News broke yesterday that legendary wrestler and 1/2 of the famous Road Warriors tag-team, Joseph “Animal” Laurinaitis, had passed away. According to a report from TMZ, Road Warrior Animal’s death was of natural causes, although an exact cause is not currently known.
Laurinaitis passed away at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, MO. Police received a call from his wife at 11:49 on Tuesday evening. When deputies arrived, however, Laurinaitis had already been declared deceased by responding emergency personnel. He is not known to have been suffering from any medical conditions or ill-health.
Laurinaitis’ son James is a former NFL player and took to Instagram to pay tribute to his father:
“I don’t have the right words to say. I’m absolutely crushed. I miss you already. I hate that I wasn’t able to say goodbye. Say hello to Mum Mum, Pop Pop, and Hawk for me. Thank you for your love and support and the many lessons you’ve taught me. I can’t believe you’re gone. I love you Dad,” wrote James Laurinaitis.
The Rock recently shared a tribute to Animal as well.
“When I was making my bones, still learning the business in the WWE as a very young “The Rock” – I wrestled these guys so many times on the road and they always took good care of me and made sure I learned.”