Joseph Michael Laurinaitis, a.k.a. Road Warrior Animal, has reportedly passed away at the age of 60.
Hulk Hogan first tweeted about Laurinaitis’ passing earlier this morning.
Laurinaitis’ family is planning to release a statement later today. No other details are known.
Animal and Hawk (Michael Hegstrand) started teaming together as The Road Warriors in 1983. They are widely regarded as the greatest tag team of all time. They won many titles throughout their career, including the WWE/F Tag Team Championship, the NWA World Tag Team Championship and the AWA World Tag Team Championship.
Their last match as a team was defeating The Shane Twins in Japan in July of 2003, months before Hawk passed away on October 19, 2003. The team was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011 with Laurinaitis and Paul Ellering accepting the induction.
Laurinaitis continued to wrestle following Hegstrand’s passing. His last match was for WWE on July 17, 2012, where he defeated Heath Slater on SmackDown. He appeared on the 1,000th episode of RAW days later to join other WWE legends in beating down Slater.
We here at Wrestling Inc. would like to send our condolences to Animal’s family and friends.
Stay tuned for more updates.
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
Nathan Matney and Jaime Hensley contributed to this article.