Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Lauraniatis was an all-time great with an iconic gimmick. He impressed his contemporaries and influenced future generations. All accounts paint the 60 year old, whose death we learned of earlier today (Sept. 23), as a good person who treated his fellow wrestlers and fans with warmth & respect.
No surprise then that tributes and farewells have flooded social media all day.
Here are a few:
Today we lost the engine of the train— Paul Ellering (@PaulElleringWWE) September 23, 2020
LOD. Animal was a partner, warrior, and friend. He will be welcomed home by a waiting Hawk. pic.twitter.com/pJ3BSYRSnQ
WWE is saddened to learn that Joe Laurinaitis, known to WWE fans as Road Warrior Animal, has passed away.— WWE (@WWE) September 23, 2020
WWE extends its condolences to Laurinaitis' family, friends and fans. https://t.co/hurorEDVff
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Animal - one half of the legendary Road Warriors tag team. We offer our sincere condolences to his friends and family. pic.twitter.com/1v4KsUzF0D— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 23, 2020
The NWA sends its deepest condolences to the family & friends of Animal.— NWA (@nwa) September 23, 2020
Animal was a pioneer in tag team wrestling winning the inaugural Crockett Cup w/his partner Hawk.He truly embodied the tradition of the sport.
He was a dominant force in the ring & a gentleman outside it. pic.twitter.com/1dns0jZOa6
AEW and the wrestling world mourn the passing of the legendary Road Warrior Animal, our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans. pic.twitter.com/xAzwv8gngw— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) September 23, 2020
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— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) September 23, 2020
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 pic.twitter.com/eiZ2udqGNm— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) September 23, 2020
MY ROAD WARRIOR ANIMAL BROTHER. YOU WERE MOST OVER TAG TEAM EVER. WE HAVE THE BEST TIME IN THE MINNESOTA FOREVER I LOVE YOU. RIP BUBBA pic.twitter.com/dLzAy2uRaa— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) September 23, 2020
I just learned of the passing of Joe Laurinaitis. Such a huge loss for wrestling - but even bigger for the family he adored.— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) September 23, 2020
He treated me like an equal from the first time we met. His example of kindness and humility made a huge impression on me.#RIPRoadWarriorAnimal pic.twitter.com/lec18KLaiZ
I’ve often been asked ...— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) September 23, 2020
“Who is the greatest Tag Team of All Time?”
The answer has always been the same.
Rest in Power brother.
My sincere condolences to family, friends and fans of Animal all around the world. #RIPAnimal pic.twitter.com/hQ2Av7xw1X
My heart goes out to the family and friends of 1 1/2 of the greatest tagteam in the history of this business, Joseph Laurinaitis/animal from LOD. Thank you for showing the world how tag team wrestling is done. You will be missed and never forgotten.R.I.P my friend. #RoadWarriors pic.twitter.com/5VWd9o4O3f— D-von Dudley HOF (@TestifyDVon) September 23, 2020
Heartbroken— School of Morton (@RealRickyMorton) September 23, 2020
RIP Joe! (Animal)
My very close friend.
The wrestling world mourns. pic.twitter.com/Eo9Lc8xZEU
It’s very sad to hear about the passing of Joe @RWAnimal Laurinaitis today. Animal & Hawk took tag team wrestling by storm & made it cool as hell. Thank you for paving the way. We’re gonna miss you, Joe. My thoughts are with the Laurinaitis family today. #RIPAnimal pic.twitter.com/jBP9q4goKw— MATT HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) September 23, 2020
So deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Road Warrior Animal.— Michael PS Hayes (@MichaelPSHayes1) September 23, 2020
My condolences and prayers to his family, friends and fans.
Gone far too soon, but, Joe did not get cheated in life.
Now he’s back with Hawk, Terry and Buddy.
“OH WHAT A RUSH!”
I can't believe I just found out Road Warrior Animal has passed away. He was a great friend and he will be missed. My prayers are with his family.— Demolition Smash (@RealDemoSmash) September 23, 2020
The Road Warriors were a team who personified excitement, physicality, and the undeniable ability to energize the crowd. @StephMcMahon and I join the Superstars, legends, and our @WWE fans in offering our condolences to the Joe Laurinaitis’ family at this difficult time. https://t.co/pDu4BH77uY— Triple H (@TripleH) September 23, 2020
Just found out that Road Warrior Animal has left us. Very sad to hear this, always such a nice guy whenever I would see him. So, I have a Tasmanian Devil tattoo on my right arm, he was my inspiration to get that before I started wrestling training. #RIP pic.twitter.com/iynxmE8pkb— TAZ (@OfficialTAZ) September 23, 2020
Stunned to hear the news. RIP Animal. My heart goes out to his family.— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) September 23, 2020
Shocked to hear of the passing of @RWAnimal.— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) September 23, 2020
An iconic figure in our business who I was looking forward to seeing this Saturday night in Jackson, Tennessee at the @JerryLawler celebration.
Condolences to Joe’s family and friends.
Hawk and Animal are giving the Doomsday Device to the Angels now. RIP Brother. pic.twitter.com/qu1plbseCH— KEN SHAMROCK (@ShamrockKen) September 23, 2020
My mind is blown. One of the greatest dudes ever. Road Warrior Animal kicking ass in heaven with Hawk pic.twitter.com/mJy5JzJxpw— Virgil (@TheRealVirgil) September 23, 2020
Shocked by passing of Road Warrior Animal, Joe Laurinaitis he just reached out to me Saturday 2 wish me Happy B’day great talk and laughs about past Joe was STAND UP MAN I owe him much but now prayers for his family that he was so proud of #Whatarush #RESPECT— Gerald BRISCO ♂️ (@Fgbrisco) September 23, 2020
The Road Warriors were one of my favorite tag-teams, destroying theirs opponents with overwhelming strength and power. RIP, Animal. https://t.co/Se4ZVDo6rt— Kane (@KaneWWE) September 23, 2020
The greatest tag team of all time was the Road Warriors. Often imitated, never duplicated. Loved both of them as friends and idolized both as the GOATs. RIP Animal-love you my brother, my condolences to everyone affected by this tragic loss. pic.twitter.com/pf2DshCSnB— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) September 23, 2020
RIP Joe Laurinaitis aka @RWAnimal Very saddened to hear this awful news. A true icon of tag team wrestling, and a gentleman. We did this tribute to him and Hawk on a few occasions, and he was nothing but complimentary of it and very gracious. I will miss you my friend. Godspeed pic.twitter.com/IxRxCErQJ5— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) September 23, 2020
@FrankieKazarian has told this story already, but I’ll add: when we did this at IMPACT, we floated the idea of Animal coming out & laying waste to us in the Impact Zone. I wish it went that way!— Christopher Daniels (@facdaniels) September 23, 2020
Rest In Peace, RW Animal, and thank you for everything, as a fan and a professional! pic.twitter.com/YBiwZIZLGX
The Road Warriors were larger than life. They made it possible for so many others to live their dreams. Rest in Power, Animal.— CASH (@CashWheelerFTR) September 23, 2020
Saddened to hear of Road Warrior Animal's passing. An iconic force as the sport emerged in its popularity on a worldwide level. Growing up, LOD hooked me on pro wrestling for life. I feel fortunate to have had the privilege of working with Joe at WWE. A good brother. #RIPAnimal— Court Bauer (@courtbauer) September 23, 2020
RIP to the legendary Animal. I don’t have the proper words right now, but thank you for goofing off with me at Cons. Thanks for all the years of entertainment and thanks letting this fan become a friend. pic.twitter.com/eUk2SafVkO— Hurricane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) September 23, 2020
This one hurt. So saddened to hear the passing on Animal. He always had a minute for anyone & would smile when I asked him if he would watch my match— James Storm (@JamesStormBrand) September 23, 2020
Well... we know now when we here that loud boom above our heads, that God is now experiencing that Road Warrior POP. #RIPAnimal pic.twitter.com/CuFfUeVH9O
I am beyond sad to hear of the passing of Joe Laurinaitis living in the STL area, David and I became close with him and his wife Kim. They even looked after David for me a few times and David absolutely loved “Joey”. He was an absolutely wonderful man. #RIPAnimal pic.twitter.com/4jq9Y6pm2E— Lauren/Angelina Love (@ActualALove) September 23, 2020
I feel so lucky to have gotten the chance to hear @RWAnimal’s great stories and to get to know a guy I idolized as a kid. He was strong, funny, brilliant, and a true brother. Thank you Animal! Sending all my love to his family and friends worldwide.— Matt Sydal (@findevan) September 23, 2020