Word broke Wednesday that Road Warrior Animal died late Tuesday night.
He was 60.
The Road Warriors, also known as The Legion of Doom, are considered the greatest tag team in pro wrestling history. No, they couldn’t give fans five-star classics in the ring, but they didn’t need to.
Hawk and Animal looked the part of the baddest dudes in the wrestling world, and no one would tell them otherwise.
As a kid, I remember seeing them try to gouge out Dusty Rhodes’ eye, and it scared the crap out of me.
The hair, the face paint, the spiked shoulder pads, they all played a part in the aura that fans all over the world bought in to.
How popular were The Road Warriors?
When they first went to WWE in 1990, Vince McMahon had them called the Legion of Doom for fear that as The Road Warriors, they would be more popular than The Ultimate Warrior. McMahon did not want The Road Warriors to be more popular than “his” Warrior.
Joe Laurinitis was an “Animal” inside the ring, but the consummate family man and a gentle person outside of it.
Animal’s passing means another star from my childhood is gone too soon, and he joins Hawk in preparing for their next match in that great ring in the sky.
Clash of Champions tonight
WWE presents Clash of Champions: Gold Rush on the WWE Network tonight.
Every WWE title will be defended and the big matches include Drew McIntyre defending the WWE crown against Randy Orton in an Ambulance match, Roman Reigns defending the Universal belt against his cousin Jey Uso, Bayley defends her Smackdown title against Nikki Cross and Raw champion Asuka defends against Zelina Vega on the Kickoff Show.
The match of the night could be the triple-threat match for the Intercontinental title between Jeff Hardy, Sami Zayn and AJ Styles.
NXT TakeOver Saturday
A portion of Saturday’s NXT TakeOver lineup is set with NXT champion Finn Balor headlining the card when he defends his title against Kyle O’Reilly.
Other matches announced include Damien Priest defending the North American title against Johnny Gargano and Io Shirai defending the NXT women’s crown against Candice LaRae.
NXT has also teased the reveal of a mysterious return.
In what has become the norm for WWE, it announced on Raw Monday that Retribution has been signed to WWE contracts.
Then the group lost a match, its first official bout, to The Hurt Business.
The Retribution group members, all of whom are from NXT with fans knowing them by their names in NXT, have been given new nicknames.
Hearing the names made me feel like I was watching the G.I. Joe or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons I watched as a kid. Some of the names include Reckoning, Retaliation, Slapjack, T-Bar and Mace.
Unfortunately, I was not kidding about the names sounding like a cartoon geared for eight-year old kids.
McMahon sells stock
Stephanie McMahon sold 57,573 shares of WWE stock on Monday at an average of $39.18 per share.
This week’s question
Wrestlers from both NXT and AEW have tested positive for Covid-19. Is this a coincidence? Bubba, from Connellsville.
Considering that AEW is based in Jacksonville and NXT emanates from Orlando with the two cities being a little over two hours apart from each other, it is possible.
An unnamed NXT trainee reportedly threw a party that a lot of NXT wrestlers went to, and possibly some AEW performers did as well.
There are a few situations where talents form the two companies are dating, so it may be true.
The WWE has shut down the Performance Center for the time being and NXT wrestlers are under quarantine with TakeOver scheduled for Saturday.
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