On Tuesday night, the wrestling world received awful news when a legend from the WWE passed away.
Joe Laurinaitis – known as Road Warrior Animal to his fans – passed away this week, the WWE confirmed in a statement. He was 60 years old.
“WWE is saddened to learn that Joe Laurinaitis, known to WWE fans as Road Warrior Animal, has passed away. WWE extends its condolences to Laurinaitis’ family, friends and fans.” the wrestling federation said in a statement.
“At this time, we would like to confirm the passing of Joseph Laurinaitis aka Road Warrior Animal at the age of 60,” his official Twitter page posted this morning. “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.”
WWE is saddened to learn that Joe Laurinaitis, known to WWE fans as Road Warrior Animal, has passed away.
WWE extends its condolences to Laurinaitis' family, friends and fans. https://t.co/hurorEDVff
— WWE (@WWE) September 23, 2020
Animal spent the majority of his career alongside his tag team partner, Hawk, who passed away in 2003 from a heart attack. Together, they formed one of the most successful, popular and feared tandems of all time: the Road Warriors.
Laurinaitis is also the father of former Ohio State star linebacker James Laurinaitis. A star for the Buckeyes’ defense, Laurinaitis was a second-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2009.
Following a stellar WWE career, both Road Warrior Animal and Road Warrior Hawk – along with their manager – were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Our thoughts are with the Laurinaitis family.