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Former WWE Superstar Mike “Mantaur” Halac Dead at 55
The WWE Universe lost a legend with the death of Mike "Mantaur" Halac.
WWE fans learned that former Superstar Mike Halac, known to the world as the half-man, half-monster wrestler Mantaur, died earlier this week. He was 55.
WWE offered its sincere condolences through its website on Wednesday:
"WWE is saddened to learn that Mike Halac, better known to WWE fans as Mantaur, has passed away," the statement reads. "Halac's combination of size and charisma immediately captivated fans worldwide as he took to the ring in a giant bull head to highlight his half-man, half-minotaur persona. Halac spent time in both WWE and ECW where he faced some of the biggest stars of his generation like Bam Bam Bigelow, Razor Ramon, and Bret Hart. WWE extends its condolences to Mike Halac's family, friends and fans.
Mike Halac's daughter posted on a private Facebook account, revealing Halac passed away peacefully earlier this week, according to TMZ.
"He went peacefully in his sleep," she wrote. "He's no longer in pain. This really hit home to lose my father, he will forever be in my heart and many others. I love you dad. Make the skies beautiful for me."
Mike "Mantaur" Halac Was One of WWE's Most Memorable 90s Characters
Halac's WWE career was relatively short, but very memorable. After appearing at live events under the name Bruiser Mastino in 1994, Mantaur officially made his WWE televised debut on a January 1995 episode of Superstars.
Mantaur stood out in a crowded field of Superstars by making his way to the ring covered in the upper half of a minotaur costume – a look that intimidated and confused his opponents and fans alike. Mantaur immediately made an impact in his first match, quickly dismantling his opponent en route to appearing in the 1995 Royal Rumble match. Although ultimately unsuccessful in the Royal Rumble, he continued to get plenty of experience in the ring. His agility, strength, and size reminded many fans of Bam Bam Bigelow. In fact, Mantaur's last official WWE match was against Bigelow later in 1995. WWE officials clearly thought highly of Mantaur, as he once found himself across the ring with WWE Hall of Famer Bret "Hitman" Hart in 1995, putting up an admirable fight against the former (and future) WWE Champion. While he never climbed the ladder of contention during his WWE run, Mantaur nonetheless amassed plenty of fans who appreciated his stellar in-ring work and dedication to his decidedly-bizarre character.
Mike Halac Honed His Craft Overseas Against World-Class Talent
Before competing in WWE, Mike Halac extensively competed worldwide, with his first official matches in Germany in 1991 where he frequently found himself in the ring with future WWE Superstars Fit Finlay and William Regal. After his WWE release, Halac enjoyed a short stint in ECW before ultimately returning to Germany to finish his career. By 2001, Halac – once again wrestling under the name of Bruiser Mastino – was essentially retired, returning for a handful of spot shows in U.S. independent promotions.
With over 300 career matches spanning several continents and wrestling promotions, Mike Halac was a dedicated pro wrestler who succeeded in honing his craft over the years, putting countless smiles on fans' faces in the process. He will be missed.