Heidenreich earns his spikes
"Hawkenreich is a total disgrace to the Legion of Doom legacy, he has nothing to add but being crazy." said former WWE Tag Team Champion Johnny Nitro in a recent phone interview.
Nitro, one-third of MNM, is clearly not impressed with Heidenreich's Legion of Doom transformation. Road Warrior Animal, however, couldn't be happier. After receiving the trademark Mohawk and face paint in previous weeks, Heidenreich finally donned the spiked shoulder pads and came to the ring with Road Warrior Animal Thursday night as one half of the Legion of Doom.
Despite Heidenreich's successful transformation, however, Animal does not want to forget about Hawk.
"One thing we're trying to make clear to the fans is that we're not trying to replace Hawk in any way, shape or form," Animal said. "What the Road Warriors did will never be duplicated or imitated. This is a new chapter of LOD, Chapter Two."
Indeed, together Animal and Heidenreich are undefeated since joining forces, even winning the WWE Tag Team Championship from MNM at The Great American Bash.
"If I went to the ring with my eyes closed, I wouldn't know the difference if I was with Heidenreich or Hawk," Animal said. "The fans have been great, I've gotten some of the loudest ovations I've ever received in pro wrestling."
Animal thinks Heidenreich has fit in nicely and proudly continued the tradition established by Hawk and Animal when they ruled tag team wrestling throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
"Heidenreich is a great athlete who is dedicated," claimed Animal. "He's lived a life of hard knocks in Louisiana and has never taken anything for granted. He has that football background and I can relate to his work ethic."
Animal believes he still has some quality years ahead of him in WWE. But even when this latest comeback ends, he hopes to make invaluable contributions with his knowledge and experience.
"As long as I can stay in shape and move in the ring, I'll do this as long as I can," Animal said. "I got lucky from day one in this business to learn from the likes of Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. That's something you can't replace. I would love to transfer that type of knowledge to the younger guys."
Animal also hopes the recent popularity of LOD triggers a new and strong commitment to tag team wrestling by WWE.
"I think it's important for the fans to see guys grow together as a team," Animal said. "Me and Hawk were always together. In the past, I think WWE and other companies just threw two guys together. It's harder to build a reputation that way."
MNM, a team that has successfully built a reputation on SmackDown!, doesn't think too much of LOD's new look or championship reign.
"Those aren't their belts, they won our belts," Nitro told WWE.com. "They said they passed every test WWE has put in front of them, but they beat four teams who were not MNM. And when we face them again, we'll take the belts back easier than we took them off Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero the first time."