Angelo "King Kong" Mosca
From Massachusetts, came to Canada from Notre Dame to play in the CFL and
was a star player through the 60s. One of the best-known players in league
history with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Infamous for an incident
in the 1963 Grey Cup when he injured B.C. Lions star player (and future
Hall of Famer) Willie Fleming
in what was thought to be a premeditated late, out-of-bounds hit. In true
pro wrestling style, Mosca has denied it to this day, and the tapes seemed
to show that he was committed to making the hit before Fleming was tackled
by another player. Mosca and the Ticats won the Cup, and won it again
in 1965, 1967, and 1972.
Brought into wrestling by Montreal promoter Eddie Quinn.
Began wrestling in the offseason, and became a full-time wrestler after
his retirement. Wrestled all across North America, always at or near the
top of the card. Almost always a heel -- (even in Toronto until the late 70s,
then he became a face, and in the early 80s, the lead face). Often used
a sleeper as his finisher in later years.
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.
Elected to the
Canadian Football Hall
of Fame in 1987. 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.
His son, Angelo Mosca Jr., had a brief but successful wrestling career.
"Angelo Mosca, evidently so unnerved at hearing Torontonians actually
cheering for him, erred on a flying tackle, wrapped himself around a
ring-post, and ultimately lost his wrestling assignment against The Sheik
last night. In the autumn, Mosca is a 270-pound defensive lineman with
the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and seems to rate the most verbal abuse when
Toronto Argonauts are hosting the CFL team at CNE Stadium."
(From the TORONTO STAR, June 22, 1971)
"Angelo likes people and can't help but bring a smile to most he meets. Well-spoken,
good-natured, with a big sense of humour and a high recognition factor - your perfect
(From the Angelo Mosca website, 1997)
- NWA U.S. champion (San Francisco), 1975
- NWA Mid-Atlantic TV champion, 1976
- NWA Georgia champion, 1978
- Mid-South Brass Knucks champion, 1979
- 5-time NWA Canadian champion (Toronto), 1980-84
- NWA Southern champion (Florida), 1984