Mantaur was born as Mike Hallick. He was managed by Jim Cornette as Mantaur, which saw him mooing, charging and mauling opponents like he was a real bull turned into a man. He also wrestled in ECW as Bruiser Mastino. He had a second brief run in WWE as a bodyguard for Goldust in 1996. He then had a third stint as Tank of the Truth Commission, mainly working in USWA under that gimmick.
Almost as bad as a toilet flushing, Mantaur’s theme was a bull in heat.
This is from Wrestling Challenge in Feb. 1995 with Gorilla Monsoon and Ted Dibiase on commentary. In an inventive start, Mantaur picks up Jordan at the bell and charges into the corner with him. Mantaur gets a hard hip toss. Jordan tries to reverse a whip, so because he even tried to do so, Mantaur just applies the breaks and jerks Jordan down onto his face. Mantaur telegraphs a backdrop and Jordan throws everything save the kitchen sink at Mantaur with zero effect. Mantaur gets a belly to belly suplex for a near fall, but pulls Jordan up at two. I doubt that haunts him. A body slam leads to an elbow drop. Mantaur moos to signal….a headbutt? Ok. Jordan gets worked over in the corner and finally is jobbed off of a falling powerslam. Did that ever have a name? Let’s call it the Bull Buster. Color me impressed by the power squash. ½ *
This is from RAW in 1995 before the annual dog show that Vince McMahon seems so happy to put over on commentary. This match is déjà vu all over again. Mantaur charges Howard into the corner at the bell and hip toss him out. Howard dodges an elbow drop and lands one of his own. Howard goes up top and is caught by Mantaur for a body slam. Mantaur gets a side slam off the ropes. He takes Howard’s head off with a clothesline. Howard fights back, but it’s spitting into the wind. Mantaur catches Howard on a crossbody try for a power slam. Howard is backdropped. They screw up an avalanche and you can clearly see Mantaur telling Howard to repeat the spot, which they do. The belly to belly suplex finishes. Didn’t wow me like the first match and repeating the spot is never good. ¼*
This is from Superstars with different foreign commentary than what we’ve found in previous columns. The YouTube listing has the show as “Super Catch.” A kid named Joe Salvador, who appears to be Jim Ross’ love child with himself, does the guest ring announcing. Mantaur gets the opening charge, but mixes it up with a fireman’s carry takedown into a leg drop to the arm. He works the arm. Scott reverses a whip and ducks a clothesline. He goes for a sunset flip, but Mantaur splats him. He gets the belly to belly suplex and moos. Scott moves on an avalanche attempt, which brings us to the ‘nothing can hurt Mantaur, puny human,’ portion of the bout. Scott is caught on a top rope cross body for a power slam and we’re done. You’ve got to appreciate the token arm work…ok, maybe not. ¼*
Still Super Catch. Still opening with the corner charge and hip toss. Mantaur tells Cornette to steal third and drops a head butt. He’s really working the bull gimmick here. Meyers is choked tossed into the corner. He’s whipped to the far side and moves on an avalanche. The flurry of jobber offense is this time stopped with a swift boot to the gut. Power slam. Meyers leap frogs over a backdrop and we have the unprecedented jobber offensive flurry part two, the search for Curly’s Gold. Meyers goes up top and is caught with a power slam for the loss. About the same. ¼*
Still Super Catch. Say it with me, corner charge to start. Mantaur then does it again for fun. He hits the belly to belly suplex and moos. Arnolds ducks some stuff on a crisscross, but is caught on a cross body for a power slam. Arnolds gets a knee lift on a backdrop try. No sell, no sell, no sell. Mantaur comes back with a clothesline. He catches Arnolds off the ropes for a side slam and moos. Mantaur gets a body slam and waits for Arnolds to stagger up so he can just plow into him. He does it again and falls on top for the win. Just didn’t have the zing of the above. DUD.
Still Super Catch. Cornette introduces Mantaur. Let’s see what Mantaur does against an actual superstar. Mantaur makes a mistake probably by not charging Ramon at the bell and just chewing his cud. They lock up. Mantaur throws Ramon off and moos. They get into a shoving match. Ramon ends that with a slap. Ramon works the arm. Mantaur gets a short arm clothesline, but misses an elbow drop. Ramon goes for a cross body, but is caught for a power slam for two. Ramon is avalanched in the corner. He trips down the ring to the next corner and is avalanched again. Ramon is repeatedly whipped from post to post, but Razor finally gets his foot up on a charge. He gets a second rope bulldog for two. A body slam gets two. The Roadie then appears at ringside giving a spit shine, literally, to Jeff Jarrett’s Intercontinental Title. Ramon’s offense actually stuns Mantaur. He puts Mantaur on the top rope for the super belly to back suplex. Ramon is distracted by Roadie, but catches Mantaur coming and pitches him out of the ring on top of Roadie. Mantaur is counted out. Weak. I wanted to see Ramon try the Razor’s Edge on Mantaur. Ramon celebrates with the dropped title belt and JJ comes out. He distracts Razor so the Roadie can get it back. ¼* The wonky finish knocks it down, but it wasn’t clicking anyway.
The 411: Mantaur could move for a big guy and had some snap in his moves. His basic move set was ok, but it got really repetitive watching squash after squash. He seemed to be getting the gimmick over as best he could, but you could tell Jim Cornette wasn’t too enthused. I’m sure he’s talked about it and I would love to hear Cornette’s thoughts on the gimmick. This is certainly the type of big man that WWE could have gotten over, but he came in at the wrong time and was therefore saddled with a gimmick impossible to make work.