WWE confirmed on Wednesday the passing of Joe Laurinaitis, known to wrestling fans as Road Warrior Animal. Laurinaitis had a wrestling career that spanned decades, most of which were spent paired up with Mike "Road Warrior Hawk" Hegstrand in one of the greatest tag teams of all time -- the Road Warriors (also known as WWE's Legion on Doom).
From the iconic face paint to metal spikes to the feeling one got when hearing, "What a rush," Animal and Hawk brought the crowds to their feet around the world. They led the tag team landscape in multiple promotions, winning titles in multiple organizations and ultimately being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Animal made his mark not only in the ring, but backstage as well and as the news came of his passing, wrestlers took to social media to reflect on their friend and his influence.
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
I've often been asked ...— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) September 23, 2020
"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 pic.twitter.com/hQ2Av7xw1X
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
RIP to the legendary Animal. I don't have the proper words right now, but thank you for goofing off with me at Cons. Thanks for all the years of entertainment and thanks letting this fan become a friend. pic.twitter.com/eUk2SafVkO— Hurricane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) September 23, 2020
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 mind is blown. One of the greatest dudes ever. Road Warrior Animal kicking ass in heaven with Hawk pic.twitter.com/mJy5JzJxpw— Virgil (@TheRealVirgil) September 23, 2020
I'm totally shocked to hear my friend and brother in Christ, Road Warrior Animal, has passed away. My thoughts and prayers as well as my heart, go out to the family. RIP my friend. 🙏— Ted DiBiase (@MDMTedDiBiase) September 23, 2020