Jose Lothario, the Texas wrestling legend probably best known for his brief run as Shawn Michaels’ manager, trainer and mentor in the World Wrestling Federation in 1996, has died. Bill Apter broke the news on Tuesday after speaking with Lothario’s son. He was 83 years old.
Lothario spent most of his career in the National Wrestling Alliance, debuting in 1956 and at one point going on a losing streak of over 500 matches. Fourteen years into his career, he and Danny Miller won the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship after the former champions, Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch, had been stripped of the belts. In 1978 he defeated Gino Hernandez in a hair match in one of his most memorable matches. He’d go on to be one of the most known and popular wrestlers in the Houston area, and held the extremely cool-sounding “Texas Brass Knux Championship” on five occasions.
Jose’s WWE run is of course what most fans know him from, as he managed Shawn Michaels during his first championship run in 1996. He even wrestled Vader, was nearly killed on multiple occasions by Sycho Sid, and got smashed in the face with a camera to cause Michaels to lose the championship. If you aren’t familiar with his career, here are a few clips. Our condolences go out to Jose’s friends and family.