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WRESTLING COLUMNS

They Snacked On Danger & Dined On Death
August 23, 2006 by George Rutherford


No matter how much has been said already, I just don't think enough can be said about the impact of the Road Warriors (Legion of Doom, L.O.D., etc...). Hawk and Animal have proven themselves to be the most legendary tag team in the history of professional wrestling (in my opinion...guess that makes me an L.O.D. mark), but I feel that my views are backed by decades of compelling evidence and fan support. Many people have discussed THAT Hawk and Animal are the most celebrated duo ever, but I want to take a look into WHY they were.

1. First and foremost, they never changed their gimmick. This may sound like a minor thing, but if you look at the life span of any gimmick, specifically tag team gimmicks, they don't normally have much of a shelf life. Even long lasting teams, like the Hart Foundation or the Four Horseman, evolved rather drastically over the years. Hawk and Animal were always Hawk and Animal. Even when they were technically billed as "The Road Warriors", the name "Legion of Doom" was still incorporated into their image. The makeup and spikes may have modernized over time, but you always knew what you were going to get from L.O.D.

2. They were visually impressive. In the Kayfabe era, when many of the wrestling territories were chock full of stars that resembled overweight hillbillies, the Warriors looked like futuristic Vikings that were carved from granite. Their sheer power and dominance over their opponents was always thrilling to watch. Sticklers for the technical can always snub the warriors for not being the most scientific stars on the mat, but consider the times. The Kayfabe era didn't wield many high flyers or X-Division type wrestlers. Quite frankly, when people thought it was real, hurricanranas and 619s just wouldn't have sold. Their catalogue may have been mostly shoulder blocks, punches, kicks, and slams, but they delivered the most devastating shoulder blocks, punches, kicks, and slams. That's not to mention the visual intimidation of the shoulder pads and chrome spikes!

3. The record. I know, everybody goes back to the record when they discuss L.O.D., but it bears repeating. They wouldn't have been chosen to hold so many titles or win so many awards if they didn't have the charisma to win over the fans. With thanks from roadwarriorsinc.com, here are some career highlights for your perusal:

  • WWF Tag Champions (Twice)
  • WCW Tag Champions (Twice)
  • NWA Tag Champions
  • AWA Tag Champions
  • IWS Tag Champions
  • All-Japan Tag Champions (Numerous Times)
  • New-Japan Tag Champions
  • Australian Tag Champions
  • European Tag Champions
  • WCW 6-man Tag Champions (Dusty Rhodes)
  • Tag Team of the Year (7 out of 10 Years PWI)
  • Tag Team of the Decade (PWI)
  • Tag Team of the Century (PWI)
  • PCW Tag Team Champions
  • WWZ Tag Team Champions
  • Fighting of World Japan Tag Team Champions
  • This rap sheet of acclaim brings me to my final point...

    4. The longevity. From their early days in 1983 until the day that Michael Hegstrand (Hawk) passed away in 2003, the Legion of Doom maintained a level of collective intensity that has been rarely matched in sports entertainment. They were the Rolling Stones of professional wrestling, never allowing age or younger performers push them into obscurity. For this alone, they deserve the respect of wrestling fans.

    Tag team wrestling was once a major draw of the industry, and has slowly, sadly been getting pushed to the back burner. The glory of the tag team division seems to have gone the way of the Intercontinental title. They both used to maintain a higher level of prestige. What will it take to bring splendor back to the tag teams and stables" The new D-X" Maybe. The Spirit Squad" Likely not. Another Legion of Doom" There may never be another team that equals their triumphs, but we can certainly keep watching and keep hoping that the creative teams in WWE, TNA, or ROH will find a duo that has the capacity to thrill generations of fans for years to come, and show the "powers that be" that a strong tag division can go a LONG way. OHHHH....WHAT A RUSH!!!

    by George Rutherford..


    Jon Rosaler wrote:
    Let's not forget last year, George. Animal made an LOD 2005 with Heidenreich and they won the Smackdown titles together. He is currently helping out his family and I think the New LOD will be back in WWE sometime soon, maybe even TNA, Road Warriors did do a Brief Stint before Hawk died. The reason I think they will be is Animal is the brother of Road Agent John Laurantis and he has the same chance returning as Goldust does since his father is working as a writer, we may see Legion of Doom 05 again one day, you just gotta wait.
    Aaron Tolles wrote:
    I do agree that the Warriors were one of the greatest teams of all time.They were one of the most unique gimmicks ever to grace a ring.But I am going to have to disagree on some points.

    First being the Road Warriors did change their gimmick.They went from the top to a team trying to stay fresh with the LOD 2000 gimmick.They also did eventually end up in obscurity,because well quite frankly the fans weren't buying it anymore.And their longevity did have a gap in it when Animal was shelved for a few years.

    Also a minor correction,they were never WCW tag team champs,nor did they hold New Japan's tag titles(Hawk did,but never Animal).I agree that the Warriors were great,but I wouldn't say they were the greatest team overall.
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