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Road Warrior Animal Talks WWE Gig, Pivotal Match, and More

While arguably the greatest tag team in pro wrestling history will never reunite, one half of that team would like to pass on his knowledge to WWE hopefuls. Road Warrior Animal recently told the that while he would love to help out WWE up and comers as a coach, that sentiment has not been reciprocated by his former employer.

It is hard to convince anyone that grew up watching pro wrestling in the 1980s that the Road Warriors were not the greatest tag team in wrestling history. In-ring work aside, Animal and Hawk revolutionized the industry with their monster physiques, dominant style, and intimidating face paint. Without Hawk on this earth, there will be no Road Warriors reunion yet one half of the Hal of Fame team would like to give back to the industry and pass on his years of knowledge to WWE trainees. Yet the WWE doesn’t appear to be interested in his services.

I tried to become a coach and give back what I know in this business. How do you have guys coaching guys to be in a Super Bowl who’ve never been in the Super Bowl? If they don’t want anybody who’s been to the big dance coaching the guys, that’s on them.

There’s a new wrestling company starting up called Revolution. It’s out of Vegas. They’re going to back to basics, going back to kayfabe. Guys are going to build their own branding. It’s a different philosophy and it’s going to be a different niche and no six-sided ring. Leave that to Jeff Jarrett and his guys. I won’t mention any names but some of the guys that are involved are all former world champs.

I’ll put my talents into that. I’m not going to spin my wheels and beg to go to WWE anymore. I’m not doing that. I’ve asked long enough, with my brother working there, and not getting a positive response. I’ve never burned a bridge with WWE, so I’m tired of trying, to be quite honest.

It is hard to convince anyone that grew up watching pro wrestling in the 1980s that the Road Warriors were not the greatest tag team in wrestling history. In-ring work aside, Animal and Hawk revolutionized the industry with their monster physiques, dominant style, and intimidating face paint. Without Hawk on this earth, there will be no Road Warriors reunion yet one half of the Hal of Fame team would like to give back to the industry and pass on his years of knowledge to WWE trainees. I can think of at least one tag team that could use his guidance. Yet the WWE doesn’t appear to be interested in his services.

It’s an interesting read in that you have a guy who truly was an innovator trying to give back to the business only to be shut out by the WWE. The WWE certainly did what they could to bastardize the legendary team, yet Animal is able to look past that and establish a working relationship. It’s funny because you look at guys who do get the training jobs and with all due respect, most have never had the amount of success that Animal had. I can’t imagine anyone as successful as Animal in another industry having a hard time getting a coaching job.

The interview is quite extensive as Animal tells his story and talks about various stages of his career. On the origins of the gimmick.

It was through Ole Anderson and Bill Watts,” Laurinaitis said when asked about the birth of the Road Warriors. “Bill is a very smart guy and he and Ole got together because they wanted to trade talent between the UWF and Georgia Championship Wrestling. They said, ‘OK, let’s make the Road Warriors.’ It was right after the Road Warrior movie (Mad Max 2). They called Hawk and I into a room and said, ‘Hey, you know that movie Road Warrior?’

That is interesting in that I always read and heard that it was Ole Anderson who came up with the gimmick on his own after seeing the Mad Max Road Warrior movie. I never heard Bill Watts mentioned before in regards to the origins of the team.

Interestingly enough, Animal credits the Road Warriors match against the Russians at the first Great American Bash as a turning point in their career, going from heels to faces.

You’ve got to remember now, Hawk and I, in about our second or third year, it was right at the end of the Cold War, with (Mikhail) Gorbachev and president Ronald Reagan, and that’s when they were calling for the big peace treaties. The Russians were still the bad guys and then we wrestled Ivan and Nikita Koloff at the Great American Bash and from that point forward, we were babyfaces. All it took was one match.

I’d highly recommend checking out the entire interview which reads as something of an abbreviated shoot interview. You can read the interview in its entirety at thewhig.com.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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