Joseph Laurinaitis, known throughout the world as Animal, one half of the legendary Road Warriors tag team, has passed away.
The official Road Warrior Animal Twitter account wrote: "At this time, we would like to confirm the passing of Joseph Laurinaitis aka Road Warrior Animal at the age of 60. 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."
Laurinaitis was 60 years old.
A student of Eddie Sharkey's, Laurinaitis broke into the wrestling business in 1982. Before long, he was paired with fellow Sharkey trainee Michael Hegstrand, and the two became The Road Warriors, Animal and Hawk.
With their spiked shoulder pads, Mohawk hairstyles, menacing war paint, and "Iron Man" entrance theme, the Road Warriors became a certified phenomenon throughout the territories, and especially in Japan.
Together, Animal and Hawk won tag team gold throughout virtually every major organization, becoming the only duo to win the AWA, NWA, and WWF World Tag Team titles, completing that trifecta in 1991.
Laurinaitis also had solo runs for major promotions, including the WWF in 1992 after Hawk left the company, in WCW in 2001, and for a time in WWE in 2005-06.
Laurinaitis was predeceased by Hegstrand in 2003. Together, along with manager Paul Ellering, the collective was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
Laurinaitis has two brothers who were also wrestlers: John (Johnny Ace) and Marc (The Terminator).
Cultaholic extends its condolences to Mr. Laurinaitis' family and friends.