February 13, 1937|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||275 lb (125 kg)|
|NFL draft||1959 / Round: 30 / Pick: 350|
|Drafted by||Philadelphia Eagles|
|1960–1961||Ottawa Rough Riders|
|Career highlights and awards|
|CFL All-Star||1963, 1970|
|CFL East All-Star||1960, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1970|
|Honors||1960, 63, 65, 67, 72 - Grey Cup Champion|
Angelo Mosca (born February 13, 1937) is a former Canadian Football League player and professional wrestler. He is also known by the wrestling nicknames King Kong Mosca and The Mighty Hercules. Mosca has a son, Angelo Jr., who also wrestled. He was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1987, the Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
Mosca attended the University of Notre Dame and was drafted by the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles in 1959 in the 30th round (350th overall.) He had already decided to play in the CFL, in 1958 for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He was traded to the Ottawa Rough Riders for Hardiman Cureton on August 15, 1960, and played for the Rough Riders in 1960 and 1961 before joining the Montreal Alouettes in 1962. He played his remaining years, 1963 to 1972 in Hamilton. He was a five-time all star.
Mosca played in nine Grey Cup games, more than any other player in CFL history, tied with his teammate John Barrow. Mosca's teams won five Grey Cup games, one with the Ottawa Rough Riders and four with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He is infamous for the 51st Grey Cup game out-of-bounds and late hit on B.C. Lions star running back Willie Fleming. With Fleming out of the game, the Tiger-Cats went on to win the Grey Cup and Mosca's reputation as being the meanest CFL player grew. It was a reputation he later promoted as the notorious professional wrestler "King Kong" Mosca.
On August 25, 2015, the Tiger-Cats announced that they would retire Mosca's jersey number 68. This is only the second jersey number the club has retired, the other being Hall of Fame quarterback Bernie Faloney's number 10.
Mosca was brought into wrestling by Montreal promoter Eddie Quinn. He began wrestling in the off-season, and became a full-time wrestler after his retirement from football. He wrestled all across North America, always at or near the top of the card, and almost always as a heel, even in Toronto until the late 1970s, then he became a face, and in the early 1980s, the lead face. He often used a sleeper as his finisher in later years.
In 1981 in the World Wrestling Federation, Mosca wrestled as (often – in a reversal of his character in Canada) as the promotion's most hated heel due to his brutal style. He became a top challenger to WWF Champion Bob Backlund's World Championship, but was not successful in winning the belt. He also engaged in a feud with Pat Patterson, a part-time wrestler who also did color commentary on the WWF's syndicated programs, after Mosca attacked Patterson at a television taping with a water pitcher; Patterson had grown disgusted with Mosca's rulebreaking tactics and, setting off the attack, publicly thanked a referee for disqualifying Mosca for refusing to pin his jobber opponent.
Mosca retired from wrestling in the mid-1980s and was the colour commentator for the WWF TV tapings in Ontario from August 1984 until January 1985. After being fired by the WWF, Mosca promoted the NWA in Ontario in 1985-87. He and Milt Avruskin hosted a TV show featuring compilations of NWA matches. Mosca organized an NWA card in Hamilton in February 1986 called "Moscamania" that drew an excellent house of 12,000 but the follow-up a year later drew only 3,200.
Mosca's son, Angelo Mosca Jr., had a brief but successful wrestling career, and he left the broadcast booth to manage his son's career.
Mosca has lived in and around Hamilton for many years, and currently lives in St. Catharines, Ontario with his wife, Helen, a real estate agent. He first met her 1996 at a Ticats game; they married in 1998. He had been divorced once and widowed prior.
In 2011, Mosca got into a fight with former B.C. Lions quarterback Joe Kapp at a CFL alumni luncheon regarding a controversial hit Mosca had made in the 1963 Grey Cup game, where Mosca ended up hitting Kapp on the head with his cane. The video of the fight went viral, receiving over 647,000 views on YouTube and mentions on ESPN's Monday Night Football and on Fox TV’s The O'Reilly Factor. Mosca auctioned off the cane he used against Kapp at the following year's alumni luncheon for $7700, with the money going towards the alumni association’s "dire straits" fund for struggling former players.
Mosca appeared on several Canadian TV commercials in the 1970s and 1980s. Mosca still makes PR appearances for the league and the Ticats and for other businesses.
His number 68 football jersey was retired by the Hamilton Tiger Cats football club on August 27, 2015 at a ceremony at Tim Horton Field in Hamilton.
In July 2016, Mosca was named part of a class action lawsuit filed against WWE which alleged that wrestlers incurred traumatic brain injuries during their tenure and that the company concealed the risks of injury. The suit is litigated by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who has been involved in a number of other lawsuits against WWE.
Championships and accomplishments
- Canadian Football League
- American Wrestling Association
- Big Time Wrestling (San Francisco)
- Cauliflower Alley Club
- Other honoree (1996)
- Championship Wrestling from Florida
- Georgia Championship Wrestling
- Maple Leaf Wrestling
- Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
- NWA Tri-State
- NWA Tri-State Brass Knuckles Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him # 305 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.
- Stampede Wrestling
- World Wrestling Council
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Worst Television Announcer award in 1984
- "Angelo Mosca". oshof.ca. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Heroes of the Game, A History of The Grey Cup - Stephen Thiele, Moulin Publishing 1997
- Rush, Curtis (2015-02-27). "Sports giant Angelo Mosca copes with Alzheimer's | Toronto Star". thestar.com. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Simmons, Steve (2011-09-14). "Simmons: The two sides of Angelo Mosca". torontosun.com. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "CFL greats' fight 'most bizarre thing'". cbc.ca. 2011-11-27. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Kennedy, Brendan (2012-11-23). "Grey Cup: Angelo Mosca's cane auctioned for charity". thestar.com. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Angelo Mosca to discuss Grey Cup fight on Dr. Phil". thestar.com. 2011-12-02. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "WWE sued in wrestler class action lawsuit featuring Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka, Paul 'Mr Wonderful' Orndorff". FoxSports.com. Fox Entertainment Group (21st Century Fox). July 18, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
- "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948-1990)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.