WWE's Joseph Laurinaitis, AKA Road Warrior Animal, dead at 60

Amy Johnson
·2 mins read
Joe Laurinaitis aka Road Warrior Animal attends the C2E2 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo at McCormick Place on April 24, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)
Joe Laurinaitis aka Road Warrior Animal attends the C2E2 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo at McCormick Place on April 24, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

Wrestling star Joseph Laurinaitis, who was better known as Road Warrior Animal, has died at the age of 60.

Laurinaitis died of natural causes according to TMZ with the publication reporting the athlete died in Osage, Missouri.

A message sent from his official Twitter account on Wednesday read: "At this time, we would like to confirm the passing of Joseph Laurinaitis aka Road Warrior Animal at the age of 60.

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"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."

He was part of tag team The Road Warrior - aka the Legion of Doom - along with Road Warrior Hawk, who was born Michael Hegstrand.

Hegstrand passed away in 2003 at age 46 from a sudden heart attack.

The pair were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011 alongside their manager Paul Ellering.

Road Warrior Animal and manager Paul Ellering attend the WWE 2011 Hall Of Fame Induction at Philips Arena on April 2, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by George Napolitano/FilmMagic)
Road Warrior Animal and manager Paul Ellering attend the WWE 2011 Hall Of Fame Induction at Philips Arena on April 2, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by George Napolitano/FilmMagic)

Other wrestling icons paid tribute to Laurinaitis upon hearing the sad news, with Hulk Hogan sharing: "RIP Animal,love you my brother, 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. HH."

While Ric Flair penned: "I Am More Than Saddened To Hear Of The Loss Of My Good Friend And GREAT Opponent Joe Laurinaitis Of The Legendary Road Warriors. They Were Iconic!

“The Road Warriors And The Four Horsemen Drew More Money And Had More Fun And Entertained Fans Worldwide At The Highest Level. RIP."

The WWE also released a statement via their website, describing the 6-foot-2 and 300-pound Animal as "one of the most intense Superstars to ever step into the squared circle".