WWE superstar ‘Road Warrior Animal’ Joe Laurinaitis dies at 60

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FILE – In this Dec. 14, 2008 file photo of James Laurinaitis, of Ohio State, left, poses with his father Joe Laurinaitis after being awarded The Lott Trophy in Newport Beach, Calif. Joe Laurinaitis knew his middle child was bound for greatness right about the time he saw the 12-year-old doing piledrivers and choke-slamming his younger sister out on the family’s backyard trampoline. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Joe Laurinaitis, WWE superstar the “Road Warrior Animal” and father of former linebacker with the Ohio State Buckeyes James Laurinaitis, has died at the age of 60. 

The WWE announced his death on its website, Wednesday. 

“One of the most intense Superstars to ever step into the squared circle, the 6-foot-2, 300-pound Animal spent the majority of his career alongside his tag team partner, Hawk. Together, they formed what was arguably the most successful, popular and feared tandem of all time — The Road Warriors,” the WWE released in a statement.  

According to the WWE, the Road Warriors won the tag team title on two occasions were eventually enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame. 

James Laurinaitis was a linebacker with the Buckeyes from 2005-08 and won both the Bronko Nagurski Award for nation’s top defensive player and the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker during his career. He totaled 375 tackles in his career.  He is currently a talk show host on 97.1 the Fan here in Columbus.

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