Blackjack Mulligan was one of the legitimate tough guys in professional wrestling during an era filled with them. Mulligan, the real-life grandfather of Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas, was never afraid to throw a punch over an action he felt deserved that response, even if it was Ole Anderson, Harley Race, and Andre the Giant!
Blackjack Mulligan and the Time He Punched Andre the Giant
Former wrestler Manny Fernandez was out drinking with Andre the Giant and Blackjack Mulligan after taking part in a Battle Royal when things took a dark turn. In an interview with Title Match Wrestling, Fernandez explained, “Andre decided he wanted me to drink two-fingers tequila. ‘Well, here is this Mexican kid. Drink tequila, drink tequila!’”
Fernandez continued, “I brought out a shot glass, but Andre brought out a glass, and he was filling up the glass, making sure I drank it all. About three glasses later, I was on my butt on the floor while [Andre] and Blackjack Mulligan were playing cribbage!
“In the old days, the guys were so simple. They went to the dressing room, and they didn’t talk about their match; they played cribbage. That was done in the dressing room, and they played for points. A guy loses $10, $12, or whatever. That’s what they did!
“Well, that night, whatever happened in cribbage, Blackjack Mulligan reached across my table and punched Andre the Giant in the face! Bam!
“I was on the ground, going, ‘Oh no!’ and that big giant just laughed! Andre just said, ‘Oh, okay, boss. We fight now.’
“Mulligan shot off like you see in the movies with shotguns. Geez, these guys went at it and tore up my apartment. Tore it up!”
Neither man got the best of each other that particular evening. As for Manny Fernandez, I think it’s safe to assume that he lost the security deposit on his apartment after this melee!
Punching Ole Anderson in the Face
This second story comes from the time when Blackjack Mulligan was working in the offices of WCW. According to witnesses, Ole Anderson was badmouthing Eric behind his back. Blackjack Mulligan heard more than enough of it and punched Ole in the face as a result!
“Funny we’re talking about Ole,” Eric Bischoff began in an interview on Ric Flair’s former podcast, The Ric Flair Show. “I told this story before, but it’s worth telling again, especially here because you knew him so well. You were close to him.
“I got hired, and after I got a little bit of control and kind of was in management, I liked Ole! You know, he was very much like Verne Gagne. He was just so stubborn and pigheaded — but there was something about him that I just really liked and respected. He certainly was not an office, CNN center, South Tower kind of a guy, but I didn’t want to lose him either, so I sent him down to the Power Plant.”
Bischoff continued, “I know Ole can’t hurt anything down there, and he really was good at teaching because he was passionate about the art form. I thought, ‘Well, that’s a good place for him. He’ll be happier.’
“I moved him down there, but I had also had recently hired Blackjack Mulligan. I did it- I don’t want to say as a favor because that’s disrespectful. I wasn’t looking to hire someone like Blackjack, but he came along at a certain time. I don’t remember who it was that told me, but he was a little bit down on his luck, and I thought, ‘You know, with all the years of skill and experience and all that, he’d be a good guy to have down at the Power Plant,’ so I hired him.
“Blackjack was a very, very loyal guy. One day, Ole didn’t like the fact that I moved him out of the South Towers and that I was gaining control; he just resented it. I understood, and I didn’t take it personally.
“Ole Anderson made a mistake of going down to the Power Plant badmouthing me up one and down the other telling everybody what a piece of crap I was. Blackjack Mulligan was there and knocked him out!”
During this same interview, Ric Flair would discuss how he witnessed Blackjack punch or slap Ole on five different occasions. Flair also discussed how he sucker-punched Harley Race and Andre the Giant but quit his job as an agent before Eric was hired, after an encounter with Lex Luger’s ego that rubbed him the wrong way. If only Lex knew how close he was to receive a giant fist to his face!
While these stories show that Blackjack was a tough guy willing to throw a punch when needed, this last story shows his loyalty to a man who hired him in a time of need. May the great Blackjack Mulligan rest in peace.
If you enjoyed this piece, be sure not to miss these recommended stories on our site:
- 16 Unforgettable Andre the Giant Stories Told By His Friends
- HARLEY RACE: Tales of Toughness and Tenacity
- Blackjack Mulligan and the Night He Was Nearly Killed By a Fan