The Road Warriors: Danger, Death, and the Rush of Wrestling is a tremendous journey through the history and evolution of the greatest tag team of all-time, The Road Warriors. From their unknown venture into pro-wrestling to conquering every major promotion on the planet, Joe “Animal” Laurinaitis and Andrew William Wright masterfully take us on a journey of the careers of Hawk and Animal. Every step of the way we get personal stories about Hawk and Animal that remind us of the men who portrayed these larger than life characters.
The beginning of the book introduces us to a brief background of Animal and quickly moves along to when Mike “Hawk” Hegstrand and Joe “Animal” Laurinaitis first meet and the crew they hung around with. At one point before they started wrestling, Joe and Mike worked at the same bar with Scott Norton, Barry Darsow (Smash from Demoliton), Rick Rood (Rick Rude) and John Nord (The Berzerker). Joe also introduces us to his early relationships with Scott Simpson (Nikita Koloff) and Curt Hennig (Mr. Perfect).
From the bar to the wrestling ring, Joe takes us behind the scenes with humorous stories and personal experiences that allow readers to connect and relate. We learn how these wrestling legends all get their starts in the business and how their paths cross many times throughout their careers. All along, Joe keeps us focused on the relationships these men all had with each other.
Through the fantastic stories of Georgia Championship Wrestling to the AWA, Joe (now known as Animal) never forgets what really matters and that’s his family. Animal reveals that his son was the major motivation behind becoming successful in pro-wrestling. Throughout the entire book, Animal never fails to mention how his family was the most important thing to him and how it kept him grounded in a world of temptations.
Readers will learn how and why The Road Warriors picked “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath as their entrance song. Animal also details the evolution of their face paint, finishing moves, wrestling gear like the spiked shoulder pads, and why they “jumped” to different promotions like WCW and WWF.
Animal discusses the importance of manager Paul Ellering and how he handled all of the booking and managerial responsibilities. He explains how Paul became a mentor and a trusted friend to both Hawk and himself. Animal notes in several chapters how The Road Warriors would not have been successful without Paul Ellering.
Animal does a fantastic job with capturing the dynamics of the relationship between Joe and Mike aka Hawk and Animal. From their world-wide fame to Hawk’s well known partying lifestyle, Animal details how their friendship and lives were changed.
Animal details some of the greatest feuds The Road Warriors ever had including The Freebirds, 4 Horsemen, Midnight Express, The Fabulous Ones, Demolition, Powers of Pain and more. Animal talks about the impact that The Road Warriors had on other teams copying them like Demolition.
There are humorous stories throughout the book like: Rick Rude being a chick magnet, Ric Flair taking Animal out to celebrate his engagement, Hawk fighting Randy Savage, Animal press slamming Hulk Hogan, Vince McMahon and the Strip club, and arguably the funniest story of all being Mike Rotunda’s drunken experience with barbed wire.
The book does not lack in depth or emotion as we see how the deaths of numerous wrestlers impacted not only Animal but professional wrestling as a whole. Animal talks about the deaths of Hawk, Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, Brian Pillman, and Owen Hart. Additionally, Animal talks about the impact of Magnum TA’s accident on the wrestlers and wrestling. Animal also shares with us how he came to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior along with Hawk and Shawn Michaels.
If you are a fan of The Road Warriors then you definitely want to read this book. The writing is easy to follow and once you pick it up you won’t put it down. In the end, The Road Warriors: Danger, Death, and the Rush of Wrestling was a “Rush”.
Animal will begin his book signing tour today. Here are the announced dates and times:
1. March 10 at 12 p.m.-book signing at Barnes & Noble, Midwest Plaza (801
Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402)
2. March 10 at 7 p.m.-book signing at Barnes & Noble, HarMar Mall (2100 N.
Snelling Ave., Roseville, MN 55113)
3. March 17 at 6 p.m.-book signing at Barnes & Noble, Mall of America (60 E.
Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425)
4. April 4 at 12 p.m.-book signing at Barnes & Noble, Buckhead (2900 Peachtree
Rd NE, Ste 310, Atlanta, GA 30305)
5. April 11 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)-Hollywood Palms Theater (352 S.
Rt. 59, Naperville, IL 60540)-Laurinaitis will host a screening of “Road
Warriors: The Life and Death of the Most Dominant Tag-Team in Wrestling
History.” The screening will include dinner, a Q&A with Laurinaitis and a book
signing. The event is open to the public. Admission fee to cover the cost of
dinner and the movie TBD.
6. April 12 at 7 p.m.-book signing at Barnes & Noble (13 West Rand Rd.,
Arlington Heights, IL 60004)
7. April 15 at 7 p.m.-book signing at Barnes & Noble (2621 Plainfield Rd.,
Joliet, IL 60435)
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