By Inigo ‘Naughty’ Zenicazelaya
GOING quietly under the radar last week, unnoticed by many who were probably mesmerised by Kobe’s farewell ‘60’ or the start of the NBA playoffs, maybe it was MLB baseball that caught their eye.
But not many realised we lost another wrestling legend and pioneer, Robert Deroy Windham, better known to his fans worldwide as ‘Black Jack’ Mulligan.
‘Black Jack’ was a fixture on the local scene at the Nassau Stadium. He had epic battles against Kevin Sullivan and Kendo Nagasaki along with his manager J J Dillon in singles matches and tag team competition with his partner, another wrestling legend ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes.
The matches were always entertaining and bloody.
Some of ‘Black Jack’s’ favourite local spots after the matches were the Poop Deck on East Bay Street, Rose Lawn downtown and to wrap things up Waterloo to be well taken care of by club manager Charlie Johnson and the majority of wrestling fans in Nassau, who would flock to Waterloo in droves to get pictures and autographs from their favourite grapplers.
Lets just say it was one heck of an after party ... (I’ve been sworn to secrecy on the rest of the happenings.)
In addition to being a global ambassador for ‘Pro Wrestling’ with his in-ring work and promotional abilities, ‘Black Jack’ also produced the largest, most successful family in the wrestling business.
Even larger and more successful than the Von Erichs and the Rhodes who boast multiple second generation wrestling stars.
Most Bahamians are familiar with his sons, Barry and Kendall Windham, along with his son-in-law Mike Rotunda (IRS in the WWE) who married ‘Black Jack’s’ daughter, Stephanie.
He is also the grandfather of present day WWE Superstars Bray Wyatt (my personal favourite of today’s crop of wrestlers) and Bo Dallas.
Here are a few other interesting facts about ‘Black Jack’ you may not have known.
In 2007, Mulligan published his book ‘True Lies and Alibis’, which tells of his personal life and his professional wrestling career.
In 2012, ‘Black Jack’, a devout born-again Christian, was ordained a minister by Divine Hearts Ministry in Lake Saint Louis, Missouri. He was very devoted to spending the time he had remaining to spreading the word of God. He felt his ordination could help him in this endeavour.
In 2015, Mulligan was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by WWE after they received a letter from him indicating that he intended to sue them for concussion-based injuries sustained during his tenure with them. He was represented by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who is involved in several other lawsuits involving former WWE wrestlers.
After dealing with multiple health issues over the years, and most recently a heart attack, Mulligan was hospitalised in February this year and passed away on April 7.
Thanks for all of the memories in and out of the ring - especially the ones on a Saturday night in the Bahamas over a few cold ‘brewskies’ at Club Waterloo. So what if they were consumed with wrestlers who were literally drawing blood from each other in the ring a few hours earlier.
Wrestling is in a good place thanks to his past efforts and achievements, not to mention those of his family, even the ones still to come ... ie Bray Wyatt the next WWE champion.
Rest in peace ‘Black Jack’. I know Dusty Rhodes and Roddy Piper are waiting on you in a main event match in heaven!
Until next week, keep swinging for the fences.
• Naughty presents ‘Mischief and Mayhem in da AM’ from 6am to 10am, Monday to Friday and ‘The Press Box’ sports talk show on Sunday from 10am to 1pm, on KISS FM 96.1. Comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org