Remembering Road Warrior Animal & My Youth.

I've told the story a million times. About the day I fell in love with professional wrestling. It was a late night and I snuck into the living room and turned the TV on. There, my eyes saw Ric Flair for the very first time. He had the strangest color of blonde hair I'd ever seen on a man and he was talking about his jewelry and women. The women part was cool, didn't much care about the jewelry.

After the commercial break I met Dusty Rhodes for the first time. Now this dude looked like every guy I'd ever met in my life. Just an ordinary dude with belly filled with beer or pizza. He was talking about tough times or hard times .. well, you know the drill.

I was enamored with how differently the two men were, from each other. It was the classic rich versus the poor. I was immediately addicted.

And then The Road Warriors appeared. They looked like monster sized members of Kiss. And let me tell you, I had an irrational fear of Kiss growing up. I thought they were killer clowns. My Aunt Brenda, who'd go on to become a crack head, had a big poster from Hit Parader magazine, on her wall of Kiss. (Opposite wall there was a Menudo poster. Her drug addiction later on in life was not a surprise to anyone,).

Hawk and Animal were terrifying to eight year old Dennis. Every week I was convinced that this would be the week I'd see a murder on television. And every week, I was almost right. The Road Warriors dominated the tag team scene. A scene that was filled with bleach blonde hair and smarmy little managers.

Today, we lost Animal. Real name Joe Laurinaitis. Sixty year's old and a day removed from celebrating the anniversary of his marriage, leaving his final tweet for his wife.

He held numerous titles with long time tag team partner, Hawk, whom passed away seventeen years ago. But it isn't the championships he leaves behind that is his wrestling legacy.

It's the way the Warriors revolutionized the tag team scene - before them, it was blonde hair and hot tags, high risk maneuvers. Warriors came in and destroyed everything in sight, while wearing war paint with bulging biceps. They were ahead of their time.

Ah, yes. Time. Time is cruel - the older you get the less time you have left of it.

RIP, Animal.

Post a Comment