Jon Kaplan sent along the following …
I attended a book signing at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Cherry Valley, IL, featuring Joe “Animal” Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis was there to promote his new book, The Road Warriors: Danger, Death, and the Rush of Wrestling. I wanted to send you this fan report, as I thought that some of your readers might be interested in it.
The book signing began promptly at 6:00 PM, with Animal entering the store donning his trademark Road Warrior face paint. I also noticed that Animal was wearing his new Hall of Fame ring on his right ring finger. I shook hands with Animal and congratulated him on his recent Hall of Fame induction and on his new book. I then got to talking to him about his son James. I asked Animal if there was any truth to the rumors about his son, James, entering the pro wrestling business if the NFL lockout were to continue and the 2011 season were to be canceled. Animal first responded by saying that he didn’t believe that the season would be canceled. He went on to say that he told James that he should play football until he is at least the age of 32, so that way he can get at least ten years under his belt. He then said that he told James that upon reaching that age, he should consider making the transition from football to pro wrestling. He further said that a wrestler normally reaches their prime in their early-30’s and that it would be a better time for James to make the transition then, rather than now.
I had the opportunity to have my copy of the book signed and personalized by Animal. I was also able to take several photos with Animal. There were approximately fifty people at the signing. Animal was very warm and receiving. He took the time to speak with each fan for several minutes and posed for photos with each fan as well.
As for the book itself, it is a very well-written and powerful book. It gives some great insight into the wrestling business and into Animal’s close relationship with Mike “Hawk” Hegstrand. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the Road Warriors, or even just wrestling in general. Trust me, you will not be disappointed with this book!
Thank you for allowing me to share my experience!