Wrestling: The Road Warriors
"UHHHHHH. WHAT A RUSHHHHHHH!"The Road Warriors
(also known as The Legion of Doom
) were a Professional Wrestling Tag Team
who competed in essentially every major promotion in the world (WWE
, THE NWA
, and the AWA
). The team consisted of wrestlers Michael "Hawk" Hegstrand
(September 12, 1957 – October 19, 2003) and Joseph "Animal" Laurinaitis
(born on January 26, 1960) with manager "Precious" Paul Ellering
(born on August 22, 1953).
The Road Warriors were one of the biggest acts of The Eighties
and The Nineties
, comparable to Hulk Hogan
and Ric Flair
. They introduced several things into wrestling still seen today, such as their tag team finisher, the Doomsday Device, and face paint, still used today by wrestlers such as Jeff Hardy
. They also popularized the Zubaz workout pants within the industry, which they helped develop with bodybuilders Bob Truax and Dan Stock.
They are the only team to have ever held the AWA World Tag Team Titles
, the NWA World Tag Team Titles
and the WWE World Tag Team Titles
They attempted a comeback in mid-to-late 2003 but nothing came of it. Sadly, Road Warrior Hawk (the guy sticking his tongue out) died of a heart attack on October 19, 2003. Road Warrior Animal returned to WWE in 2005, teaming up with Heidenreich, but unfortunately, the new combination didn't take off, even with Christy Hemme
as their valet.
You can find the basics about their career at The Other Wiki
"WELLLLLLLL!, the following tropes are associated with the ROAD WARRIORS!"
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Spawned several, including the Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian), (arguably) Demolition and the Blade Runners (Flash [Sting] and Rock [the Ultimate Warrior])
- American Newspapers: In their early days, Ellering would carry copies of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal to the ring.
- Arch-Enemy: The Four Horsemen, The Midnight Express, the Russians (Ivan Koloff/Nikita Koloff/Krusher Khrushchev [Barry Darsow]), the Powers of Pain, Demolition, The Nasty Boys, the Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon), Money Inc. ("The Million-Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and [Mike Rotunda Irwin R. Schyster]]), The Nation Of Domination, the Godwinns, DeGeneration X
- Autobiography: Animal's The Road Warriors: Danger, Death and the Rush of Wrestling.
- The Band Minus The Faces: After Hawk died in October 2003, Animal tried doing the Road Warriors with Heidenreich and Christy Hemme but it didn't work.
- Comebacks in Japan with Power Warrior were a bit more successful.
- Bash Brothers
- Breakup Breakout: Kensuke Sasaki (Power Warrior) was successful teaming with Hawk Warrior but he eventually held all three major Japanese World Titles (New Japan's IWGP, All Japan's Triple Crown, Noah's GHC).
- The Cameo: Hawk made some appearances in NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling in 1993-1994, even teaming with NWA ECW Heavyweight Champion Sabu in the main event of the first November to Remember, where they successfully defeated NWA ECW Television Champion Terry Funk and King Kong Bundy, with Sabu pinning Funk to win the title, after Bundy turned on Funk.
- Catch Phrase: "WHAT A RUSH!" Also, if Animal spoke first during a promo, he'd end his part by saying "Tell 'im, Hawk!" and Hawk would open by shouting "WELLLLLLLL!"
- They used to end interviews by saying, "We snack on danger and we dine on death!"
- Celebrity Resemblance: When they debuted, Ellering bore one to Uncle Sam.
- Crowd Chant: "L-O-D, L-O-D, L-O-D!"
- Distaff Counterpart: Legion Of Womb (Jetta and Skye) in Triple X Wrestling and Bellatrix. The Divas Of Doom (Beth Phoenix and Natalya Neidhart) in WWE
- Doomsday Device: Well, duh. It was only the name of their Finishing Move, a top-rope clothesline by Hawk to an opponent who is seated on Animal's shoulders.
- Doomy Dooms of Doom
- Enemy Mine: While they and the Midnight Express were usually intense enemies, at NWA The Great American Bash 89, the LOD joined forces with the MX (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) and Dr. Death Steve Williams to defeat the Fabulous Freebirds (Terry Gordy, Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin) and the Samoan Swat Team (Fatu [Rikishi] and Samu) in the War Games match.
- Everyone Went to Wrestling School Together: They, Rick Rude and Barry Darsow all trained with Eddie Sharkey together in Minneapolis.
- Eye Scream: Spike in the eye of Dusty Rhodes!
- Facial Markings: Hawk and Animal's face paint, Heidenreich when he joined animal too
- Hell-Bent for Leather: At the beginning.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Precious Paul Ellering. In Real Life, Ellering personally booked the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom's matches, scheduled their flights, set up hotel reservations, and kept track of expenses. He is a member of MENSA and was a wrestler himself, holding the Southern (Memphis) Heavyweight Title, the Southern (Memphis) Tag Team Title, and the IWE IWA (Japan) World Tag Team Title, thus qualifying for the designation of Genius Bruiser.
- Implied Death Threat: As the Quotes page demonstrates, they were famous for threatening to perform acts of violence on their opponents that would at times stretch the limits of what is humanly possible—or permissible. In a vignette to hype their scaffold match against the Midnight Express ("Loverboy" Dennis Condrey and "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton, w/Jim Cornette) at NWA Starrcade 86, they dropped a pumpkin off of a fire escape.
- Improbable Hairstyle: Not many guys purposefully draw attention to their bald spots, much less intentionally create them.
- Large Ham
- Legion of Doom: Well, they started as one anyway, one that had both the Original Sheik and the Iron Sheik, but were eventually reduced to just two members, Hawk and Animal, who would occasionally bring in someone else. On the 2005 Road Warriors: The Life And Death of the Most Dominant Tag Team in Wrestling History DVD, Animal admits that they got the name "from the Superfriends cartoon."
- Lightning Bruisers: Big, strong, fast and practically unstoppable without massive heaps of interference a lot of the time.
- Minnesota Nice: Defied. Despite being natives of Minnesota, The Road Warriors always claimed to be from Chicago simply because "Minnesota Nice doesn't cut it in Professional Wrestling".
- Mood Dissonance: On the Road Warriors DVD, in re their AWA run, Animal talks about the contrast between them rushing out to Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" and Dick The Bruiser and The Crusher coming out to polka music.
- No Indoor Voice
- No Sell: A lot of times, it wasn't even an issue because they would win the match so quickly that their opponents wouldn't have had a chance to try any offense in the first place.
- One Steve Limit: After the Animal/Heidenreich team broke up, Animal was renamed "The Road Warrior" because Triple H's buddy Batista was now using the Red Baron "The Animal."
- Power Stable: The Legion of Doom started this way, including The Iron Sheik, Arn Anderson, King Kong Bundy, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Mad Dog" Buzz Sawyer and the Spoiler, before it was reduced to just Hawk, Animal and Ellering.
- Real Song Theme Tune: Black Sabbath's "Iron Man"
- Screw This, We're Outta Here!: Hawk eventually left the WWF due to their gimmick where they brought around a ventriloquist dummy named Rocco. Animal attempted to fulfill their commitments, teaming with Demolition Crush, but left due to injury.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: In the second interview mentioned on the Quotes page, Ellering said, "Kevin Sullivan, you are an unctuous miscreant. You have been reduced to the lowest common denominator of life."
- Shoulders of Doom
- Shout-Out: Other than the obvious Superfriends and Mad Max references, on the October 3, 1987 episode of NWA World Championship Wrestling, Hawk offered up an unlikely one during their post-match interview.
- Something Completely Different: They absolutely were this when they started.
- Spikes of Doom
- Squash Match: This was how they got over, running in and splattering their opponents all over the mat usually in less than five minutes.
- They once had one on WWF Shotgun Saturday Night that was so fast that the sound guy barely had time to stop and restart their music.
- Start My Own: Helped start the Zubaz company, which produced athletic pants for wrestlers.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute - Power Warrior (Kensuke Sasaki), who filled in for Animal when he was injured (New Japan; 92-95) and for Hawk when he passed away (All Japan; 2007). In 1996, he was more of a Sidekick, as all three were together by that time.
- Tag Team: As Jim Ross once said, "They are the Legion of Doom and they have defined tag team wrestling. They are tag team wrestling."
- Tiered by Name: At one point, they were repackaged in 1998 as LOD 2000, with little changing except more colorful shoulderpads and the addition of Sunny as their manager. This lasted for about six months.
- Trope 2000: Known as "L.O.D. 2000" when Sunny reintroduced them at WrestleMania XIV with a new look.
- Wrestling Family: Road Warrior Animal is the older brother of John Laurinaitis and of Marc Laurinaitis, aka Fury of the Wrecking Crew (WCW/CWA [Catch Wrestling Association in Austria/Germany]/AJPW) or the Terminator. Other than those three promotions, he also competed in "Cowboy" Bill Watts's Universal Wrestling Federation (Louisiana/Oklahoma) and in Florida independents.
"We snack on danger, and we dine on death, and dead men don't make money!"
"UHHHHHHH, WHAT A RUSHHHHHHHH!!!!!!"