Joe Laurinaitis, pro wrestler Road Warrior Animal, dies at age 60

FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2008 file photo of James Laurinaitis, of Ohio State, left, poses with...
FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2008 file photo of James Laurinaitis, of Ohio State, left, poses with his father Joe Laurinaitis after being awarded The Lott Trophy in Newport Beach, Calif. Joe Laurinaitis knew his middle child was bound for greatness right about the time he saw the 12-year-old doing piledrivers and choke-slamming his younger sister out on the family's backyard trampoline. Now James Laurinaitis is ready to follow in his dad's footsteps as a professional athlete, only in the NFL instead of the WWE.(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)
Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 9:20 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2020 at 9:35 AM CDT
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(Gray News) - Joe Laurinaitis, the legendary pro wrestler known as Animal in the Road Warriors tag team, has died at the age of 60, the WWE said Wednesday.

He and his partner Hawk became one of the most successful and popular duos in pro wrestling history. They were honored by the WWE Hall of Fame as two-time tag champions in the organization, where they used the name Legion of Doom.

They worked through the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s across multiple companies, with their mohawks, shoulder pads and face paint adding to their mystique along with their powerful builds, even by wrestling standards at the time.

The WWE said in its statement they were so beloved that the phrase “Road Warrior pop” has been used in locker rooms to describe deafening reactions from the crowd ever since.

Laurinaitis' son, James Laurinaitis, became a star in football at Ohio State and played eight seasons in the NFL, mostly with the St. Louis Rams.

Michael Hegstrand, Road Warrior Hawk, died at the age of 56 in 2003.

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