WWE Hall of Famer JBL was the latest guest on Busted Open Radio to discuss the recent passing of Black Lanza, and how vital Lanza was to a number of careers during his time in WWE. Highlights from the former world champion’s appearance can be found below.
Says Lanza was a friend and mentor to most of the roster during his time in WWE:
“Jack was an amazing guy, Bubba, as you know. I’ve never seen anybody say anything bad about Jack. You look at the people who are putting out Tweets, from every different ideology and everything. They all say Jack was a mentor and a friend. There was nobody that said anything about Jack. You know, Jack was a real tough guy, he was a man’s man. But he had a way of dealing with every single person on the roster where literally he was everybody’s friend and mentor. He was an incredible person, he was the right person for Vince McMahon to have in that position,” he stated. “Probably the most important person in the company, other than Vince McMahon was Jack Lanza.”
Calls Lanza a father-figure, and discusses when he let him use the Blackjack gimmick:
“Jack was, like a lot of people, like a father figure to me and I was once a Blackjack. Jack gave me his blessing and, in fact, I pulled him aside and I wouldn’t have done it if Jack hadn’t given me the blessing. He told me, he said, ‘I’m honored that you’re going to be the one carrying on the legacy,’ which meant the world to me. I’ve been really tight with Jack over all the years.”
Reveals that he tried to get Lanza to manage him and Barry Windham:
“He really helped me a lot. When I first came in, I was a bit lost, especially when I became a Blackjack. Jack did our vignettes for us. He did a bunch of them and kind of put them all together and made it into one vignette. Barry and I really tried to talk Jack, and Vince did too, to being our manager. But Jack just wanted no part of it. When he left the ring, I think it was 85, he never went back. He said, ‘I’m not getting back in the ring, I’m just not doing it. Once you do that, you’re back.’ Jack never would. But he would always help us with so much stuff.”
(H/T and transcribed by Wrestling Inc.)