|Birth name||Robert Jack Windham|
November 25, 1942 |
(born November 11, 1962)
Barry Clinton Windham
(born July 4, 1960)
Kendall Wayne Windham
(born August 7, 1966)
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Blackjack Mulligan
Big Bob Windham
|Billed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Billed weight||340 lb (150 kg)|
|Billed from||Eagle Pass, Texas|
|Trained by||Verne Gagne|
Robert Jack Windham (born November 26, 1942), better known by his ring name Blackjack Mulligan is a former professional wrestler, author and former American football player. He is the father of wrestlers Barry and Kendall Windham, father-in-law of Mike Rotunda, and the grandfather of Windham Rotunda and Taylor Rotunda.
As a young man, Windham played football at Texas Western College, now known as the University of Texas at El Paso. He then went on to play for the New York Jets during the 1966 pre-season and received tryouts with the New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos. After football, at the urging of Wahoo McDaniel, Windham trained with Joe Blanchard in Corpus Christi, Texas and later with Verne Gagne and became a professional wrestler in the American Wrestling Association. Billed as being 6' 9" and over 300 pounds, Windham was a rawboned cowboy in the vein of Bobby Duncum or Stan Hansen.
His training complete, he prepared to move on to the World Wide Wrestling Federation and was transformed into the villain Blackjack Mulligan. Mulligan, donning black trunks, black hat, black fingerless glove, and using the iron claw submission hold, was a carbon copy of AWA wrestler Blackjack Lanza. In fact, when he asked Lanza's permission to copy the gimmick. Lanza replied "you took my look and you took my finishing hold - you wanna take him , too?" (gesturing towards his then manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenan).
When he arrived in the WWWF, he was managed by The Grand Wizard. Early stills of the two actually identify him as Big Bob Windham. Mulligan went on to great success in the Northeast and was an early challenger to newly crowned champion Pedro Morales. His push was interrupted when he was slashed in the thigh by a fan at the Boston Garden and required hundreds of stitches to close the wound. (The culprit was actually captured by Gorilla Monsoon, who threw him at the ringside police - who promptly let him go because they thought 'it was part of the show'.)
Before he left to recover from his wound, Mulligan participated in a memorable Madison Square Garden match against Bruno Sammartino, who was making his first appearance at the arena since the end of his nearly 8 year championship reign. Mulligan attacked Sammartino before the bell. Bruno quickly recovered, slammed Mulligan twice and pinned him in 64 seconds as the building exploded in cheers. In wrestling terms, everybody "got over" - the building was sold out to the delight of promoter Vince McMahon the elder, Sammartino made a strong return to New York and Mulligan, who was in no condition to work an actual match, received a large pay-off to aid his recovery and recuperation.
Once he healed, Mulligan returned to the Midwest and tagged with Lanza to form The Blackjacks. The duo went on to capture numerous tag team championships in various NWA affiliated promotions as well as the WWWF World Tag Team Championship in August 1975.
Blackjack returned to singles wrestling in the Jim Crockett Promotions where he would go onto hold the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship and the Mid-Atlantic's version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship with Ric Flair.
Mulligan often battled André the Giant, feuding in many different regions in the early 1980s. When they brought their feud to the WWF in 1982, Windham was noted as saying Andre had no limit to his strength. Mulligan would go onto wrestle in Florida as a face. He often teamed with West Texas stars Dusty Rhodes, Dick Murdoch, and his son Barry Windham.
In 1986, Mulligan wrestled under a mask as "Big Machine," part of a team with "The Giant Machine" (André the Giant) and "Super Machine" (Bill Eadie) collectively known as The Machines. The Machines were actually created in Japan several years earlier with the same trio and their wild popularity translated well to the WWF rings and they won several high profile matches against the Heenan family, later recruiting members such as 'Hulk Machine' and 'Piper Machine'; the angle was ten years ahead of its time, being comparable to the NWO angle of the 90's (which was also an angle stolen from Japanese wrestling). Later on, Jack traveled to Dallas and competed in World Class Championship Wrestling, as a heel, wrestling against Bruiser Brody, Chris Adams and Kevin and Lance Von Erich.
Mulligan became quite a force behind the scenes, as a respected match booker and promoter all around the South, eventually co-owning the Amarillo, Texas promotion with Dick Murdoch after purchasing it from Dory & Terry Funk.
Mulligan and his son Kendall were in trouble with the law for counterfeiting charges in 1989 and were sentenced to jail-time.
"True Lies and Alibis" Headlock Ranch Books
He had a heart attack on June 17, 2015. He still is in a critical condition but is, however, conscious. Previously, he underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his brain but he suffered a heart attack.
In July 2015, Windham was named as a defendant in a 2015 lawsuit filed by WWE after they received a letter from him indicating that he intended to sue them for concussion-based injuries sustained during his tenure with them. He is represented by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who is involved in several other lawsuits involving former WWE wrestlers.
Championships and accomplishments
- Championship Wrestling from Florida
- European Wrestling Union
- EWU World Super Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- International Pro Wrestling
- IWA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Larry Hennig
- International Wrestling Federation
- IWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
- NWA Big Time Wrestling
- NWA Western States Sports
- Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- World Wrestling Association
- World Wide Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
- "WWE seeking to block concussion-related lawsuits". FoxSports.com. Fox Entertainment Group (21st Century Fox). July 1, 2015. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
- "PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING HALL OF FAME MOVING FROM UPSTATE NEW YORK TO TEXAS". PWInsider. November 20, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners Inspirational Wrestler of the Year". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- "W.W.A. World Tag Team Title (Indianapolis)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.