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Blackjack Lanza
Blackjack Lanza

John Lanza (born October 14, 1935)[2] is an American retired professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Blackjack Lanza. Lanza was one-half of the tag team The Blackjacks with Blackjack Mulligan in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) and World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2006.

Professional wrestling career

Lanza started his career in 1962.[3] In the American Wrestling Association (AWA), he teamed with Bobby Duncum and was managed by Bobby Heenan.[3] During his time in the company, his gimmick was that of a Western cowboy.[1] The duo won the AWA World Tag Team Championship on July 23, 1976.[4]

In the 1970s, Lanza and Mulligan teamed up to form The Blackjacks. Lanza was a main-eventer when the duo began teaming together.[1] They were managed by Bobby Heenan.[3]

In 1975, they joined the WWWF.[1] On August 26, 1975, The Blackjacks defeated Dominic DeNucci and Pat Barrett for the WWWF World Tag Team Championship.[5] The match was a two-out-of-three falls match, and the Blackjacks won the match by winning the first and third falls.[1] As part of his tenure in WWWF, Vince McMahon promised Lanza that he would receive one World singles title shot a month.[1]

Since his retirement, Lanza has worked for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as a road agent and producer.

In 2004, Lanza inducted his longtime manager Bobby Heenan into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2004.[3] On April 1, 2006, Lanza, along with his former partner, Blackjack Mulligan, were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Heenan.[3]

Personal life

His kayfabe/storyline nephew is former WWE Champion John "Bradshaw" Layfield.[6]. They are not truly related.

Championships and accomplishments

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