Originally published at Mike Halac a.k.a. 'Bruiser Mastino', 'Mantaur' dies at 55
Mike Halac, who was best known for his brief tenure as ‘Mantaur’, has died at the age of 55.
PWinsider.com confirmed the passing of Halac.
Halac wrestled as ‘Bruiser Mastino’ early on in his career for the Catch Wrestling Association (CWA) in Germany for promoter Otto Wanz.
His first listed match was in November 1991 and worked against the likes of Dave Taylor, Owen Hart, Chris Benoit, William Regal, Tony St. Clair, and Lance Storm among others during his time there.
In the summer of 1994, he was brought to the WWF under the Bruiser Mastino name before being re-packaged as Mantaur. This was during an era of exceptionally campy characters being introduced on a frequent basis with Mantaur being the latest in the assembly line.
He was given a significant enough push that warranted being paired with Jim Cornette and was one of the featured heels in the 1995 Royal Rumble match in Tampa, which was won by Shawn Michaels. The character was dropped by the summer that year and after working several dates for ECW, he returned to Catch in the summer of 1996 and wrestled there until the end of the year.
Halac had another brief role as ‘Tank’ in the Truth Commission for the WWF. The group was led by Don Callis as ‘Jackyl’ with a group consisting of Kurrgan, Recon (Bull Buchanan), Sniper (Luc Poirier), and Halac.
Halac only wrestled two matches on Shotgun Saturday Night as the character and was a blip in his career before once again returning to CWA and working there until the end of 1998.
Halac’s career wound down during this period with sporadic matches through 2005 in Europe.
Halac was a surprise entrant in the GCW Clusterf—k Battle Royal in April 2019 at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 3 and was the final match of his career.
John Poz had recently conducted an interview with Halac this past April.