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" The Gravel Pit "
Road Warrior Hawk Passes Away
Posted by Dave Dymond on Oct 19, 2003, 13:11
"Mike Hegstrand, part of perhaps the most successful tag team ever on the U.S. wrestling scene, the Road Warriors, passed away at about 1:30 a.m. last night. Further details are unavailable. He is believed to be either 45 or 46."
CREDIT: Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer
"It is with a very heavy heart that I tell you that Hawk of the Road Warriors has passed away in his sleep at 1:30 this morning.
Hawk was born on January 26th, not sure of the year but I believe he turned 45 years old. His real name was Michael Hegstrand.
Mike had everything going for him right now. He just sold his Condo to move today into his new home in Florida. His wife Dale said "he was going to lay down for a while, he didn't feel well." She thought it was from all the packing and excitement of the move into their new home.
Hawk and Animal were perhaps one of the most successful Tag Teams ever on the wrestling scene. I'm sure that Joseph Laurinaitis (Animal) is devastated.
They were first known as the Legion of Doom. In Chicago, they just celebrated their 20th Anniversary on June 7th @ the Pro Championship Wrestling show, where they were reunited with Paul Ellering."
CREDIT: Georgiann Makropoulos of 1wrestling.com
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The sadly ironic thing for this story to me personally, is that I saw Hawk in what was one of his last wrestling matches, for Ted DiBiase's Main Event Wrestling, in Oshawa Ontario, just two weeks ago.
Hawk and Animal fought Greg The Hammer Valentine and Buff Bagwell, who were being managed by Ted DiBiase.
The LOD won the match when Hawk hit Bagwell with the "Doomsday Device."
Right after the match, he was attacked by a large group of masked wrestlers. They all gathered around him, and bound him in chains.
For a few minutes, Hawk lay on the floor, when a local football celebrity came out, and former wrestlers (and local anti-drug activist) The Missing Link came out, and tried to help him.
Hawk explained to the 3000 fans in attendance, (mostly children) that the chains around him were not just normal chains...they represented drugs and alcohol. With the help of his friend, Hawk broke the chains.
Hawk then stood up, and shared the stories of how he had let his life be run by steroids, booze, and cocaine. However, he had just this past January gotten clean, and now he wanted to share his message with all of the kids in attendance.
Animal, Valentine, and Bagwell all came out and shared similar stories, Bagwell talking about how he became addicted to painkillers after his career threatening neck injury a few years ago.
The show ending by Ted DiBiase talking of how he had really lived the life of "The Million Dollar Man" and been involved in a fast paced reckless lifestyle, but now he was dedicating his life to God, and trying to help kids.
One of the chilling things he did, was point to Buff, The Hammer, Hawk, and Animal and say that any of them, or any one of us could die at any time, and there was no better time to turn your life around.
At the end, about two thirds of the sold out crowd went down to the meeting area to meet all of the wrestlers, and talk to counselors.
Hawk had to leave, as he had been busted open during the match, and wasn't feeling well, you could tell.
Now he's gone.
As I said, that was on Friday, October 3rd. Right in front of me, I have the ticket stub, with a big picture of the LOD on the front, and Ted DiBiase’s autograph on the back.
On the bookshelf right next to me, I have four tapes from RF Video.
The best of the Road Warriors in Japan. The legend of The Road Warriors. The Best of The LOD, and The Road Warriors Shoot Interview.
This past Friday Night, my best friend and I watched my Best Of The Funk Brothers in Japan. The last match on the tape we watched was Hawk and Animal against Terry and Dory Funk.
Now he's gone, and I am in total shock.
All I can say is, God bless that man for what he was trying to do for kids, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family right now.
People can say whatever they want about your wrestling style, and your beliefs, but I know for a FACT from seeing you just two weeks ago, that you ended your life as a man of honor, who dedicated his life to trying to help others.
"WHAT A RUSH."