When it comes to the most influential names in the history of tag-team wrestling and in the sport as a whole, there are many names that come to mind. The likes of Michael "P.S" Hayes, Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy, Ricky Morton, Robert Gibson, Rick and Scott Steiner, "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton and "Sweet" Stan Lane, but among the top of the greatest tag-team inspirations are the legendary Road Warriors, the iconic Legion of Doom; Hawk and Animal.
Beginning his career in the year of 1982, Animal trained under the tutelage of the iconic Eddie Sharkey, the man who became famous for training the likes of Animal's best friend, Hawk, as well as the likes of Rick Steiner, Rick Rude, Madusa, Sean Waltman and countless others. Animal had a huge stature and was the bigger member of The Road Warriors both in terms of size and power, although both men were generally huge in size and stature.
After making his debut for minor federations, Hawk and Animal were eventually noticed and scouted for their unique powerhouse gimmick and the fact that they had the talent, chemistry and image to back up every ounce of hype they were creating. They eventually ended up in the American Wrestling Association and in Japan where they arguably became one of the most successful international tag-teams in the history of professional wrestling. Shortly after, they were scouted by the National Wrestling Alliance who frequently partnered and toured over in Japan.
In the NWA, The Road Warriors had matches with the likes of The Four Horsemen, The Powers of Pain and a few epic masterpieces with The Steiner Brothers, although sadly, the two legendary teams would never get the chance to feud with each other on a long term basis. Animal and Hawk left the NWA in 1990 and made their way to the WWF. However, their tenure was short lived due to an injury sustained by Animal. Hawk had already left the company, leaving Animal as a singles competitor upon his return, however, he opted to follow Hawk and both men rejoined the WCW.
Animal however was still feeling the effects of a back injury leaving Hawk to compete in the singles division. Animal served as his manager and advisor until his return to the ring in 1996 where he and Hawk had epic matches again with the likes of The Steiner Brothers. Shortly after, they made their way to the WWF for another somewhat botched run, and both men signed with WCW again in 2001. Animal served as a wrestler and "hired muscle" for Ric Flair's magnificent seven faction and Hawk was nursing an injury.
In his shoot interview in 2008, Animal stated that he had penned plans to management about turning on the magnificent seven when Hawk was due to return in November 2001, and start the first ever Steiner Brothers versus Road Warriors feud, however, the company was bought out by the WWF in 2001 and the feud never happened. Hawk passed away tragically in 2003, and Animal has been active on the independent scene and in Japan as both a tag-team wrestler with the likes of Rick Steiner and Kensuke Sasaki, as well as being a singles wrestler, although Animal's success has been minimal since the death of his lifelong best friend.