This week, The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling were joined by one half of the greatest tag team of all time, Legion of Doom member Road Warrior Animal. The Road Warriors held tag team gold in nearly every promotion they were ever a part of and specifically are remembered as former AJPW, AWA, NWA and WWE Tag Team Champions. John and Chad explore with Animal the origins of the Road Warrior look, sound and feel as well as the impact they have had on the wrestling business. They are often imitated but never duplicated and although it was always “doomsday” for their opponents, now it’s time for the listeners to the feel the rush of the L.O.D.
Below are some interview highlights with an h/t to John and Chad for the transcription:
Paul Ellering’s surprise NXT appearance, initial impression of the Authors of Pain and the “Road Warrior” comparison:
“I talked to Paul and he doesn’t even know if it was a onetime deal or what it is. He’s only going out there with them for one TV so I don’t know if it’s going to be any permanent deal or what but what a great name right? You can’t think of anything better than Authors of Pain? That’s so close to the Powers of Pain you would think they would be able to find a different name. But Paul Ellering is a great guy, a great manager and best of luck to the guys. I hope everybody makes it in the world of pro wrestling but it’s going to be pretty hard to duplicate anything that Hawk and I have done.”
How The Ascension attempted to capitalize on the unique “Road Warrior look” and taking shots at the legendary team:
“Here’s the thing with Hawk and I. We were the Road Warriors. We were the Road Warriors in and out of the ring, we were that way before wrestling and we didn’t have to fake anything. We didn’t have to fake our interviews, didn’t have to imitate anyone because we were us. The time to try to imitate people and try to copy somebody it never works because everyone always remembers the original.
The originals are something everyone remembers and I don’t know why over the years guys if they call it a tribute because it’s almost like the kiss of death. Right away you get good fans that say ‘oh crap’ they will never be the Road Warriors and when you mention Hawk and I’s name in an interview that even kills you off further because now you get people saying that if Hawk were here even though Animal can kill you by himself if Hawk were here they both would kill you.”
What is The Road Warrior “POP” and did they ever have to work for it when returning to a promotion:
“It’s still kind of cool that when you go to TV, there’s a position right before the curtain called the ‘Gorilla Position’. If you blow the roof off the place with your music and the crowd goes crazy it’s called a ‘Road Warrior pop’. That’s kind of cool that it will always be remembered in the wrestling business because it is something different that not everyone can achieve.
When you are an original I don’t think the fans forget very easily. I think a good testament to that is our last little run in WWE in 2003 where we wrestled Kane and (Rob) Van Dam. Hawk had spent some time in Japan and I had come back from an injury and we were away from TV for like four or five years and we were in Philly and Baltimore and as soon as those people heard the OHHH What a Rush they freaking came unglued. That’s the day we should have taken the belts off Kane and Van Dam that night because the people believed it, they wanted to see it and they went nuts. Even when I did the RAW 1000 show and when I wrestled Heath Slater the fans came unglued when my music played. It’s something that it’s almost like a holy crap moment and here comes trouble now or someone is about ready to get a good butt kicking.”
His brother John Laurinaitis’ tenure with WWE and becoming one of the most hated heels of the last decade:
“He went there with the merger because he was the booker of WCW when Vince bought it out. Vince bought out his contract (as well) and brought Johnny over there with him and since John did a good job with WWE we got to see him on TV again like Monday on RAW. He is good in that role and if they are bringing him back on TV that means they need him in that role for some reason and because something on TV isn’t working. It again is just bring back a guy that you know is over with the whole “People Power” thing and since John is a good businessman and is great behind the scenes and he knows how to choreograph a match real well it makes him really good for the business.”
Would he consider Vince McMahon to be a fan of the Road Warriors:
“I think he was. But I think the thing that bothered that office more than anything else is that we were already an established world-known talent before we got there and I don’t think he likes that. I think he likes to own you and invent you and make you that talent. Just like The Rock, Stone Cold, Undertaker and Shawn Michaels he likes to kind of own everything about you and he didn’t have that with us.
Think about it. If weren’t as over as we were why you didn’t see vignettes of Hawk and I? You didn’t see us on commercials for merchandise or on posters. But you saw Macho Man, you saw Hogan, you saw Warrior but you never saw Hawk and I. Even though they sold all that stuff you never saw it. Even today if they have a fan-fest. I’ve never been asked to do one fan-fest at WrestleMania even after getting put into the Hall of Fame and I have no heat with the company. He (Vince) just doesn’t like putting a product out that is going to outshine what he invents. It’s why everyone says it would have been great if I had run down and did a thing with the Ascension on TV. What would you have done then? That’s the take that I had on it and it shouldn’t be that way because this is a business and it is all a work. It should be easy to do and there shouldn’t be all that animosity but there are a lot of egos in this business and that is just the way it is and the way it is always going to be. Hawk and I just wanted to be good businessmen and do our jobs.”
Coming to the New Jersey on July 23rd for WrestePro’s show in Union, NJ and still electrifying crowds with the Road Warrior persona:
“I really am looking forward to coming out to New Jersey. I’ve got a lot of relatives that live in Jersey still and a lot of relatives down in Philly. It’s a great opportunity for fans to come and meet me and take a picture and put on the shoulder pads and be a member of the LOD just for a about five minutes (laughing). I’ve seen more grown men turn back into twelve year olds when they put on those pads.”