The Road Warriors are arguably the greatest tag team in the history of professional wrestling, but sadly, one of them is no longer with us today.
Both Animal and Hawk got their start together in 1983 in Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW) where the initial birth of The Road Warriors began. After that, they embarked on an epic road of success having competed in spots such as the American Wrestling Association (AWA), Japan, Jim Crockett Promotions (which would later become WCW), and of course the WWE.
That run with WWE only lasted two years, however, as the squad then departed for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) before returning to WCW for a year, and then back to WWE. In 1999 The Road Warriors began working the independent circuit before returning to WWE on an episode of RAW in 2003. They had hoped to get full-time contracts after the appearance, however, nothing ever came of it.
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Just five months later in October of that year, it had been announced that Road Warrior Hawk had suddenly passed away in his sleep after suffering a heart attack at the age of 46. Road Warrior Animal recently did an interview with Hannibal TV to discuss how he got wind of Hawk's passing (quotes via Wrestling Inc.):
"Well, I was actually vacuuming my pool and the phone rang. I thought Hawk was doing really good, and it's my buddy Bob on the phone. 'I said hey Bobby how you dong?'
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"He said 'Hey you talk to Mike today? Hawk?' I said 'No, why?' He said 'Has anybody called you today?' I said 'No why? It's Saturday, it's the day off, why would anybody call me?' He said 'Joe, Mike died last night.' I said 'What?'
"'Yeah he died,' he said. I sat down on the steps of my deck, man, and I cried like a baby. I said man not only did I lose my partner in wrestling, I lost a brother and I lost a friend. As messed up as he was, I loved the guy. I was a proud man to say that.
"Hawk and I were like glue stuck to each other, made a lot of money together, to this day we're still touted as the number one tag team ever in wrestling. Even with the new guys. And that said something for what we did. He died and it was like someone took a stake and drove it through my heart.
"It was bad man, it was a bad time. I heard that there was some kind of medicine on the table, I don't know what it was. I know he was moving his wife, they had a condo on the beach and they kept getting pelted by sand or a storm, so he wanted to move into a house.
"He moved and he wanted to move all the heavy stuff so his wife wouldn't have to lift it. He goes 'Honey I'm going to go and lay down for a little bit. My back is sore, let me rest for three hours then get me up so I can finish.' She was there to wake him up at three o'clock but Hawk was gone. That was it."
What are your thoughts on Animal's story about how he found out Hawk had passed away? Have YOUR say in the comments section below and the third episode of GiveMeSport’s WWE podcast is here!
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