Dwayne Johnson Pays Tribute to Late Friend, Road Warrior Animal

Dwayne-Johnson -and-the-wrestler-Road-Warrior-Animal
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Joe Laurinaitis died Wednesday at the age of 60.

Dwayne Johnson on Thursday shared his sorrow over the death of his friend and fellow former WWE star, Joe Laurinaitis, aka Road Warrior Animal.

Laurinaitis died Wednesday at the age of 60. A cause of death was not released.

Current and former wrestlers, including Johnson, as well as fans, were devastated by the news.

"Really saddened to wake up to this news yesterday — the passing of my friend, Joe Laurinaitis aka ROAD WARRIOR ANIMAL," Johnson wrote on Instagram. "Joe & Mike aka HAWK & ANIMAL, THE ROAD WARRIORS were the most intense, legit tough badasses tag team in the history of the wild world of pro wrestling."

He continued, "When I was making my bones, still learning the business in the WWE as a very young 'The Rock' - I wrestled these guys so many times on the road and they always took good care of me and made sure I learned. Tough as nails. Good men. Greatest tag team of all time. And apple fritters (our inside joke). Much love and I’ll always be grateful to you both. RIP."

Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011, Laurinaitis was known as much for his impressive moves as his intricate face paint and outfits covered in huge metal spikes.

Michael Hegstrand, aka Road Warrior Hawk, died in 2003.