The Last Road Warrior

We got hit with some sad news this morning, as Road Warrior Animal has passed away. We are taking time, remembering Animal, The Last Road Warrior.

Remembering Animal, The Last Road Warrior

In taking time to remember Animal, we’d have to also remember Hawk. With the passing of Animal, the Road Warriors are no more (all due respect to Paul Ellering).

The duo was one of the most dominating, intimidating and impressive tag teams ever.

Now, that may seem less impressive today with how some companies diminish the art of tag team wrestling….but this team was legendary.

I grew up watching WWE in the 80’s, Saturday mornings catching Superstars or whatever show was on broadcast television. I never had seen the NWA edition of the Road Warriors…but I remember when WWE debuted the Legion of Doom.

The face paint and the studded shoulder pads just amped up the intimidation factor for this Hall of Fame team. Heck, they even got to rumble to the ring a time or two on Harleys! (SummerSlam 1988 was a great entrance).

So with the passing of Animal, we now have an all time great tag team in the afterlife. WWE (and others) have tried frequently to recreate that team, and it has never succeeded.

Often imitated, but never duplicated, as the saying goes.

Heck, prior to their recent release, we had heard that Triple H really was hoping that the Authors of Pain could have evolved into his own version of the Road Warriors. It was one reason the duo got paired with Ellering.

As good as they were, they were never close to the Road Warriors…and they have already fizzled and been released.

How good were they?

Let’s be honest…top ten lists are often highly subjective. Sometimes there may be a clear cut top choice, but I’d bet dollars to donuts if you asked ten people for their ten best tag teams, most will have a few different.

Am I going to say that Hawk and Animal were the best tag team ever? No, I am not, because there are quite a few really great teams to consider.

I am going to say, however, that they absolutely are one of the best tag teams ever.

They were part of an era which saw tag team wrestling shine. Think about the teams we got to enjoy during their time: The Rockers, The Steiner Brothers, The Headshrinkers, Money Inc. and more.

Sure, we enjoyed a resurgence with teams like the Dudleys and Hardys and Edge and Christian, and those teams are in the historical discussion too.

But for me, that was the tag team heyday. They were larger than life, intimidating and awesome and, most important, fun to watch.

I can credit that time, and the Legion of Doom in particular, for why I am so fond of tag team wrestling.

Gone, but not forgotten.

So yes, with Animal’s passing, the last Road Warrior has left us, arguably too soon at only 60 years old.

Wrestling lost another giant, but the legacy that Road Warrior Hawk and Road Warrior Animal have left us with will let them live on forever.

Their tag team magic may often be imitated. It will never be duplicated.