Road Warrior Animal discusses RetroMania videogame, WWE Hall of Fame, WCW, winning WWF gold for the first time and more
The Legion of Doom is without a shadow of a doubt one of the greatest tag teams in the history of professional wrestling. Also known as The Road Warriors, Hawk and Animal were a force to reckon with.
As the Legion of Doom, the two men are two time WWF Tag Team Champions. Sadly, in 2003, Hawk passed away. Animal would go on and reform LOD with Heidenreich. In 2004, the two became WWE Tag Team Champions.
In 2011, Hawk and Animal were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Below is an interview Road Warrior Animal did with Perched On The Top Rope. The audio is below.
SK: Well, first and foremost, it's Hawk's birthday.
Animal: Yeah, man, I've been getting wished happy birthday today. Wikipedia still has it wrong after 25 years. It's Hawk's birthday today. When people mention it to me, it's kind of a surreal moment.
SK: You have a new video game coming out -- RetroMania. It's been a while since we've seen the Road Warriors in a video game. How do you feel about it? Have you seen test shots? Have you played it?
Animal: You know, I have the original WWF Superstars game in my basement, the big one, the arcade game. A friend of mine used to run an arcade company, and he gave me a brand new one.
When I saw the Retrosoft one, the replica, it's the same kind of game, but the graphics are better, and its present-day movements, it's really cool.
When they approached me on it, it was just with the company Retrosoft. Now that it's a Nintendo game, I believe it's going to be one of the hottest selling games because fans like to go back and play the retro stuff. They love to go back and play the old with new school movements.
Right now, with the graphics, Hawk and I are the only ones done. When you see all the ads for it, it's always Hawk and I in the background fighting. Which is cool for me, I think I was the first to sign a contract with them.
SK: What was it like at SummerSlam winning your first WWF Tag Team Titles?
Animal: You know, it was the last of the big three to win. When you win something, it's great, but when you win in Madison Square Garden, which is the pinnacle of sports, whether you're a basketball player, hockey player, no matter what, you're in the Garden. The Garden's the Garden. The crowd was unbelievable.
For me, as a young guy, when I was doing it, I was looking in the crowd, and I see Regis Philbin, Lou Ferrigno, and all these stars that lived in New York City, and I'm going, "What the heck! This is nuts!"
When we won the titles, besides SummerSlam '92 over in London, it was the loudest ovation we ever got. If you remember watching it, it was literally like a fifteen-minute celebration of us winning the title because no other team has won that in the history of our business, the big three. It was awesome — Testament to the New York fans. The New York sports market is freakin crazy.
SK: Speaking of the big three, in 1996, you and Hawk were part of WCW and had all sorts of opportunities at the tag titles. It was a short run. You were only there for six months and went back to the WWF in '97. Was there ever an explanation as to why you and Hawk didn't win the belt(s)?
Animal: We couldn't get our contract worked out in WCW. In that aspect of it, we couldn't get anything done to go up and get the titles.
Now, I think it would have helped them, and it would have helped us. At the time, they had so many guys there if you look at the roster. They were buying up every bit of available talent, and we saw that.
We always had the luxury of being able to pick and choose companies. To us, it was more important to go to Japan or WWF.
SK: In 2003, LOD made a surprise return and faced RVD and Kane. What did you think of that night?
Animal: I just saw that match the other night. I thought that since they were babyface champions when our music hit if you look at the crowd, it was a Road Warrior pop crowd. They went freakin crazy. We had just come back after getting suspended for Hawk's charades and wrestled RVD and Kane.
I think if they wanted to do something great for the business, they would have dropped the titles to us that day. I think it would have been great. Fans would have been like, "Oh crap. LOD is back in the WWF." I thought that would have been the thing to do because RVD and Kane weren't exactly your textbook tag team, it's two singles guys. Both are great guys as a team. I like them better both as singles wrestlers.
SK: You go into the WWE Hall of Fame. How did you find out you were going in, and what was that night like for you and Paul Ellering?
Animal: My brother Johnny called me up and said, "Hey man, congratulations!" I said, "What for?" He goes, "You're going into the Hall of Fame!" My reaction was, "Well, we should have been your first tag team to go in the Hall of Fame." I mean, I was just honest with him.
I understand why they didn't. They were waiting for the right timing going back to Atlanta, where we started. It made sense when you think about it later on down the road, but the fans are going, "Well, nobody could beat these guys. Why aren't they in the Hall of Fame?" It made sense for us to go in business-wise when we did.
It was surreal. Ellering never told me he was going to put that miniature action figure of Hawk on the podium. When I saw that, I almost lost it. I thought I was going to start crying like a baby.
We'd like to thank Captin's Corners for allowing us to interview Road Warrior Animal. Below is the audio to the interview!
Published 05 Feb 2020, 00:34 IST