Blackjack Lanza, WWE Hall of Fame Wrestler, Dies at 86

by Shelby Scott

WWE lost quite an icon this week as Hall of Fame Wrestler, Blackjack Lanza, has died at 86 years old.

Chief Executive Officer of the WWE, Vince McMahon, announced the Hall of Famer’s death on Wednesday.

Lanza was inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2006. According to TMZ, no cause of death has been revealed yet, although it would make sense to potentially factor in the wrestler’s age.

Of Lanza’s passing, McMahon said, “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Jack Lanza. He was a man’s man, respected and beloved by all.”

As TMZ clarifies, the Hall of Fame wrestler began his career in the early 1960s. He rose to fame alongside tag-team partner Blackjack Mulligan.

As many WWE fans recall, both Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan, coined “The Blackjacks,” prevailed as one of the most legendary duos in the sport’s history. Lanza later retired in the 1980s, however, he remained active afterward alongside McMahon and the WWE.

Of the legend’s passing, fellow WWE wrestler Triple H said, “One of the greatest minds in the business, thank you for letting me sit under the learning tree.”

In a broader statement, the younger wrestler wrote, “Certain talent will seek certain agents for advice, but EVERYONE sought out Lanza’s. The sweetest man but incredibly tough & 100% dedicated to making us better.”

WWE Mourned the Loss of Another Hall of Famer in July

Some of the WWE’s most iconic names are truly beginning to rise in age. With that, fans of the sport have begun to see the loss of some major talent.

Currently, Outsiders mourn Blackjack Lanza and his long career in the WWE this week. However, fellow Hall of Famer Paul Orndorff, a.k.a Mr. Wonderful, sadly passed away back in July.

Orndorff’s son Travis announced the news of the WWE’s wrestler’s death on social media. He shared a touching tribute to his father alongside a photo of the two sharing a hug.

While Jack Lanza was legendary for his talent as well as his likeability and insight, “Mr. Wonderful” became legendary in his own, though not quite as positive, way.

Longtime followers of the WWE and Mr. Wonderful himself will recall the Hall of Famer had an iconic feud with fellow WWE icon Hulk Hogan. Together, they wrestled all over the United States, gaining notoriety in their feud and fame in their talents.

Like Lanza, no specific cause of death had been announced at the time of the wrestler’s passing, although his departure has left as big of a hole in the WWE as Lanza’s demise has Wednesday.

With such iconic names disappearing from the sport permanently, we can only hope their legendary status remains as new faces make their way into the WWE.