clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

English Jr. Heavyweight legend Mark ‘Rollerball’ Rocco has died

The news came yesterday (July 31) - first from All Star Wrestling’s Facebook page, then with confirmation from his many friends, colleagues, and admirers - that British wrestling legend and cruiserweight innovator Mark ‘Rollerball’ Rocco had died at age 69.

A fourth generation wrestler, Rocco was born Mark Hussey. The Manchester native was a regular on World of Sport, and he also wrestling under a mask in Japan as Black Tiger. It was while working that gimmick for New Japan that Rocco won WWE gold, defeating Gran Hamada in a 1982 tournament final in Fukuoka to win the WWF Junior Heavyweight championship. The company commented on his death on their website.

Rocco also trained Jushin Thunder Liger and worked with him in both the United Kingdom & Japan, something which cements his influence on wrestling even among performers and fans who never saw him work before his retirement in 1991. He stayed involved, however, doing things like hosting a tournament for his old World Heavy-Middleweight title that was won by a young Daniel Bryan, and serving as a mentor during a season of TNA’s British Boot Camp reality competition won by Drake Maverick.

Cageside Seats joins with the wrestling community honoring Rocco’s life and legacy. Here’s a sampling of pros doing just that.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats