Dr. Mike Remembers Road Warrior Animal

Dr. Mike Remembers Road Warrior Animal

Road Warrior Animal(Joe) out of that revolutionary duo, was the one who best handled the occasional ribs some of the boys played on them backstage and in later years on indies like BTW in Northern California and at fanfests and conventions before we lost the more serious Hawk/Mike several years ago. Most who knew him will recall Joe was always talking about how proud he was of his son James Laurinaitis and his NFL career, but equally proud of the rest of his children. James was a decorated All-American Collegiate player at linebacker, a position he held for years(St. Louis Rams, New Orleans Saints)before retiring from the NFL.

Animal typically took most(but not all) of the ribs played on him or both LOD members in stride, laughing them off. Again, most of the time. He did get a bit angry after one too many times The Nasty Boys, kept unscrewing the sharp, pointy spikes on Hawk and Animal's NFL-like ring jackets when they weren't in the locker room. Just enough so when they went out to the ring on smaller house shows, the spikes would fall off. Brian Knobbs reportedly also did that to Animal at signings too when he wasn't looking so when he stood up to take a Poloroid with a fan, some spokes would fall off, plinking to the floor. Also hearing BIll Dundee, Terry Gordy and CAC honoree Paul Jones also did that to the LOD during the eighties plus more intricate ribs on what was portrayed as wrestling's toughest tough guys this side of Bruiser an Crusher who much earlier popularized no-selling. We'll have to ask if trainer(and long-time CAC attendee) Eddie Sharkey ever pulled any ribs on Joe.

More importantly, they along with their legit manager Precious Paul Ellering completely changed tag wrestling with their then unique gimmick, amazing ring entrances with Iron Man blasting as their entrance music, influencing so many others from Demolition, Powers of Pain, WWE's Ascension and more. As you can see in our EAR newsletter, we were also looking forward to honoring them at the next CAC/Vegas.

What a...great talent. On the last two CovidCons(preceeding this Saturday's related Cauli-Con for which Joe was also scheduled), Joe appeared on both events, talking about his t-shirt empire, baseball and football, and of course the wrestling biz.