John Lanza (born October 14, 1935) 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. In the American Wrestling Association (AWA), he teamed with Bobby Duncum and was managed by Bobby Heenan. During his time in the company, his gimmick was that of a Western cowboy. The duo won the AWA World Tag Team Championship on July 23, 1976.
In 1975, they joined the WWWF. On August 26, 1975, The Blackjacks defeated Dominic DeNucci and Pat Barrett for the WWWF World Tag Team Championship. The match was a two-out-of-three falls match, and the Blackjacks won the match by winning the first and third falls. As part of his tenure in WWWF, Vince McMahon promised Lanza that he would receive one World singles title shot a month.
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. On April 1, 2006, Lanza, along with his former partner, Blackjack Mulligan, were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Heenan.
Championships and accomplishments
- American Wrestling Association AWA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Bobby Duncum AWA British Empire Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Georgia Championship Wrestling NWA Georgia Television Championship (1 time)
- NWA Big Time Wrestling NWA American Heavyweight Championship (1 time) NWA American Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Blackjack Mulligan NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Texas version) (3 times)
- Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2016 - Inducted as a member of The Blackjacks
- World Wrestling Association WWA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Blackjack Mulligan
- World Wide Wrestling Federation / Entertainment WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2006) WWWF World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Blackjack Mulligan
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated PWI ranked him # 338 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.