“He Is No Longer in Pain”: WWE Legend Whose Gimmick Featured on Dwayne Johnson’s Young Rock Dies at 55

While Recovering From $60M Loss, Dwayne Johnson's XFL Sees Bizarre Change  as Special Teams Coach Replaces Former Super Bowl Champion -  EssentiallySports

In the 90s, WWE put the pedal to the metal as it underwent a transitional phase. After the legendary runs of icons such as Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, etc, Vince McMahon struggled to find a batch of wrestlers who could attract the masses and make an emphatic impact similar to the aforementioned wrestlers. This led to various experiments by McMahon, one being a hybrid half-man/half-beast character.

An ex-WWE wrestler who played a goofy character in the 90s dies at 55

Mike Halac, the man who played the Mantaur character in the mid-90s in the WWE has died due to unknown reasons. The wrestler played a Minotaur-inspired ‘Mantaur’ character in his initial stint in 1995. Mantaur made an instant impact on the hearts of wrestling fans for his trademark bull’s head attire. Shortly after removing the mask, he’d moo and charge at his opponents as if they were matadors.

His daughter posted a Facebook story writing, “It’s Michael’s daughter, Demi, I’m sorry to break the bad news that my dad passed away. He went peacefully in his sleep. He’s no longer in pain.”

He wrestled in WWE multiple times but in different attire every time, sometimes as Tank or as Goldust’s bodyguard. But his most prominent role was as the Mantaur. Looking back at it, fans considered Halac as a missed opportunity for a monster heel. There was a chance of him becoming a bigger star due to his stature as a big man, similar to Vader and Yokozuna but McMahon wouldn’t continue ahead with the Mantaur gimmick. He last performed as Mantaur in 2019.

Mantaur’s persona, sadly, got lost in time despite the success of other outlandish gimmicks like The Undertaker and Papa Shango. The gimmick got a new life as Mantaur appeared in Dwayne Johnson’s semi-biographical show, Young Rock. Luckily before his passing, Halac shared his thoughts about Mantaur’s appearance on a popular TV show involving The Rock.

Mantaur reflects positively on his appearance on Dwayne Johnson-inspired Young Rock

Appearing on Hannibal TV, the host asked him about his appearance on Young Rock. He was ecstatic to talk about it but said that he didn’t know about it prior as well. But he did commend the team for showcasing a part of his wrestling career that the fans never knew about.

While the show was beloved in the beginning, it got canceled in 2023. The executive director and former WWE writer Brian Gewitz said that Mantaur’s appearance added to the stylistic choice used for the show. Even though he admitted that there were some time inaccuracies, he said that it improved the story’s visual aspects.

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