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Angelo Mosca

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Angelo Mosca (February 13, 1937) is an American former Canadian Football League player and professional wrestler. He is also known by the wrestling nicknames King Kong Mosca and The Mighty Hercules. Mosca has a son, Angelo Jr., who also wrestled.

CFL career

Mosca attended the University of Notre Dame and was drafted by the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles in 1959 in the 30th round (350th overall.) He had already decided to play in the CFL, in 1958 and 1959 for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He was traded to the Ottawa Rough Riders for Hardiman Cureton on August 15, 1960, and played for the Rough Riders in 1960 and 1961 before joining the Montreal Alouettes in 1962. He played his remaining years, 1963 to 1972 in Hamilton. He was a 5-time all star. At Hamilton, Mosca played at left defensive tackle, with John Barrow next to him from 1958 to 1959 and from 1963 to 1970, forming a veritable wall up the middle which few offensive teams were successful in running against.

Angelo played in 9 Grey Cup games, more than any other player in CFL history, tied with John Barrow, winning 5, one with the Ottawa Rough Riders, the 48th Grey Cup of 1960, and four with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the 51st Grey Cup of 1963, the 53rd Grey Cup of 1965 (the so-called Wind Bowl), the 55th Grey Cup of 1967 when Saskatchewan was throttled 24-1, and the 60th Grey Cup of 1972 when the defences predominated in a 13-10 win over Saskatchewan again, but also losing 4, the 46th Grey Cup of 1958, the 47th Grey Cup of 1959, the 49th Grey Cup of 1961, and the 52nd Grey Cup of 1964. He is infamous for the 51st Grey Cup game out-of-bounds and late hit on B.C. Lions star running back Willie Fleming. With Fleming out of the game, the Tiger-Cats went on to win the Grey Cup and Mosca's reputation as being the meanest CFL player grew. It was a reputation he later promoted as the notorious professional wrestler "King Kong" Mosca.

Wrestling career

Mosca was brought into wrestling by Montreal promoter Eddie Quinn. He began wrestling in the off-season, and became a full-time wrestler after his retirement from football. He wrestled all across North America, always at or near the top of the card, and almost always as a heel, even in Toronto until the late 70s, then he became a face, and in the early 80s, the lead face. He often used a sleeper as his finisher in later years.

Mosca retired from wrestling in the mid-80s and was the colour commentator for the WWF TV tapings in Ontario from August 1984 until January 1985. Although he was a good interview as a wrestler, he was never considered to be a good commentator. His replacement, Jesse Ventura, went on to become a major star in that role.

After being fired by the WWF, Mosca promoted the NWA in Ontario in 1985-87. He and Milt Avruskin hosted a TV show featuring compilations of NWA matches. Mosca organized an NWA card in Hamilton in February 1986 called "Moscamania" that drew an excellent house of 12,000 with no local TV. The follow-up a year later drew only 3,200, with stiff competition from the WWF who scheduled Roddy Piper's "final" Toronto appearance at Maple Leaf Gardens at the same time.

Mosca appeared on several Canadian TV commercials in the 70s and 80s. Mosca still makes PR appearances for the league and the Ticats and for other businesses. He was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Mosca's son, Angelo Mosca Jr., had a brief but successful wrestling career, and he left the broadcast booth to manage his son's career.

Personal life

Mosca has lived in and around Hamilton for many years, and currently lives in St. Catharines, Ontario with his wife, Helen, a real estate agent. He authored a book with Steve Milton called Tell Me To My Face, published by Lulu Canada Inc. The book was released in September 2011.

Championships and accomplishments

Professional Football

  • Canadian Football League
  • Canadian Football Hall of Fame (Class of 1987)
  • The CFW ranked him # 37 of the Top 50 players of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.

Professional Wrestling

  • Other honoree (1996)
  • NWA Tri-State Brass Knuckles Championship (1 time)
  • PWI ranked him # 305 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards

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