Joe Laurinaitis Biography

Joe Laurinaitis

Quick Facts Of Joe Laurinaitis

Celebrated Name Joe Laurinaitis
Age 60 Years
Nick Name Road Warrior Animal
Birth Name Joe Michael Laurinaitis
Birth Date 1960-09-12
Gender Male
Profession Wrestler
Place Of Birth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Birth Nation United States
Nationality American
Famous For The other member of wrestling duo, The Road Warriors
Ethnicity White
Religion Christianity
Home Town Minnesota
Father Joseph Anthony Laurinaitis
Mother Lorna Ann Laurinaitis
Siblings 2
Brothers John (Johnny Ace) and Marcus (Terminator)
High School Irondale High School
Career Start Made his wrestling debut in November 1982
Marital Status Divorced
Children 3
Son Joseph and James
Daughter Jessica
Wife Julie
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 285 lbs (129 kg)
Body Build/Type Athletic
Hair Style Bald
Death Date 2020-09-22
Cause Of Death Natural causes
Place Of Death Osage Beach, Missouri
Source of Wealth Wrestling
Net Worth $3 million

Joseph Michael Laurinaitis or Joe Laurinaitis was a professional wrestler. He was popular by his ring name Road Warrior Animal or simply Animal. He was one half of the tag team The Road Warriors/The Legion of Doom and competed in several wrestling promotions, WWF, WCW, NWA, AWA, and others. The duo won numerous tag team championships as well. Animal and Hawk were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011. 

The popular wrestler died on 22 September 2020 in Missouri. He died at the age of 60. 

What is Joe Laurinaitis Famous For?

  • Famous by his ring name Road Warrior Animal. 
  • The one half of The Road Warriors.

Joe Laurinaitis wrestler

Source: @culturecrossfire

Where is Joe Laurinaitis From?

Joe Laurinaitis was born on 12 September 1960. His birthname was Joseph Michael Laurinaitis. His birth place was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. He held American nationality. He belonged to white ethnicity and his religion was Christianity. His hometown is Minnesota, where he worked from an early age for a living. He was born to a father, Joseph Anthony Laurinaitis, and a mother, Lorna Ann Laurinaitis.  

He has two brothers, John and Marcus. John (Johnny Ace) is the former Executive Vice President of Talent Relations for WWE and a former wrestler. Marcus is also a former wrestler popular by the name The Terminator. 

He attended Irondale High School. 

Due to his large body, he worked as a bouncer at Grandma B's in the Twin Cities. 

Joe Laurinaitis The Road Warrior

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.
  • 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. 
  • He 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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 Dami├ín 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 son

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Joe Laurinaitis Wife

Laurinaitis has three children, Joseph son), James (son), and Jessica (daughter). James and Jessica were born to his former wife, Julie, a former powerlifter and bodybuilder. Joseph was from his previous marriage. His son James is an NFL linebacker and has played for St. Louis Rams, and New Orleans Saints. 

Joe Laurinaitis Height

Joe Laurinaitis stood at a height of 1.85 m i.e. 6 feet and 1 inch tall. He had body weight of 285 lbs i.e. 129 kg. He had an athletic body build. Most of his career, he wrestled bald. 

Joe Laurinaitis Death

Joe Laurinaitis died of natural causes on 22 September 2020. He had celebrated his 60th birthday ten days ago. He died at the age of 60 in Osage Beach, Missouri. 

Joe Laurinaitis Net Worth

Joe Laurinaitis spent over 20 years in professional wrestling. He is best known as a member of The Road Warriors with Hawk. The duo went on to win numerous titles in several promotions. They wrestled in GCW, NWA, AWA, WWF, WCW, TNA, and several other independent promotions. He made his fortune from his wrestling career. His net worth is estimated at around $3 million. 

Did You Know?

  • Animal and Hawk made a surprise appearance on Raw on May 12, 2003, when they took on Kane and Rob Van Dam for the World Tag Team Championship.
  • The Road Warriors wrestled only one actual match for TNA.
  • Laurinaitis teamed with Rick Steiner against Team 3D in June 2007 for TNA Wrestling.
  • Animal returned to TNA for a guest appearance on the Impact Wrestling special, "Total Nonstop Deletion" in December 2016.
  • Animal turned heel for the second time in his career when he attacked his partner Matt Hardy after they lost to MNM in SmackDown! in March 2006.
  • He donated his trademark 'spiked-shoulder pads' to the Hall of Fame in Tampa.
  • He appeared in the 2020 documentary, Dark Side of the Ring.
  • Laurinaitis released an autobiography with William Andrew Wright titled The Road Warriors: Danger, Death, and the Rush of Wrestling on March 1, 2011.
  • In July 2016, Laurinaitis was named part of a class action lawsuit filed against WWE which alleged that wrestlers incurred traumatic brain injuries during their tenure and that the company concealed the risks of injury. The lawsuit was dismissed by US District judge in September 2018 and by US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in September 2020.