June 6, 2006
Animal released by WWE
By SLAM! Wrestling

The legacy of the Road Warriors may now be finished, as WWE has released Joe Laurinaitis from his contract.

The announcement was made in an article on wwe.com today, stating that, "WWE has come to an agreement on the release of Road Warrior Animal (Joe Laurinaitis) as of today June 6, 2006. We wish Joe the best in all future endeavors."

Animal resurfaced in WWE last year, shortly after the release of the bio DVD, Road Warriors: The Life & Death of Wrestling's Most Dominant Tag Team. He would quickly pair himself with Heidenreich, who parted ways with the Fed in 2005. The tandem would hold the WWE Tag Team Championships for one reign that lasted just over three months.

Following Heidenreich's departure, Animal would appear with a variety of tag partners, including Matt Hardy. During the team's brief run, Animal would turn on Hardy and branch out on his own. Removing his traditional face paint, Animal would take on a tough guy image, similar to the pre-makeup days of the Road Warriors. The run would not last long, however, as he dissappeared from WWE TV recently.

The tenure was the third long-term stint Laurinaitis had with the Fed and the first since the passing of his long-standing teammate, Hawk.

RELATED LINKS

  • More on the Road Warriors

    -- with files from Jon Waldman


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