Joe Laurinaitis, also known as Joseph Michael Laurinaitis, was a professional wrestler. He was known as Road Warrior Animal or simply Animal in the ring. He was a member of the tag team The Road Warriors/The Legion of Doom and performed in the WWF, WCW, NWA, AWA, and other promotions. In addition, the tandem has won multiple tag team championships. In 2011, Animal and Hawk were both inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
On September 22, 2020, the popular wrestler died in Missouri. He died when he was 60 years old.
Joe Laurinaitis Net Worth:
Joe Laurinaitis was a professional wrestler for nearly 20 years. He is most known for being a member of Hawk’s Road Warriors. The duo went on to win a slew of trophies in a variety of promotions. They competed in the GCW, NWA, AWA, WWF, WCW, TNA, and a variety of other independent promotions. His wrestling career was the source of his wealth. His net worth is reported to be in the millions of dollars.
What is Joe Laurinaitis Famous For?
- Famous by his ring name Road Warrior Animal.
- The one half of The Road Warriors.
Where is Joe Laurinaitis From?
Joe Laurinaitis was born on September 12, 1960, in New York City. Joseph Michael Laurinaitis was his given name. He was born in the United States, in the city of Philadelphia. He was an American citizen. His race was Caucasian, and his religion was Christianity. His hometown is Minnesota, where he has worked since he was a child. Joseph Anthony Laurinaitis was his father, and Lorna Ann Laurinaitis was his mother.
John and Marcus are his two brothers. John (Johnny Ace) is a former WWE wrestler and former Executive Vice President of Talent Relations. Marcus is also known as The Terminator, a former wrestler.
Irondale High School was his alma mater.
He worked as a bouncer at Grandma B’s in the Twin Cities because of his enormous frame.
Joe Laurinaitis Wrestling Career:
- Laurinaitis met wrestling trainer, Eddie Sharkey while he was working at Grandma B’s as a bouncer.
- Sharkey started dating Laurinaitis, Mike Hegstrand, Richard Rood, and Barry Darsow.
- Laurinaitis made his wrestling debut in November 1982. He made his debut under the name The Road Warrior using a biker gimmick.
- Paul Ellering put Laurinaitis and Hegstrand together as The Road Warriors. Laurinaitis was named Animal and Hegstrand was named Hawk.
- They first started as biker gimmicks.
- The duo shaved their heads into Mohawks and started wearing studded dog collars, spiked shoulder pads, and face paint.
- The team became an instant hit.
- They won the NWA National Tag Team Championship four times.
- Their team won more titles in bigger promotions such as the American Wrestling Association in the US and All Japan Pro Wrestling.
- The Road Warriors split their time between the AWA and the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA).
- They eventually signed a big-money contracts with NWA and left AWA.
- The duo won the inaugural Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament.
- During their initial run in the NWA, they helped popularize the WarGames match, the Scaffold match, and their trademark Chicago Street Fight.
- The Road Warriors feud with The Powers of Pain in 1988 led Animal’s eye injury (kayfabe). The two teams were booked for a match. However, The Powers of Pain left the NWA.
- The Road Warriors won the NWA World Tag team Championship in 1988.
- The Road Warriors left NWA in 1990 due to conflicts with Jim Herd.
After signed with WWE
- The team signed with WWF in 1990. They fought under the name, Legion of Doom.
- The team was involved in a famous feud with Road Warrior Clones, Demolition when then entered WWF.
- The Legion of Doom won the WWF Tag Team Championship in 1991.
- They left WWF after they lost the titles.
- They later returned to WWF with a wooden ventriloquist dummy, “Rocco”, which they did not like.
- Hawk walked out of WWF after the SummerSlam 1992. Laurinaitis became alone for the first time in nine years.
- He fought alone until his contract expired with WWF.
- A legitimate injury on his back in September 1992 led him to retire from wrestling.
- In 1993, Laurinaitis made some non-wrestling appearances in WCW.
- He made appearances at the Clash of the Champions XXIV.
- He was the advisor for Sting’s team at Fall Brawl in September 1993.
- joe stayed out of the wrestling ring, collecting on an insurance policy from Lloyd’s of London.
- Following Laurinaitis’s full recovery from a back injury, he reunited with Hawk and signed a contract with WCW.
- The Road Warriors feuded with the Steiner Brothers in 1996.
- The Road Warriors failed to win any titles and they left WCW in June 1996.
Returned to WWF in 1997
- They returned to WWF in 1997 and took part in the Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. the Hart Foundation feud.
- The Legion of Doom became two-time tag team champions when they defeated The Godwinns in October 1997.
- They lost their title to newly formed New Age Outlaws in November 1997.
- The L.O.D. was repackaged was Legion of Doom 2000 after several unsuccessful challenges.
- The Legion of Doom became involved in their most controversial angle in 1998, playing off Hegstrand’s real-life drug and alcohol problem.
- A third member, Puke was added to the team while Hawk dealt with his personal issues.
- They eventually left WWF.
- Animal started making solo appearances though their team never officially broke up.
- The Road Warriors wrestled at the AJPW Giant Baba Memorial Show in 1999.
- In 2000, the Road Warriors worked for i-Generation Superstars of Wrestling in Australia feuding with The Public Enemy over the i-Generation Tag Titles.
- Animal also wrestled for Battlearts in Japan as Animal Warrior teaming with Alexander Otsuka in 2000.
WCW World Champion Scott Steiner
- Animal returned to WCW in January 2001 as the “enforcer” of the stable known as The Magnificent Seven. His objective was to protect WCW World Champion Scott Steiner.
- The Magnificent split up shortly before Vince McMahon purchased WCW in March 2001.
- Animal’s contract was not picked.
- Animal reunited with Hawk at Jersey Championship Wrestling defeating the Moondogs 2000 in Lodi, New Jersey on September 8, 2001.
- Animal once again returned to All Japan Pro Wrestling as Animal Warrior teaming with Keiji Muto in 2002.
- In 2003, The Road Warriors’ last stint was for Fighting of World Japan Pro Wrestling feuding with the Shane Twins.
- Animal’s longtime partner, Hawk died on 19 October 2003. He continued his solo wrestling career.
- Animal partnered with Heidenreich to defeat MNM for the WWE Tag Team Championship. He dedicated his win to Hawk, “Hawk, this one was for you, brother!”.
- He was released from his WWE contract in June 2006.
- On May 11, 2008, Animal teamed with Power Warrior to defeat Damián 666 and El Terrible to win the UWA Tag titles for Toryumon Mexico Dragonmania III in Mexico City, Mexico.
- Animal retired from wrestling in 2008.
- The Road Warriors: Animal and Hawk were inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
- He returned to WWE in SmackDown in honor of Raw’s 1,000th episode in July 2012, where he defeated Heath Slater.
- He later appeared in the Raw’s 1,000th episode.
- Animal made a surprise appearance at All In to open the event on September 1, 2018.
Joe Laurinaitis Wife:
Joseph, James, and Jessica Laurinaitis are Laurinaitis’ three children (daughter). Julie, his ex-wife and a former powerlifter and bodybuilder, gave birth to James and Jessica. Joseph was a child from his first marriage. James, his son, is an NFL linebacker who has previously played for the St. Louis Rams and the New Orleans Saints.
Joe Laurinaitis Height:
Joe Laurinaitis was 1.85 meters tall, or 6 feet and 1 inch tall. He weighed 285 pounds, or 129 kilograms. He had a muscular physique. Joe wrestled bald for the majority of his career.
About Death of Joe Laurinaitis:
Joe Laurinaitis died on September 22, 2020, of natural causes. Ten days prior, he had celebrated his 60th birthday. He died in Osage Beach, Missouri, at the age of 60.