n a tragic turn of events, the pro wrestling community has been saddened by the passing of Mike Halac, renowned for his stint as Mantaur in the WWE. Halac's daughter, Demi, took to social media to share the heartbreaking news that her father peacefully passed away in his sleep on July 11th.
He was only 55 years old. Before his memorable tenure as Mantaur, Halac embarked on a wrestling career under the ring name Bruiser Mastino. He gained valuable experience working for the prestigious CWA promotion in Europe, where he shared the squared circle with esteemed talents like Dave Taylor, Owen Hart, Steven (William) Regal, Chris Benoit, and Fit Finlay.
However, in 1994, he made a pivotal decision to make his way to the grand stage of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE).
From Bruiser Mastino to Mantaur
Initially competing as Bruiser Mastino in his first two matches, Halac soon found himself thrust into an entirely different realm of challenge.
The creative team bestowed upon him the persona of Mantaur, a larger-than-life character embodying half man and half bull. Adorned in an elaborate bull costume that accentuated his imposing presence, Mantaur struggled to connect with the audience, becoming one of the emblematic figures of the mid-nineties that are often remembered for less favorable reasons.
Nevertheless, his portrayal of Mantaur allowed him to remain gainfully employed with the company for approximately ten months. Following his departure from the WWE, Halac briefly appeared in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) before returning to his roots in the CWA, this time assuming the mantle of Terminator Mastino.
In a surprise turn of events, he had a fleeting reprise in the WWE in 1997, adopting the persona of Tank as part of The Truth Commission faction. However, this iteration of his character was short-lived. Halac gradually transitioned away from full-time wrestling around the turn of the century.
Nonetheless, his passion for the squared circle occasionally prompted him to don his boots once more. In a nostalgic nod to his past, he even revived the Mantaur character for a battle royal in GCW in 2019, showcasing his enduring connection to the industry he loved.
As the news of Mike Halac's untimely passing reverberates through the wrestling community, fans, colleagues, and friends pay tribute to his contributions and remember the moments he brought to life inside the ring. His legacy as Mantaur and his dedicated years in the pro wrestling business will forever be etched in the annals of sports entertainment history.