NICK 'BIG BULLY' BUSICK PASSES AWAY AT 63 BY BRYAN ROSE | @br26 | MAY 8, 2018 4:46 PM
Nick Busick, best known for his run in the WWE as Big Bully Busick, passed away today at the age of 63.
WWE confirmed the news on their website this afternoon. He had been battling cancer for a number of years and had surgery in 2016 to remove cancers in the brain and esophagus. In the last year, he had been diagosed with spinal fluid cancer and had just recently entered hospice care.
Busick started his career in 1977, wrestling as a enhancement talent for the then-WWWF. Over the years, he developed a bully persona that had him walk to the ring wearing a derby hat, sweater and handlebar moustache. He’s most remembered for his run in the WWF in the early ninties, being paired with Harvey Wippleman as his manager. As a heel, he battled against faces such as Sid, Bret Hart and the British Bulldog before departing the company in 1991.
After leaving the WWE, he would work as a bodyguard, largely disappearing from the pro wrestling scene. He also promoted mixed martial arts in the eastern Ohio area. His son Branko, a MMA heavyweight fighter, has fought for Bellator in the past sporting a 1-1 record.
FORMER WWE STAR NICK 'BIG BULLY' BUSICK PASSES AWAY (UPDATED WITH CAREER BIO) By Mike Johnson on 2018-05-08 18:34:00 World Wrestling Entertainment announced this afternoon that Nick "Big Bully" Busick passed away today in Weirton, West Virginia at the age of 63 following a long battle with cancer. Busick had been battling esophageal cancer for several years when he announced that the disease had gone into remission in 2016. He was later found to have a brain tumor and in 2017, underwent successful surgery to battle it. Sadly, it was discovered that cancer had returned earlier this year, this time in his spinal fluid. Busick went into hospice care just a few days ago and passed away around 2:15 PM today with his family at his side.
A former amateur wrestler and power lifter who grew up in Pittsburgh, Busick was inspired to get into the business by the legendary Bruno Sammartino. He worked for the WWWF locally in Pittsburgh, doing undercard and enhancement matches after being trained by Mike Paidousis for a short period of time.
Busick began to find himself as the character working while working in Atlanta for Joe Pedicino's North Georgia Wrestling Alliance, wearing a 1920s-era bowler hat and smoking a cigar on the way to the ring, both of which accentuated a massive handlebar mustache, making him appear to be a crossover of a massive evil villain and the videogame character Mario. He worked locally in that area, getting a lot of attention from the magazines of that era due to his unique look and his brawls with the likes of Abdullah the Butcher. Busick was the top star for the promotion, carrying their Heavyweight championship, utilizing the heart punch as his finisher.
Busick was hired by the WWF in 1989 as Big Bully Busick, dropping his first name in the process. He was meant to play the stereotypical larger than life villain, playing a grown up version of a childhood bully that would torment children. Managed by Harvey Whippleman, he would harass fans and even ring announcer Mike McGirk. He was built up for weeks, utilizing the stump puller as a finisher (a Vince McMahon idea), beating enhancement talents on television, but would lose to the more established babyfaces on the road.
While he was with the company until 1991, he never truly given any sort of major promotional push. Realizing that there was no end game for him in the company long-term, Busick put in his notice, realizing his kids were getting older and he would be happier spending less time away from home while they were growing up.
"I actually chose to leave and I actually left a little early, " Busick told James Guttman in an interview in 2010. "It was a combination of things. My kids were starting to grow up and I'd seen that the character wasn't going anywhere. What I should have seen is that maybe I should have hung around and let WWF, at the time, do what they do best and progress because they may have done something where maybe I could have had a longer career out of it. But I didn't and that was then, this is now"
While he made appearances from time to time on the independents and wrestling conventions over the years, he was pretty much done with wrestling as a career when he walked away from the WWF.
Beyond his time in professional wrestling, Busick worked as a police officer before becoming a police academy instructor in Atlanta. Later, he owned and operated his own security film, CCI Risk Consultants, handling security for casinos and other businesses. For time, he also promoted MMA events.
WWE's announcement read:
Former WWE Superstar Nick “Big Bully” Busick has passed away at the age of 63, WWE is saddened to learn.
A notorious in-ring villain known for his signature derby and mustache, Busick battled Superstars like Bret “Hit Man” Hart, Sid and The British Bulldog in the early ’90s.
WWE extends its condolences to Busick’s family, friends and fans.
Busick's wife Lorie noted on her Facebook account, "Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers. Nick was so humbled by all your cards, prayers and visits. Love you all."
Busick's services will be this weekend in West Virginia.
On behalf of everyone associated with PWInsider.com, we'd like to express our deepest condolences as well.