By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Wrestling legend Road Warrior Animal – who was born Joseph Laurinaitis – has passed away. He was 60.
He reportedly passed away, according to TMZ, via natural causes. He died at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Missouri.
TMZ is reporting that the authorities were notified late Tuesday night at 11:49 pm local time by his wife that he needed medical attention. Once the medical professionals arrived, he was dead on the scene.
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He is best remembered for being apart of the tag team The Road Warriors/Legion of Doom. His tag team partner was Road Warrior Hawk – Michael Hegstrand – who passed away in 2003.
Hegstrand died of a heart attack.
“RIP Animal,love you my brother,” Hulk Hogan said in a statement Wednesday morning. “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.”
His son, James Laurinaitis, previously played in the NFL. He was a star linebacker for the Ohio State Buckeyes, before being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
His family ties also include brother John Laurinaitis, who is a senior producer with the WWE. He’s also a retired wrestler.
His brother Marcus Laurinaitis is a retired wrestler, as well. He was best known as The Terminator.
His step-nieces are the Bella Twins, Brie Bella and Nikki Bella, who no longer perform in the ring.
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Animal and Hawk, along with manager Paul Ellering, were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011. They were inducted by Ryan Kennedy and David Murray.
During his wrestling career, he was known as Joe Lauren, Road Warrior Animal, Animal, Animal Warrior, Road Warrior. He competed in the ring from 1982 through 2008.
His signature moves were the Powerslam, Military Press Slam, Flying Shoulder Block, and Jumping Elbow Drop.
Titles won in his career:
- AWA World Tag Team Championship
- IPW Tag Team Championship
- NWA International Tag Team Championship
- NWA National Tag Team Championship
- NWA World Six Man Tag Team Championship
- NWA World Tag Team Championship
- WWE RAW Tag Team Championship
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