– WWE Hall of Famer Joe “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis spoke with the folks at Wrestling 101 this week. Here are some highlights:
The Road Warriors were involved in great eras of tag team wrestling with yourselves, The Fabulous Freebirds, The Midnight Express, The Outsiders, Harlem Heat, The Steiner’s, The New Age Outlaws, The Nasty boys and Team 3D etc. What do you make of the state of tag team wrestling today in TNA and WWE?
To be honest with you there are no tag team divisions. I say that with respect to the guys, it has nothing to do with new wrestlers coming up or anything else, its just that we’re in a new business. With things like the Internet, Twitter and Facebook you have to be the guy now, you don’t have time to learn and it’s not the guys fault they just don’t have the luxury of time on their side.
If I had anything to do with either WWE or TNA I would definitely put an emphasis on tag team wrestling. The Road Warriors proved in an era when the wrestling business was at it’s lowest tag team wrestling can be the main event, we sold out venues in the NWA and we did the same for the WWF at the time.
It’s proof tag team wrestling can headline and be the main event if it’s done right. You can’t just throw two people together, the fans like to believe in a family dynamic like the Road Warriors or The Steiners or Harlem Heat, they don’t just want to see guy A and guy B thrown together to form a tag team.
Having worked for both Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon, how would you compare the two in terms of similarities and differences?
They’re both narcissist’s and they both have huge egos, I think Vince was more straight up and Eric was more devious. That was the nature of the time back then and that is what the times called for and the business called for.
Vince impressed me by getting in the ring and dong all of those battles with Stone Cold Steve Austin, he put his body on the line and he became one of the guys as well as a boss.
I found it a lot smoother working for the WWF at the time than it was working for WCW.
What are you making of your brother John’s current role in the WWE as GM of Raw and Executive Vice President of Talent Relations?
When you see John on TV that is him being his natural self, which is making that whole story-line as popular as it is, you may not agree with his methodology, but he is doing what he thinks is right, and he is going to do it despite of what anyone else thinks, but he’s in a no win situation. As well as being on television he also has a company to run, he is an employee too and he has a hundred employees under him. I wouldn’t want to have his job for anything in the world.
Could we see you return in one form or another to television with either WWE or TNA?
Earlier this year I was asked if I wanted to compete in this years Royal Rumble but I didn’t do it because they just didn’t give me enough notice, they called me like two days before and asked if I wanted to do the Royal Rumble and I said they could have at least given me a months notice.
I’m in good enough shape to do it and if wanted to wrestle I could but since Hawk passed away every year that goes by it gets harder and harder for me to even want to do it. I still do personal appearances and charity events around the country for my fans.
In the future I would love to do anything the WWE wanted me to do, they’re doing this big deal with the SmackDown GM against the Raw GM and what a great angle it would be to have me come in as the SmackDown GM and go against my brother as the Raw GM and have a battle between the two companies.
The full interview can be read here.
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