Road Warriors: Wikis


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Road Warriors
Tag Team
Members Hawk
Paul Ellering (manager)
Power Warrior
Sunny (valet)
Christy Hemme (valet)
Name(s) Road Warriors
The Legion of Doom
L.O.D. 2000
Debut 1983
Disbanded 2005
Promotions AWA

The Road Warriors were a professional wrestling tag team originally composed of Michael "Hawk" Hegstrand and Joseph "Animal" Laurinaitis, though other members were added later on in their career. They performed under the name "Road Warriors" in the American Wrestling Association, the National Wrestling Alliance, and World Championship Wrestling, and the name Legion of Doom (L.O.D. for short) in the World Wrestling Federation. Under either name, their gimmick was the same - two imposing musclebound wrestlers in face paint.

Generally recognized as one of the greatest tag teams in professional wrestling history, the pair is well known as innovators, popularizing the use of face paint, using their massive physiques and power moves to win over audiences, and introducing a tandem maneuver known as the Doomsday Device. Both men used the move as a team finisher throughout their careers, even when teaming with other partners.



Georgia Championship Wrestling (1983-1984)

In the early 1980s, in NWA's Georgia Championship Wrestling, Paul Ellering introduced a stable called "The Legion of Doom" that consisted of the Road Warriors, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, The Spoiler, Matt Borne, King Kong Bundy, Arn Anderson, The Iron Sheik and the original Sheik. Animal had briefly competed as the Road Warrior before Ellering paired him up with fellow Chicagoan Hawk to form the Road Warriors. The stable was short lived and the name "Legion of Doom" soon referred only to the Road Warriors and Ellering with either name used interchangeably through out their career [1]. Animal reveals in the "Road Warriors: The Life and Death of the Most Dominant Tag-Team in Wrestling History (2005)" DVD set that the name "Legion of Doom" was taken from the Super Friends cartoon.[2]

The Road Warriors’ high impact power style and unique attire quickly got them noticed by the fans and dreaded by opponents so much so that some wrestlers would grab their bag and leave the arena when they saw they were scheduled to face the Road Warriors.[1] In Georgia the team quickly rose to the top despite being very young and without the traditional “Paying dues” period just because they were so believable in their role as power monsters. It took them less than 6 months from their debut to win the NWA National Tag Team Championship a title they’d win three more times while in Georgia.[3]

Japan (1985-1990)

In March 1985 the Road Warriors began touring Japan, mainly with All Japan Pro Wrestling where they made an immediate impact squashing the monster team of Killer Kahn and Animal Hamaguchi in under 4 minutes. This and subsequent dominant victories garnered the Road Warriors a lot of Japanese wrestling media headlines and front page stories. Their tours with AJPW in 1985 and 1986 made the Road Warriors such legends in Japan that they toured in Japan whenever they were “between contracts” of the big three.

The Road Warriors won the NWA International Tag Team Championship on March 12, 1987 from Jumbo Tsuruta and Genichiro Tenryu[3] and would hold them for 15 months before losing them to PWF World Tag-Team champions Jumbo Tsuruta and Yoshiaki Yatsu to unify the titles as the AJPW World Tag-Team titles, making the Road Warriors the last defending champions of the NWA International Tag-Team titles.[3] Their last match in Japan was on July 22, 1990, for New Japan Pro Wrestling, losing to Masahiro Chono and Keiji Mutoh by disqualification.

American Wrestling Association (1984-1986)

In 1984, the Road Warriors moved on to Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association (AWA) along with their manager Paul Ellering. On August 25, 1984 they defeated The Crusher and Baron Von Raschke for the AWA World Tag Team Championship.[3] The Road Warriors were brought in by Gagne to work as heels, but their squash matches soon won over fans. They became the AWA's top draw throughout 1984 and 1985, feuding primarily with The Fabulous Freebirds in the AWA, but began splitting their time between the AWA and the NWA where they started feuding with NWA World Tag-Team Champions The Russian Team while still holding the AWA Tag-Team titles. Hawk and Animal eventually lost the AWA titles to Jimmy Garvin and Steve Regal on September 29, 1985 due to the interference of the Freebirds.[3] The Road Warrior’s last appearance in the AWA came in a cage match against the team of Garvin and Michael Hayes at WrestleRock 86 which the Warriors won.

National Wrestling Alliance/World Championship Wrestling (1986-1990)

In the middle of 1986, The Road Warriors moved to National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) exclusively, winning the inaugural Jim Crockett, Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament by beating Ron Garvin and Magnum T.A. in the finals.[4] Building upon their rapid push, Hawk and Animal were featured attractions of the Great American Bash tour where they were matched against Ivan and Nikita Koloff[5] as well as the Midnight Express.[6] At Starrcade '86, the Road Warriors were featured in a Scaffold Match, defeating the Midnight Express.[7]

The Road Warriors joined forces with Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff in a bloody feud with the Four Horsemen. During the 1987 Great American Bash, the rival sides faced off in the first ever WarGames match.[8] The Road Warriors were on the winning side of War Games both matches that summer[9] taking their feud with the Horsemen to Starrcade 87, where they lost by disqualification to Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson.[10] The Road Warriors also picked up the NWA Six-Man tag-team titles twice alongside Dusty Rhodes.[3] The Warriors engaged in a violent feud with The Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord) where the Road Warriors finally met their equal physically, but the angle ended when the Powers of Pain left the NWA after finding out they were booked against the Road Warriors in a series of Scaffold Matches that they were supposed to lose.[11]

In 1988, Hawk and Animal turned heel, beating the Midnight Express for the NWA World Tag Team Championship on October 29, 1988 in New Orleans, Louisiana[3]. In November of that year the Road Warriors played a role in ending Dusty Rhodes' tenure as head booker for the promotion. During the November 26 episode of World Championship Wrestling, which was under strict instructions from TBS television executives prohibiting blading, the Road Warriors attacked Rhodes, removing a spike from the shoulder pads, and attempting to gouge his eye out.[11] Rhodes was fired for that episode shortly after Starrcade '88. Before Rhodes was fired, Animal beat him at the Clash of the Champions, so the Road Warriors were allowed to pick a new partner to hold the NWA World Six-Man Tag Team titles; they picked AJPW superstar Genichiro Tenryu but the titles were quickly abandoned.[3]

The Road Warriors quickly turned face yet again due to overwhelming fan support no matter how brutal or violent they were. Their World Tag Team title reign came to an end when they faced The Varsity Club (Mike Rotunda and Steve Williams) on April 2, 1989.[12] The title change was a controversial one as referee Teddy Long performed an excessively fast count. Long would be fired from his job due to the count but the titles were not returned to the Road Warriors.[3] Hawk and Animal would spend the rest of their tenure in the NWA feuding with teams like The Samoan Swat Team[13][14] and The Skyscrapers.[15][16] Their last big wins in the NWA came when they defeated three other teams (including the red hot Steiner Brothers) to win the Ironman Tag-Team Tournament at Starrcade 1989 “Future Shock”[14][17][18] and over The Skyscrapers in a Chicago Street Fight at WrestleWar '90: Wild Thing.

The Road Warriors made their last WCW PPV appearance on May 19, 1990 at Capital Combat where they teamed with Norman “The Lunatic” against Kevin Sullivan, Cactus Jack and Bam Bam Bigelow[19] in a match that was cut from the commercial tape of the event. They resigned from WCW in June 1990 due to friction with then-WCW head Jim Herd according to Animal on their WWE produced DVD.

During their NWA/WCW stint, the group became well known for using the Black Sabbath song "Iron Man" as their entrance theme.

World Wrestling Federation (1990-1992)

When Hawk and Animal signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in June 1990, Vince McMahon retired the Road Warriors moniker. Rumor has it that their signing was responsible for the break-up of their old NWA rivals, the Powers of Pain. They both made their TV debuts on the July 15, 1990 episode of Wrestling Challenge. In the WWF the team would be known only as the "Legion of Doom".[20] Hawk and Animal immediately entered into a feud with Demolition, the team McMahon had supposedly created in their likeness three years earlier, which lead into a televised six-man tag-team match where Hawk and Animal teamed up with Ultimate Warrior against all three members of Demolition. Ax was having health issues and an agreement was made to phase him out and eventually replace him with Crush. Ax was moved into a role as manager for the team with the hope of taking a front office position, which eventually fell through.[21] The Legion of Doom / Demolition feud didn't have the expected intensity because of the change and L.O.D. soon set their sights on the gold. At SummerSlam 1991, the Legion of Doom defeated The Nasty Boys to win the World Tag Team Championship, becoming the only team to win world tag titles in all three of the top promotions of the 1980s.[3] Hawk and Animal would go on to lose the titles to Money Inc. on February 7, 1992 after which they briefly left the federation.[3]

LOD would return a short time later with original manager Paul Ellering. The team incorporated a ventriloquist dummy called "Rocco" (which served as their “inspiration”), but this gimmick was short-lived. Hegstrand left the company in disgust with the Rocco gimmick immediately after Summer Slam 1992 while Laurinaitis stuck around, finishing the team's contractual obligations on his own, before an injury to his back forced him into a lengthy hiatus.[22]

The Hell Raisers (1992-1995)

The Hell Raisers
Tag Team
Members Hawk Warrior
Power Warrior
Heights 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) – Hawk Warrior
5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) – Power Warrior
518 lb (235 kg)
Debut 1992
Disbanded 1995
Promotions NJPW

When Hawk left the WWF after SummerSlam 1992 he traveled to Japan and started working for New Japan Pro Wrestling where he quickly teamed up with young mid-carder Kensuke Sasaki who was soon dubbed "Power Warrior" as he adopted the trademark Road Warrior face paint and spiked shoulder pads.[11] The duo was dubbed "The Hell Raisers" and carried on the legacy of the Road Warriors in NJPW winning the IWGP Tag Team Titles from Tony Halme and Scott Norton in December 1992 [3] and then again from the team of Scott Norton and Hercules (known as the Jurassic Powers) in January 1994.[3] They also competed in both the 1993[23] and 1994 versions of the Super Grade Tag league making it to the semi finals of the 1994 tournament before losing to Masahiro Chono and Super Strong Machine.[24]

Teaming with Hawk (or Hawk Warrior as he was called) helped elevate Kensuke Sasaki in the eyes of the fans, so much so that when the Hell Raisers broke up in the middle of 1995, Sasaki shed the Power Warrior gimmick and became a main eventer on the singles scene. On special occasions, Sasaki would break out the "Power Warrior" persona.

During this stint, they used the theme song "Hellraiser" by Ozzy Osbourne.

When Animal came back from his back injury, he joined the duo in Japan in 1996. The three were announced collectively as the Road Warriors, using "Iron Man" as their theme music.

World Championship Wrestling (1996)

When Laurinaitis’ back was finally healed enough for him to return to wrestling, the Road Warriors signed a contract with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in late 1995. Upon their return in January 1996, immediately started a feud with the returning Steiner Brothers, as well as Harlem Heat before moving on to challenging the WCW Tag-Team Champions Sting and Lex Luger. The Road Warriors had several shots at the champions but never won the titles[25][26].

Hegstrand and Laurinaitis stayed with WCW for about six months, before leaving over a dispute with Eric Bischoff. The pair made claims that Bischoff promised them a second-highest paid contract, as well as a separate contract from Japan, something which he denies remembering.[27]

Return to the WWF (1997-1999)

After leaving WCW, the duo took various independent bookings both in the U.S. and Japan before signing with the WWF, making their surprise return on Monday Night Raw on February 24, 1997, where they destroyed the Headbangers, despite both teams being counted out.[28] The Legion of Doom would be heavily involved in the feud with the Hart Foundation siding with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock and Goldust at In Your House: Canadian Stampede.[29] The Legion of Doom also became 2-time tag-team champions on October 7, 1997 when they defeated The Godwinns.[3] In November 1997 the Legion of Doom faced the newly formed New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) and shockingly lost the titles to the upstart team.[3]

The Legion of Doom would challenge the N.A.O. several times in the next couple of months but without winning the gold. In early February 1998, the Legion of Doom disappeared from WWF television after the two men brawled on Monday Night Raw, seemingly spelling their demise.

L.O.D. 2000 (1998-1999)

Hawk and Animal next appeared at WrestleMania XIV during a tag-team Battle Royal where they sported a new look, new shoulderpads and intimidating helmets (the helmets wouldn't last long, as Hawk got rid of his by throwing it to the crowd), a new manager (Sunny) and a new name the Legion Of Doom 2000, billed as an updated version of the Road Warriors “for the new millennium”. LOD 2000 won the battle royal and earned a shot at the tag-team titles, but did not manage to win the gold.[30]

Sunny soon left the team and Droz started to appear with them when Hawk was “incapacitated”; he later became an official member called "Puke". At the same time, Paul Ellering returned, but sided with D.O.A., whom L.O.D. were feuding with at the time; Ellering and Animal explained on the DVD it was hard for them to rip on each other on promos. For the first time in the history of the Road Warriors they participated in a storyline where tension arose between the members, teasing a break up. In this storyline, Hawk was seen by his partner Animal as unfit to wrestle and Puke was tapped to take Hawk's place in the tag team. The angle played off Hegstrand’s real life alcohol and drug issues going so far as to faking a suicide jump off the top of the TitanTron. After the angle bombed and both Hegstrand and Laurinaitis voiced their objections to it, the angle was dropped, and the Legion of Doom left the WWF.[22]

Independents (1999-2003)

After leaving the WWF, the Road Warriors would appear for various independent federations, including the i-Generation pay-per-view in July 2000 where they won the promotion's Tag Team titles. They performed both as a team and individually. Animal competed solo for WCW for a while as Hegstrand dealt with his personal issues.[31]. Hegstrand finally overcame his battle with addiction and became a born-again Christian appearing on Ted DiBiase's religion and wrestling shows in 2003. The Road Warriors also appeared very briefly in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling during the early days of the federation, saving Americas Most Wanted, and debuting to what Jeremy Borash quotes as "A 1985 Road Warrior Pop".[32]

World Wrestling Entertainment (2003-2006)

The Road Warriors' last TV appearance as a team occurred on the May 12, 2003 Raw episode in a tag team match against the WWE World Tag Team Champions, Rob Van Dam and Kane.[33] The Road Warriors had hoped to get a full time contract with the WWE but nothing ever came of it. Hegstrand died five months later on October 19, 2003.[1]

L.O.D. 2005 (2005-2006)

Animal would later return to WWE in 2005,[34] teaming with Heidenreich in a feud against the tag team MNM. At The Great American Bash on July 24, 2005,[35] Animal and Heidenreich defeated MNM to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.[3] After winning the titles Heidenreich changed his appearance, to a look that better suited the Legion of Doom image by shaving his hair into a mohawk and wearing face paint.

On August 18, 2005, Heidenreich was officially made part of the "L.O.D" and was presented with his own Road Warrior "spikes". Shortly after winning the tag team titles[3], Animal paid tribute to his late partner and friend by looking up to the heavens above and saying, "Hawk, this one's for you, brother!".[36] During the feuds with MNM, L.O.D. would be joined by Christy Hemme, who acted as a valet/manager for a short while.

On the October 28, 2005 edition of SmackDown!, L.O.D. lost the tag team titles to MNM in a Fatal Fourway tag match that also featured Paul Burchill and William Regal and The Mexicools (Super Crazy and Psicosis).[3] A few months later, on January 17, 2006, Heidenreich was released from WWE.[37] Animal continued to perform for WWE, under his old persona, The Road Warrior, for a few months before he was also released.[38]

On November 18, 2006, Road Warrior Animal appeared in full gear on ESPN's pre-game College Gameday show. He was shown in a video clip to promote the #1 Ohio St. vs. #2 Michigan rivalry game, where his son (James Laurinaitis) was preparing to start at Linebacker for Ohio State.

The Hell Warriors
Tag Team
Members Animal Warrior
Power Warrior
Heights 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) – Animal Warrior
5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) – Power Warrior
528 lb (239 kg)
Debut 2007
Promotions AJPW
Kensuke Office
Toryumon Mexico

The Hell Warriors (2007-present)

On September 1, 2007, Road Warrior Animal appeared at All Japan Pro Wrestling and teamed with Sasaki to form the Hell Warriors, with Animal being billed as "Animal Warrior" to match up with Sasaki's "Power Warrior" and Hawk's "Hawk Warrior" gimmick. The newly-formed Hell Warriors defeated the team of "brother" YASSHI and Shuji Kondo.[39]

On May 11, 2008, The Hell Warriors wrestled in Toryumon Mexico's Dragon-Mania show. They defeated Damian El Terrible and Damian 666 to win the UWA World Tag Team Championship (not the same championship revived by El Dorado Wrestling).

Their theme music is a megamix of "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath and "Hellraiser" by Ozzy Osbourne.


In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

The Road Warriors / Legion of Doom

  • Independent Pro Wrestling
    • IPW Tag Team Championship (1 time)

The Hell Raisers

Legion of Doom 2005

The Hell Warriors

  • Toryumon Mexico
    • UWA World Tag Team Championship (1 time, current)[40]


  1. ^ a b c Various Comments:. (14 June 2005). Road Warriors: The Life and Death of Wrestling's Most Dominant Tag-Team. [DVD]. USA: WWE Home Video. 
  2. ^ Joseph “Animal” Laurinaitis:. (14 June 2005). Road Warriors: The Life and Death of Wrestling's Most Dominant Tag-Team. [DVD]. USA: WWE Home Video. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Royal Duncan & Gary Will (4th Edition 2006). Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  4. ^ "NWA Crockett Cup Results (1986)". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  5. ^ "NWA Great American Bash Results (1986 #1)". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  6. ^ "NWA Great American Bash Results (1986 #2)". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  7. ^ "NWA Starrcade Results (1986)". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  8. ^ "NWA Great American Bash Results (1987 #1)". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  9. ^ "NWA Great American Bash Results (1987 #3)". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  10. ^ "NWA Starrcade Results (1987)". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  11. ^ a b c Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-5502-2683-6. 
  12. ^ "NWA Clash of the Champions Results (VI)". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  13. ^ "NWA Clash of the Champions Results (VIII)". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  14. ^ a b "NWA Great American Bash Results (1989)". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  15. ^ "NWA Halloween Havoc Results (1989)". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  16. ^ "NWA Clash of the Champions Results (X)". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  17. ^ "NWA Clash of the Champions Results (VIII)". Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  18. ^ "NWA Starrcade Results (1989)". Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  19. ^ "NWA Capitol Combat Results". Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  20. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1990". Retrieved 2007-04-17. "(June 25, 1990) The Legion of Doom defeated Black Bart & Tom Stone at 1:12 when Road Warrior Hawk pinned Stone following the Doomsday Device (LOD's debut)" 
  21. ^ Brian Shields (4th Edition 2006). Main event – WWE in the raging 80s. Pocket Books. ISBN 978-1-4165-3257-6. 
  22. ^ a b R.D. Reynolds and Randy Baer (2003). Wrestlecrap – the very worst of pro wrestling. ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-584-7. 
  23. ^ "NJPW Super Gade Tag League history". Retrieved 2007-04-17. "(1993) 5. Hawk Warrior & Power Warrior [10]" 
  24. ^ "NJPW Super Gade Tag League history". Retrieved 2007-04-17. "(1994) 3. Hawk Warrior & Power Warrior [14]" 
  25. ^ "WCW SuperBrawl Results (VI)". Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  26. ^ "WCW Uncensored Results (1996)". Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  27. ^ Eric Bischoff. (14 June 2005). Road Warriors: The Life and Death of Wrestling's Most Dominant Tag-Team. [DVD]. USA: WWE Home Video. 
  28. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1997". Retrieved 2007-04-17. "(February 24, 1997) The Legion of Doom fought the Headbangers to a double count-out; after the bout, Road Warrior Hawk hit the flying clothesline on one of the Headbangers (LOD's surprise return match after more than a four-year absence)" 
  29. ^ "WWF In Your House Results (Canadian Stampede)". Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  30. ^ "WWF WrestleMania Results (XIV)". Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  31. ^ Joseph “Animal” Laurinaitis. (14 June 2005). Road Warriors: The Life and Death of Wrestling's Most Dominant Tag-Team. [DVD]. USA: WWE Home Video. 
  32. ^ "TNA Weekly PPV Results 2003". Retrieved 2007-04-17. "(January 15, 2003) Vince Russo & Triple X (Christopher Daniels, Low Ki, & Elix Skipper) defeated NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Jeff Jarrett, Dusty Rhodes, & The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal)" 
  33. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWE Show Results 2003". Retrieved 2007-04-17. "(May 12, 2003) WWE Raw Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam & Kane defeated the Legion of Doom when RVD pinned Road Warrior Hawk following the chokeslam / Five Star Frog Splash combo (LOD’s surprise return after more than a 4-year absence)" 
  34. ^ WWE. "Smackdown Results (July 14, 2005)". Retrieved 2007-04-17. "After being attacked by WWE Tag Team Champions MNM, Road Warrior Animal stormed the ring to a tremendous ovation to make the save." 
  35. ^ (2007-04-17). "WWE Great American Bash Results (2005)". 
  36. ^ WWE (2007-04-17). "Win one for Hawk". 
  37. ^ Wade Keller. "WWE News: WWE updates status of drug testing program, Heidenreich released". Retrieved 2007-04-17. " reports that Heidenreich has been released from his WWE contract" 
  38. ^ Wade Keller. "WWE News: Sabu vs. Cena, RVD vs. Rey, Animal released, Rock movie update". Retrieved 2007-04-17. " announced that Road Warrior Animal has been released" 
  39. ^ Kensuke Office Show Results
  40. ^ [1]

External links

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