Angelo Mosca Sr., Former CFL All-Star and WWE Performer, Dies at Age 84

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 7, 2021

HAMILTON, ON- AUGUST 26  -  Fundraiser in honour of  Angelo Mosca, Ti-Cat great who has been diagnosed with Alzhiemers at the Carmen's Banquet Centre in Hamilton. August 26, 2015.  Steve Russell/Toronto Star        (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Canadian Football League legend and professional wrestler Angelo Mosca Sr. died Saturday at the age of 84.

Mosca's wife, Helen, announced his death in a Facebook post, per the Associated Press.

"It is with great sadness that the family of Angelo Mosca announce his passing … after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. Angelo was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather as well as friend to so many."

The CFL, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and WWE released statements following Mosca's death.

"Savvy, smart and ahead of his time, he built his bad guy personae into a personal brand that was bigger than life," the CFL's statement read in part.

"Unloved in some markets, where he was the villain, his stature was unmatched in Hamilton, where he was a hero, and when he traded his shoulder pads for wrestling tights, he enthralled Mosca fans in countries near and far."

The Tiger-Cats added:

"Angelo Mosca was a legend. He was one of the most legendary players in CFL history and certainly the most legendary to ever wear a Tiger-Cat uniform. His contributions to the game of Canadian football, to our organization, and to the Hamilton community will never be forgotten. We send our sincere condolences to Angelo's entire family."

The former Notre Dame star played offensive and defensive tackle, winning one Grey Cup with the Ottawa Rough Riders and four more with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He played in the CFL from 1958 to 1972 and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

After his football career ended, Mosca moved on to professional wrestling. Known as Angelo "King Kong" Mosca, he competed in the AWA and Stampede Wrestling before moving to WWE. He had rivalries with WWE Hall of Famers and legends Bob Backlund and Pat Patterson.

Mosca worked as a color commentator and promoter after his active wrestling days, per WWE's statement.

Condolences poured in for Mosca after the news was revealed, including one from The Iron Sheik:

The Iron Sheik @the_ironsheik

ANGELO MOSCA BUBBA. ONE OF THE TOUGHEST MAN I EVER FIGHT. YOU WERE MY BROTHER FOREVER. GOD BLESS YOU FOREVER. <a href="https://t.co/WFnmaRDGB1">https://t.co/WFnmaRDGB1</a> <a href="https://t.co/puYVq7cDtC">pic.twitter.com/puYVq7cDtC</a>

Doug Smith: Raptors @SmithRaps

Aw, man.<br>Just heard Angelo Mosca passed away. Knew him and of him in so many incarnations. Wrestler, player, one of the true CFL eminences.<br>Sad news, man.<br>Sad news<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RIP?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RIP</a>

James Duthie @tsnjamesduthie

True CFL legend. Condolences to the family and many friends of Angelo Mosca, who passed away today. <a href="https://t.co/VR8AyVetCb">pic.twitter.com/VR8AyVetCb</a>

James Cybulski @JamesCybulski

Leaving the hotel on our way to Canada’s Wonderland as a kid, I bumped into Angelo Mosca. He graciously signed an autograph for me on a restaurant placemat. He was huge! All those years later covering Tabbies games at Ivor Wynne, I still got starstruck whenever I saw King Kong. <a href="https://t.co/uY17pRsBzM">pic.twitter.com/uY17pRsBzM</a>

Chris Cuthbert @CCpxpSN

Sad to hear the news of Angelo Mosca’s passing. He played the villain role perfectly, but nobody had a bigger heart and love for the CFL than Ang. When he’d visit the booth before every game, you felt like you’d been with CFL royalty. Condolences to his family and Ticat Nation.

In his later years, Mosca wrote an autobiography (Tell Me To My Face) that was published in 2011. He also became just the second Tiger-Cat in franchise history to have his number retired, when Hamilton decided to do so in 2015.