The Road Warriors, Hawk and Animal, who took their name from the Mad Max films, were also known as the Legion of Doom (that name taken from the Challenge of the Super Friends cartoon) when working with the World Wrestling Federation.
With the unfortunate passing of Joe Laurinaitis/Road Warrior Animal, yesterday, I felt like today was as good a day as any to post these figures as a mini tribute to these guys.
I’ve actually had the pieces for these guys assembled for quite some time, but finally got around to painting them earlier this summer. I know I have another pair of the spiked shoulderpads somewhere to give to Road Warrior Hawk (Michael Hegstrand, who passed away in 2003), I’ve just gotta dig them up.
The Road Warriors were one of the most dominant tag teams in wrestling history. In the era before everything was televised, these two men who were built like, as they saying goes, “brick shithouses,” would come out to “Iron Man” by the progenitors of heavy metal, Black Sabbath, and just crush their opponents in an embarrassing fashion, often finishing them off with the Doomsday Device, a move that saw Animal lift the opponents on his shoulders like father with his small child, and Hawk would leap off the top turnbuckle, executing a devastating clothesline as Animal would throw the opponent off his shoulders, forcing them to a backflip and often land on their neck or head in a sickening manner. Ow, what a rush.
L.O.D. inspired a slew of imitators, the most obvious being the WWF’s Demolition, Ax and Smash (and later, Crush) two other beefy guys who dressed in leather and spikes with painted faces; and the Faces of Fear, two Tongan wrestlers, Meng (sometimes Haku) and The Barbarian, who also were just two tough-as-nails customers that would demolish anything in their path. And I would argue that the dominance of Bill Goldberg in World Championship Wrestling throughout 1997 and 1998 was reminiscent of the Road Warriors experience of the early 1980s. And in more recent years, teams like The Ascension and the Authors of Pain (AOP) have clearly taken inspiration from the Legion of Doom, although have yet to find anywhere near the same level of success.
Often imitated but never truly duplicated, I don’t suspect we’ll ever truly see a team like the Legion of Doom again. Road Warrior Hawk, Road Warrior Animal: Rest in Power, brothers.