Mike “Mantaur” Halac Passes Away Aged 55

(Photo Credit: WWE)

Former WWE and ECW star Mike Halac (Mantaur, Bruiser Mastino) has died at age 55.

Demi Halac, Halac’s daughter, announced his death on his personal Facebook page this morning. “I’m sorry to break the bad news that my dad has passed away. He went peacefully in his sleep. 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 [dove of peace emoji] [heart emoji x 2]”

There has been no word on Halac’s cause of death, but he stated in a 2021 interview that he had Type 2 diabetes.

In 1991, Halac made his debut as the Bruiser Mastino character for Europe’s Catch Wrestling Association. He left CWA in 1994 to work for WWE in the United States. He began his career as Bruiser, but was later re-packaged as Mantaur. He eventually got Jim Cornette as his manager and got a little push. His final WWE match as Mantaur was a loss to Bam Bam Bigelow on June 6, 1995 at the Superstars of Wrestling tapings in Wheeling, WV. On July 23, 1995, at In Your House 2 from Nashville, he appeared as a Lumberjack for the WWE Title Match between then-champion & WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Nash (as Diesel) and Sycho Sid.

In December 1995, Halac brought his Mastino gimmick to the original ECW for a four-match run. He briefly rejoined CWA in Germany before rejoining WWE in 1996 as an unnamed bodyguard for Goldust. In 1997, Halac worked for USWA as Tank, a member of The Truth Commission, which led to two WWE Shotgun Saturday Night appearances in June of that year. Halac’s USWA run included his only career title reign in the United States, when he defeated WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler for the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Title on March 15 of that year, only to lose it to Lawler one week later. On September 22, 1997, Halac made his only WCW appearance, winning a Nitro dark match against Damian 666. He would go on to work in Europe and on the American indie scene for a few more years. His most recent matches as Mantaur were a loss to Tito Santana for PWS in December 2012, a draw with CPA for PWS in September 2015, and an appearance in the Clusterfuck Battle Royal on April 6, 2019 at GCW’s Joey Janela’s Spring Break 3 Part 2.

Here are a few highlights from Halac’s career: