|Big Bully Busick|
|Birth name||Nicholas Busick|
|Born||June 1, 1954|
Steubenville, Ohio, United States
|Died||May 8, 2018 (aged 63)|
Weirton, West Virginia, United States
|Cause of death||Cancer|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Big Bully Busick|
|Billed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Billed weight||265 lb (120 kg)|
|Billed from||"Pittsburgh by way of Steubenville, Ohio"|
Weirton, West Virginia
|Trained by||Mike Padiousis|
Nicholas Busick (June 1, 1954 – May 8, 2018) was an American professional wrestler and police officer, better known by his ring name Big Bully Busick. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1991, where he portrayed a stereotypical bully from the 1920s with a "turtleneck, bowler hat and king-sized cigar". Busick is also known for his appearances with Georgia All-Star Wrestling (GAF) and the Global Wrestling Federation (GWF).
Professional wrestling career
Busick was an amateur wrestler in high school, and was also an accomplished powerlifter throughout the 1970s. In 1971, he unsuccessfully attempted to break Jim Williams' bench press record of 635 lb (288 kg). He became a police officer in 1973, at age 19. Growing up in the Steel Town Tri-State area of Pittsburgh, Busick was a fan of Pittsburgh's Studio Wrestling, and described Bruno Sammartino as his hero. Busick talked Mike Paidousis into giving him a one-week professional wrestling training course. He wrestled his first match for the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) on May 12, 1978, losing to Billy Red Lyons in the Pittsburgh Civic Arena. Over the next two years, Busick had several more matches with the WWWF (renamed WWF in 1979) when they held shows in the Pittsburgh area, usually as a jobber, though he won at least two matches. He never underwent any other formal training, stating he "learned in the ring".
In the early 1980s, Busick transferred to the Atlanta Police Department. In Atlanta, he began wrestling for Jerry Blackwell and developed the Bully persona, based on Joe Pedicino's observations of a stereotypical coal miner or steel mill worker. As part of the character, he wore a derby hat and turtleneck sweater, smoked a cigar on the way to the ring, and had a bushy handlebar moustache.
In 1991, Busick debuted in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), where he continued to utilize the Bully gimmick. In addition to bullying his opponents, Busick (along with his manager Harvey Wippleman) antagonized fans at ringside, committing such acts as popping a child's balloon with his cigar. He even harassed ring announcer Mike McGuirk, which eventually led to a save from opponent Sid Justice in a quick loss for Busick. After having spent weeks primarily squashing enhancement talent, Busick entered into a small feud with the Brooklyn Brawler after the Brawler challenged Busick to match to see who was the real bully of the WWF. The Brawler defeated the Bully by countout. A rematch one week later saw the Brawler fail to dominate the Bully with Wippleman grabbing the Brawler's leg leading to a controversial win for the Bully. Busick spent the remainder of his time in the WWF wrestling against Bret Hart, The British Bulldog, and Jimmy Snuka, before leaving the company in late 1991.
Alongside fellow wrestler Bill Eadie, Busick worked as a bodyguard in Atlanta. He also worked as a Senior Investigator for Criminal and Civil Investigations, and owned the Big Bully sports nutrition bar company. A 2013 interview noted he kept a low profile wrestling-wise, other than occasional appearances at fan festivals, but did appear as a special guest referee at Deaf Wrestlefest in April 2012. He also promoted mixed martial arts events in Ohio. He also continued to compete in powerlifting competitions until 2015.
In November 2012, the WWE listed Busick as having the best mustache in the Top 10 mustaches in WWE history. The Big Bully Busick character was also listed 17 of the 25 most absurd wrestlers in WWE history in 2013. In March 2015, he was inducted in the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame.
Busick was married to his wife Lorie for 32 years and they had three children together. His son Branko is a mixed martial artist. His family is of Serbian descent. He was involved in the Serbian community in the US and spoke the language.
Busick had chronic atrial fibrillation. While exercising in 2005, he suffered a cardiac arrest and was saved via a defibrillator. He refused to seek hospital treatment at the time, but underwent surgery a few years later to correct the fibrillation.
In 2015, Busick was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He initially had trouble swallowing, before bleeding in his throat. He underwent surgery and chemotherapy, during which he went from weighing 265 lb (120 kg) to 187 lb (85 kg). In June 2016, Busick announced he was cancer-free. The following year, Busick was diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent neurosurgery. Busick died on May 8, 2018, in Weirton, West Virginia, where he was receiving hospice care.
Championships and accomplishments
- North Georgia Wrestling Alliance
- NGWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Keystone State Wrestling Alliance
- Hall of Fame (2015)
- Leturgey, Thomas (February 28, 2013). "Busick bullies his way through heart issue for 'one more match'". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- "Big Bully Busick". Cagematch. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- Leturgey, Tom (May 9, 2018). "In his final years, 'Big Bully' Nick Busick gave hope and inspiration". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- Linder, Zach & Melok, Bobby. "What a maneuver! 15 moves that really exist". WWE. Archived from the original on August 14, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
- "Retired Wrestler 'Big Bully' Busick Defeats Cancer". KDKA-TV. June 11, 2016. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- Nick Busick's match history, from WrestlingData.com
- "'Big Bully Busick' passes away at 63". WTOV-TV. May 9, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- "Nick "Big Bully" Busick passes". WWE. May 8, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- McKinnon, Dave (May 8, 2018). "Former MMA promoter and WWE wrestler Nick "Big Bully" Busick passes away". Bluegrass MMA. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- Melok, Bobby (November 8, 2012). "Kaitlyn's top 10 Superstar mustaches". WWE. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- Melok, Bobby; Murphy, Ryan; Power, Kevin (January 23, 2013). "WWE's 25 most absurd Superstars". WWE. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- "Former Wrestler Fighting New Battle Following Cancer Treatment". KDKA-TV. December 25, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- "Nick Busick's infectious hope to bounce back from cancer is "Bully Vitamin fortified"". Pittsburgh Sporting News. June 3, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- "News". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. May 8, 2018. Archived from the original on April 28, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
We're sorry to report the passing of "Bully" Nick Busick, who was diagnosed with spinal fluid cancer a couple of weeks ago, and died in hospice care at home in Weirton, West Virginia.
- Rose, Bryan (May 8, 2018). "Nick "Big Bully" Busick passes away at 63". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- Jenkins, TJ. "Ready To Be Bullied?: Nick Busick Takes Sports Jabbers' Questions". Bleacher Report. Retrieved May 9, 2018.