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4.3 out of 5 stars29
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 8 September 2011
Depending on your TV viewing habits, and your knowledge of American Wrestling, you might have caught the Road Warriors on Eurosport in the days of the NWA. Or you may know them from their WWF/WWE days as the Legion Of Doom. Whichever incarnation you might remember them from, you knew that they were a take no nonsense, hit them hard and often tag team, with an uncompromising and brutal style that made you actually think for once, that this wrestling game might NOT be as fake as you thought.

Of course, now we all know the score, but the memoirs of wrestlers new and old are fascinating reads and this is one of the better ones.

Joe Laurinaitis aka Animal, tells almost all, from the beginnings of becoming a wrestler to the highs and lows that followed it. He doesn't dish dirt, so if that's what you're looking for, this isn't the book for you. What it is however is a fond recollection of his life on the road, with his tag-team partner Hawk and Paul Ellering, who was more of a manager than you may have thought.

While he quickly deals with the beginnings, the reason you're reading the book which he acknowledges, is about the wrestling and we get some nice stories, from the infamous scaffold match to wrestling at Wembley for Summerslam. We even get his version of events of how the team split and how he managed to forgive Hawk before his passing away.

I don't think this is a better book overall than say Bret Hart's or Mick Foley's, but I'd probably put it in the same league as Chris Jericho's book. My only criticism was that it was a relative quick read, but it was an entertaining one all the time while I read it.
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on 26 May 2011
I admit bought this book out of nostalgia. I was actually planning for Chris Jericho's second book to be the last wrestling book I bought simply because I stopped watching the trash that passes for pro-wrestling a few years (no offence to ROH as they are the one wrestling league I will willing watch), but that is a rant for another day. I bought this book at the last minute simply because I was and always will be a Road Warriors/LOD fan. MAN AM I GLAD I DID!!!!!!

From the first page of Animal's (Joe) writing suddenly I am a fan again. We all know wrestling is a "work" but the Animal manages ignite the spark in us all that want to believe that wrestling and our on screen heroes are real. Which as the book progress I realise was always the appeal of the Road Warriors. They were not two pumped up play actors pretending to be tough guys, as many stars of today are (the Blue Meanie by his own words). Hawk (Mike) & Animal (Joe) were/are legitimate tough guys playing tough guys in the ring. That is what made them believable as Mick Foley pointed out the most successful wrestlers were the ones who could base the characters on their own personalities. The books covers Animal's disastrous start as a singles character, to teaming up with his best friend and dominating tag team wrestling like nobody else. Also the member of his family's influence in wrestling. Starting with Animal's younger brother Johnny "Ace" who while wrestling was the originator of the ace crusher which was modified into the Stone Cold Stunner, The Whipper Snapper the Diamond Cutter, and RKO to name the most famous incarnations. Ace also works as a very successful WWE agent today. The books states Animals kid's achievements outside of wrestling.

The down side of this book for me was the fact that I personally would have like to hear more about the matches with the Stinners Bros, also Animal talks about Hawks, drug and partying problems, but never his own. Of course it is his book so that's his right. He continually says he is no angel but hardly ever elaborates. Again it is his book. Another disappoint thing about the book the last few year of the Road Warriors are literally sped through example when Droz & the German guy joined and left the LOD is covered in a page and a half each and summed up in Animal saying on he hated it and it was a mistake. Maybe the publication deadline was approaching, the end of the book does feel rushed and condensed compared to the rest. Like most of the wrestling books I have read recently the book finishes on Animal's becoming a born again Christian. Which I have to admit he does without preaching too much. Then there are other testimonials from other all time wrestling greats.

All in all this book is fun to read. It brings back the days when wrestlers were seen as real life superheroes. If you were ever a fan of the Road Warriors this is the books for you. It will not diminish your perceptions of Animal & Hawk at all.
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on 14 December 2012
I'd been eagerly waiting the release of this book, which had been in planning since before Mike Hegstrand's death back in 2003. (RIP Hawk).
I remember Hawk & Animal from their WWF days, so it was very interesting to learn more about their early career - WWF tended to repackage wrestlers and not mention their past accomplishments; in an era before the internet (& the "smart mark") such information was not readily available.
I have so much respect for what these guys could do in the gym - Joe especially - they literally were supermen to be able to press & shrug such huge weights.
I was at SummerSlam '92 at Wembley Stadium, and remember their entrance on Harley Davidsons, wearing shiny gold shoulder pads & spikes, as clearly as if it were yesterday. I'd heard the story before about Hawk parking his motorbike in the wrong place (I won't spoil it for you) but actually had no idea he was completely drugged-up & out of it during the match against Money Inc. Now that I watch the footage again, he did look a little lethargic perhaps; but the match as a whole was OK - although they didn't finish it with the Doomsday Device (again, read the book for reasons they didn't) and the 80,000 plus crowd gave them an amazing reaction.
The book is a good read from start to finish, and I would happily recommend it to 'all you little Legion of Doomers out there'.
Ohhh, What a Rush !!!
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on 24 November 2012
After reading the other 5 reviews I was looking forward to the book. Maybe I over hyped myself up to much, or maybe it's because I came straight into reading it from Chris Jericho's (amazing) Lion tale.

Anyway back to the review, the book starts off slowly and takes a while to get going, with Animal mixing between kayfabe (pretend) and trying to make the stories seem more real to the reader? For example there is no explanation as to how the matches Animal/Hawk were planned out, Animal makes out that they got into the ring and just threw guys around, maybe they did and that's why other wrestlers didn't like working with them.

As stated in previous reviews Animal is quick to point the blame at Hawk for the short comings of the group that got them the boot from certain wrestling organisations but doesn't mention his own. The book doesn't look at personal/back stage issues that the Road Warriors Shoot DVD does which is a shame as the team have been around along time.
The last bit of the book seems rushed and could of been developed so much more as I'm sure there was lot of items that possibly didn't make the cut.

It's not all bad, being a massive fan of the LOD, (although it probably doesn't seem it from the above comments) Animal met and worked with a lot of interesting people and does give interesting insights into breaking into the business, how they changed the look of wrestlers with trend setting gimmicks and some of the Road Warriors best matches.

I rated the book 2 stars as once the book does get going and the price its worth a look at if your a big LOD fan, but if your a casual wrestling fan there's alot better books out there on Amazon.
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on 19 July 2012
I have read almost all of the wrestling bio's out there and can say this is one of the best! it is so indepth and I could not put it down, it covers all aspects from the early days, to drugs, steroid's, all wrestling companies and a whole lot of other things. Animal reveals all in this book and you are sure to find out something you did not know about them! this book is brilliant and I had been waiting to read it for a long time but it was priced at around £17.99 (worth it even at that price) it then dropped in price for the kindle edition to around £6.99 and I snapped it up! I am happy I did and I take my hat of to Animal for what he has accomplished in the wrestling business!
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on 30 July 2013
Maybe I've read a few too many wrestling books. I finished reading the book in very little time which is a sign for me that a book is good. I felt it was not on the level of Bret Hart and Chris Jericho's book and I found they had many more entertaining stories to tell outside the ring and they had more laugh out loud moments. This is definitely worth a read though for anyone who has interest in pro wrestling and at the end you're left thinking what a top dude Animal is and how important a good woman in your life is as without Animals wife he could very easily have gone down the path that his tag partner Hawk did. R.I.P. Hawk
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on 27 December 2012
For what it's worth, I was a huge fan on Joe and Mike. They had the look and attitude to keep your interest, so no shock I would read this book. The history was great, but I would have liked more stories and openness about what Joe really felt about his opponents and places he worked.

Maybe as a nice guy, he doesn't want to upset people, but a biography where you are not sharing your feelings, really defeats the objective and makes the reader feel they are not welcome to your story.

I think that any wrestling fan will enjoy this book, but for me, I'd still like to know more about my favourite tag team.
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on 17 May 2011
I really enjoyed this book , I felt it was truefully written about all the good and bad that had happend to the road warriors. I couldn't put it down once i started reading it.
Goes from the very begining of animals life in bodybuilding, being a bouncer and then a wrestler. Talks about family life aswell, felt he was very open and honest about everything.
Allso the trouble they had with hawk and his battle with drink and drugs.
This is a must read for any wrestling fan even more so if you were a road warrior fan.
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on 14 August 2015
Bit of a shame really. I was looking forward to reading this book for ages but it makes them come across as arrogant thugs. Joe really talks himself up to sound like he was the strongest man in the world and that the LOD were one of the reasons why Wrestling is so popular today. I was impressed with the details in which he remembered each match from the 80's, but talking about how he enjoyed beating people up in real life is just a bit disappointing.
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on 26 May 2014
This is a phenomenal recall of the legendary Road Warriors and a great insight into the workings of professional wrestling.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in wrestling.

As a fan of the Legion of Doom in the WWF era, it was a great insight into the origins of the greatest ever tag team.
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