Steroids Not Responsible for Early Deaths of Wrestlers According to Road Warrior Animal

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The Road Warriors were among the first to introduce bodybuilding-type muscularity to professional wrestling. The wrestling tag team was comprised of Hawk (Mike Hegstrand) and Animal (Joe Laurinaitis). Hegstrand died in 2003 of an apparent heart attack at age 46. The popular media explanation for the numerous early deaths of professional wrestlers usually focuses on their use of anabolic steroids. Steroids have been blamed as the culprit in Hegstand’s death as well.

Joe “Animal” Laurinaitis acknowledged the use of anabolic steroids by the Road Warriors but strongly denied that steroids were the cause of Hegstrand’s death. He told WWE Radio recently (as reported by Rick Rockwell) that the use of recreational drugs such as cocaine and Xanax were to blame for Hegstrand’s death and the deaths of many other wrestlers.

“Steroids wasn’t the reason that Hawk died. Steroids had nothing to do with Hawk dying. I want to make that perfectly clear. ”


“What killed Hawk and messed him up was going to Australia and getting free Xanax and Cocaine from people and doing the yo-yo effect. That’s what caused Henning to die, that’s what caused [Rick] Rude to die, and that’s what caused Davey Boy Smith to die. You do all the upper stuff like Cocaine and then you do Morphine or whatever to bring you down and that’s what leads to making your heart explode. I was with Hawk in Australia and his wrestling pulse rate was 190.”

Laurinaitis recently collaborated with Andrew William Wright to recount his experiences with “Hawk” as a member of the dynamic wrestling tag team in “The Road Warriors: Danger, Death and the Rush of Wrestling”.

WWE Road Warriors

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