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RIP ANIMAL / Joseph Laurinaitis


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1 hour ago, LEGIT said:

That's how I remember them, genuine Superstars, stand-outs even for their time. When I think about the initial UK buzz with wrestling, first I'd think Bulldog, then maybe LOD. They were that memorable.

There's a belief in pro-wrestling that your stars should never look like they've just walked in off the street. Give the fans something unique, something they'll never see in their day to day lives. Legion of Doom fitted that description perfectly.

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RIP brother

Everyone’s already said it but LOD were an absolute powerhouse in the stardom stakes. It’s incredible how big a deal they were considering their first and famous run was barely two years on TV. Yes, t

So, Hogan Knows Best after all. 

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Gutting news, the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom have always been one of my favourite tag teams because they had everything from the look with the hair styles, the paint (prefer most of their NWA/WCW looks though) and the spiked shoulder pads to the promos to being an all round bad ass team. The entrance at Summerslam 92 with the bikes is so so iconic but even before that it was the entrance to 'Iron Man' that began what became known as the 'Road Warrior pop'. The fact that the majority of tributes I've seen today have come from predominantly tag team wrestlers like Bully Ray, Kazarian, Santana etc speaks volumes as to LOD's legacy

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2 hours ago, bAzTNM#1 said:

Seems mental that most of my childhood faves are gone now. Sad news. RIP.

That's what upsets me the most.

These were the guys that were my superheroes and my idols as a kid. While everyone else was into football or comics, wrestling was always at the top of the list for me. Watching it. Reading about it. Playing with the toys. It's why it's so ingrained in my life to this day, despite the quality dipping in certain areas. There will always be that deep emotional connection for me.

I've had the chance over the years to meet some of my favourite wrestlers and I consider that a real privilege. You don't get to meet your heroes too often after all. 

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so many people on Twitter reflecting something like my experience - seeing a picture of the LOD and thinking, "who the fuck are these lads?!" being the thing that made them a wrestling fan.

I'm not one to bemoan the state of modern wrestling, but there's not many I can imagine giving kids that experience today.

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3 hours ago, BomberPat said:

so many people on Twitter reflecting something like my experience - seeing a picture of the LOD and thinking, "who the fuck are these lads?!" being the thing that made them a wrestling fan.

I'm not one to bemoan the state of modern wrestling, but there's not many I can imagine giving kids that experience today.

I remember bringing a WWF magazine to school in 1991 and several of us looking through the pages. There was a picture of the Legion of Doom wearing their spiked shoulder pads and some of the kid’s reaction was, “Wow! Who are they?”. They were like an instant hit because they looked so menacing. Most of our school year were heavily into wrestling for a while afterwards. As was said earlier, I think the Road Warriors were a big part of the WWF’s popularity in the early 90s in the U.K.

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2 hours ago, DavidB6937 said:

Does it matter?

Given wrestlings history of suicide and heart related deaths directly linked to working and the road life in the 80s & 90s I'd be interested to hear if it's another associated with the common root causes. 

I'm not on baited breath for it, but it is a point of interest. 

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Everyone’s already said it but LOD were an absolute powerhouse in the stardom stakes. It’s incredible how big a deal they were considering their first and famous run was barely two years on TV. Yes, they did great things everywhere else but you say “Road Warriors” to a casual and they’ll think Mad Max or nothing. “Legion of Doom” stands next to Hulk Hogan, Bulldog and Jake The Snake next to all the names that kids who grew out of it when their balls dropped still remember.

My first exposure to wrestling involved LOD. I was at my mate Gareth’s house and I don’t know whether it was the Albert Hall tape or on telly but what I remember was a Rockers vs  Nasty Boys match and the fellas in red with spikes. Later as my interest grew round my mate Simons house, just prior to my lend of Mania VI, I saw LOD in his huge collection of black pre-SummerSlam and yellow post-SummerSlam trading cards, and then his sadly curtailed Hasbro collection, which went LOD vs Nasty Boys, Undertaker then, errr, Virgil. The Ghostbusters figures got plenty of run outs in his fed. Of course his LOD Hasbro lost their black spikes like plenty of peoples seem to. I simply never bashed mine into others with enough force. I ended up ruining them anyway by painting their red pads black with acrylic paint, but later acquired replacements for both Hawk and Animal who both still have all their spikes. But I digress.

My second wrestling tape watched ever was Survivors 90, and watching these boys come out to team with Warrior and Texas Tornado won me over in seconds. Later on as a smark I’d deride the PPV for the number of cheap eliminations but as a child, them not being beaten in the match and ejected for being TOO VIOLENT made them unstoppable beasts. By the end of the same weekend I’d seen Survivors 91 and watched them as tag champions beat IRS and the Natural Disasters(!) by themselves. Job done, I was a fan. Their contribution to SummerSlam 91, the second best tape from 1991 and one of the best WWF shows ever, is similarly note perfect, and if you forgive the non-finish they achieve a very entertaining match with the Disasters at Rumble 92.

I’ll be honest ; there are a few acts that didn’t translate the best when going to the WWF from somewhere else but LOD weren’t one. The subtle changes to their act were all worth it. Obviously Iron Man was a non-starter but in comparison to their WWF tune, I don’t have it as the clear winner like many do. OK, Iron Man gave a great sense of foreboding doom for jobbers on old NWA tv but the adrenaline produced by a crowd going mental from an LOD entrance during the bright colours and cocaine Silver Vision glory days, I consider unmatched, and it was a worthy successor in the “Oh SHIT” stakes to “Here comes the Ax.... here comes the Smasher...” Speaking of Demolition, giving them the bright red shoulder pads to instantly distinguish them from Demolition, The Powers of Pain and every other black leather-clad knock off that had entered the marketplace was a stroke of genius. Between the Hasbros, the shoulder pads, the T-shirt and the wrestling buddies, they had the best merchandise after Hogan. Absolute stars, and I loved them.

It was a shame they weren’t maximised in 1997 or 1998. I should have known things weren’t going to plain sailing on the first night back when they weren’t even allowed to put a pin on The Headbangers in front of a Manhattan Centre obviously pleased to see them. They were treated like chumps several times on their way to EVENTUALLY winning the belts which took way too long. There’s an alternate universe where Steve Austin has a blow off with Bret at SummerSlam and Owen and Smithers do the honours clean for LOD for the belts but that would have been a bit too “happy ending” for 1997. They were a victim of timing twice, firstly by having their balls cut off when the office decided to run with the Outlaws, then after coming back with a refreshed look and Sunny(!) they still didn’t get their heat back when the office decided DX would get turned and the Outlaws weren’t heel chickenshits waiting patiently for their execution. People say they were washed up but at the time I still wanted them to be on top again.

As for Animal specifically, he was great. I never consider either him or Hawk inferior in terms of entertainment, intensity or enjoyment watching them in the ring. Every Animal match you knew you’d get a great drop kick for a chunk of muscle, a shoulder block which absolutely shit on Warriors, and a cracking deep scoop powerslam which I always fake remember him eliminating people from Survivors matches with. Absolute brick shithouse, threw smaller guys around with ease, and great fun whenever he collided with chunkier lads like the Samoans, Steiners or Disasters. Underrated in the strength department and even though it wasn’t LOD, I’d have loved to see his team with Crush get a chance on TV in 1992 after Hawk went AWOL. It’s a tragic byproduct of his era that when I heard he’d died at the age of 60, instead of thinking what sad news, I was impressed he’d made that number given he’d lived through all the steroids and coke. Following Hawk around for so many years can’t have been good for him either. Always seemed a nice bloke on the DVDs, indelible influence on tag wrestling (stating the obvious) and I’m happy I got to see a Doomsday Device in person as a kid. Rest in peace Animal, thanks for all the powerslams.

TELL EM HAWK!

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