WWE Legend Passes Away

WWE Legend
WWE Legend

A WWE legend recently passed away a few weeks ago, and the sport will simply never be the same as a result.

WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross was the first to announce on his official Twitter account that his friend and colleague, the Old School Legend Blackjack Lanza, has recently passed away. Lanza was 86 years old.

Blackjack Lanza was usually paired up with his longtime-teammate Blackjack Mulligan, and they definitely made an imposing presence on the WWE and WWF stage. The two gentlemen were eventually inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 by their former manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.

Lanza was first introduced to wrestling in the 1960s, and he would wrestle for such promotions as the American Wrestling Association, World Wide Wrestling Association, and the World Wrestling Association. He won titles such as the WWA World Tag Team Championship, the WWWF World Tag Team Championship alongside Mulligan, and the AWA World Tag Team Championship.

This WWE legend originally hailed from Minneapolis, Minnesota and he was trained by local promoter Verne Gagne. He began his wrestling career in 1961 in Birmingham, Alabama for the NWA Mid-America promotion, being billed as “Joe Lanza” during that time.

Blackjack Lanza also wrestled for the St. Louis Wrestling Club from 1962-1963 and 1966-1978, and it was in 1969 that Lanza wrestled former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Gene Kiniski to a 60-minute draw, and he was considered an “instant contender” after that.

This WWE legend was also with the American Wrestling Association from 1962-1979, where he teamed up with Bobby Duncum and was yet again managed by Bobby Heenan. It was in the 1970s that Lanza first teamed up with Mulligan to become the Blackjacks, and they quickly became first-place headliners. Lanza was involved with several other wrestling federations until his retirement from the sport in 1985.