The Man, the Myth, the Legend Vol. 6: The Road Warriors
What a RUUUUSH!
It's hard to describe the feeling of sitting in an arena when the Road Warrior's theme music hit. Similar to the apprehension of awaiting a hurricane landfall mixed with the anticipation of a blistering heavy metal concert, fans would often crane their necks to see the duo burst out of the entrance way and dash to the ring.
When facing enhancement talents--wrestlers whose job it is to make the stars look good--they simply dashed to the ring, pummeled their opponents, and set them up for their dreaded finisher, the Doomsday Device.
When facing a more noteworthy team, the Road Warriors switched tactics. They arrived wearing menacing spikes, slowly stalking to the ring while Iron Man by Black Sabbath played over the PA. Many wrestlers genuinely feared the Warriors because of their monstrous strength, and on more than one occasion their schedule opponents would grab their bags and flee the arena rather than face them in the ring.
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When people look at the Road Warriors, they KNOW they're seeing professional wrestlers. In fact, the Warriors are like Pro Wrestlers with a little bit of pro wrestler added in! Hyberbolic, massive, face painted, spike wearing marauders who could crush ordinary men with one hand.
And yet, they still had a lot of fun. Hawk was well known for getting hilarious one liners into their interviews, while Animal played the straight man and did the job of telling fans where they were fighting, who they were fighting, and why.
Many critics and fans agree that the Road Warriors were the best tag team of the 1980s, and continued to have influence even today. Here are ten moments from their legendary careers.
As Animal tells the story, he and Hawk were working as bouncers in a dive bar in the early 1980s when they were discovered by a Georgia Championship Wrestling scout. While the two were not professional athletes, or trained in wrestling, they were gigantic muscle men with uncanny agility. Animal, all three hundred pounds of him, could perform a backflip and Hawk was strong as a rhino.
At first, they were going to be pushed as singles stars, with Animal wrestling as the original Road Warrior, a biker gimmick. Hawk was quickly added to form a tag team, since tag team wrestling was extremely hot during this period.
Along with Precious Paul Ellering--himself a wrestler in his own right--they proved to be brutal and dominant. While most young wrestlers have to spend months or even years 'paying their dues' by losing to established stars, they were such monsters they were pushed to the main event right out of the gate.