we were all escorted out,” Animal said, also describing it as "a great time in the wrestling business."
During the heyday of their career, Animal and Hawk held the WWE, WCW and AWA World Tag Titles, also winning gold for All Japan Pro Wrestling, one of the marquee promotions in Japan at that time. He told SI that he felt most of the current tag teams lacked the same chemistry he and Hawk had, with one exception... The New Day.
“I’ll admit it, I love those guys,” said Animal. “I helped train Big E for a couple weeks in Tampa. I know those three and they’re all really good guys and very talented. People believe in them, and American Alpha is the only other team with a chance to be great. They just need to improve their interviews, but right now, so many other teams are not ready for that push nor are they utilized in the fashion they should be. Dolph Ziggler is a perfect example. He is the modern day Mr. Perfect, but all they do is build him up to beat him. They have a third generation star in Joe Hennig—who they call Curtis Axel—who is a superstar that is underutilized and one of the most talented wrestlers in the company. Why not use his heritage with the Hennig name? That’s a conversation I’ve had with many other legends. For tag teams, you can’t just throw two guys together and call them a team. Hawk and I knew each other for years, we bounced in bars together. People love chemistry. That’s why the Four Horsemen were so great, and The New Day has that and that is part of the reason why they are so phenomenal.”
The Road Warriors were enshrined into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011, but don't expect Animal on WWE TV anytime soon. He's one of the plaintiffs in the ongoing class action lawsuit that was filed last summer against WWE by dozens of wrestlers who claimed they suffered traumatic brain injuries while wrestling.
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