|Ring name(s)||Jack Brisco
|Billed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Billed weight||234 lb (106 kg)|
|Born||September 21, 1941
Blackwell, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Died||February 1, 2010 (aged 68)
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Freddie Joe Brisco (September 21, 1941 – February 1, 2010), better known as Jack Brisco or Uvalde Slim, was an American professional wrestler who was popular during the 1970s, and into the 1980s. He performed for various territories of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), becoming a two-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and multi-time NWA Tag Team Champion with his brother Gerald Brisco. Brisco was considered one of the top wrestlers of his era; in 2005, Don Leo Jonathan called him "probably the greatest champion of the 20th century."
Brisco grew up in Blackwell, Oklahoma with five siblings. He was followed by his younger brother, Gerald Brisco, into sport wrestling and turned down a football scholarship at University of Oklahoma to go to Oklahoma State. He was the first Native American to win an NCAA Wrestling National Championship in 1965. His winning the NCAA title was even more profound in that Brisco won it during his junior year, and didn't get taken down once during the entire season.
Brisco's first documented professional championship reign began on October 16, 1965, when he defeated Don Kent to win the NWA Missouri Junior Heavyweight Championship. He held the belt for less than a month, but he regained it in November by defeating Kent once again. Around this time, Brisco also wrestled for NWA Tri-State. While there, he won a couple of state titles (the Oklahoma Heavyweight Championship and the Arkansas Heavyweight Championship). He also won his first tag team titles in this promotion, teaming with Haystacks Calhoun for his first reign as co-holder of the Tri-State version of the NWA United States Tag Team Championship. He later held the title again, as he teamed with Gorgeous George, Jr. to win the belts on May 9, 1967.
Brisco then moved to the Florida area, where he wrestled for Championship Wrestling from Florida for several years. His first title there was the NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight Championship, which he won on February 11, 1969 by defeating the Missouri Mauler. He dropped the title back to the Mauler but regained it on July 8. Two weeks later, he won the first of what would eventually be ten NWA Florida Tag Team Championships by teaming with Ciclon Negro. Although he and Ciclon dropped the tag team belts the following month, Brisco held the Southern Heavyweight Title until November 1969, when he left the area to wrestle in Japan and Australia.
When Brisco returned to Florida, he began teaming with his brother, who he had trained as a professional wrestler. He also continued competing as a singles wrestler, winning the NWA Florida Television Championship on November 27, 1970. On February 16, 1971, the Briscos teamed up to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship. They dropped the belts the following month to Dory Funk, Jr. and Terry Funk but regained them from the Funks in April. That month, Brisco also beat Terry Funk in a singles match to win the NWA Florida Television Championship again. Brisco's next major success was regaining the Southern Heavyweight Championship by defeating Dick Murdoch on June 8, 1971. The title was later held up, though, after a controversial rematch with Murdoch.
Brisco then took a short break from Florida wrestling to compete in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. While there, he won the NWA Eastern States Heavyweight Championship twice by defeating the Missouri Mauler and Rip Hawk.
Upon his return to Florida, he quickly won the NWA Florida Brass Knuckles Championship with a victory over Paul Jones on June 13, 1972, but he vacated the title the same day. He then won his third and final Television Championship on November 7, 1972. Nine days later, he also won the Tag Team Championship again by teaming with his brother.
Brisco's first NWA World Heavyweight Championship win was scheduled to be over Dory Funk Jr. capping off a multi-year feud, but the Funks balked, and politically maneuvered to drop the title to Harley Race instead. Jack then won the title from Race after a brief reign in Houston, Texas on July 20, 1973. He defended his championship in NWA affiliated promotions across the world until losing to Giant Baba on December 4, 1974, though he regained the championship four days later. Brisco defended the championship until losing it to Terry Funk on December 10, 1975. His loss continued the extensive feud between the Briscos and Funks. For several years, Jack and Jerry Brisco would continue battling Terry and Dory Funk for wrestling supremacy. Briso's reigns as NWA World Heavyweight Champion were particularly significant as he was only the second wrestler to have won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship more than once at the time, with the other and first multi-time champion being Lou Thesz. Though his second reign was shorter than his first, it was still very significant as Brisco is still the only multi-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion to have had all of his reigns last a full year or longer.
In 1976, Brisco wrestled in several promotions and continued to add to his list of titles. He won the Memphis version of the NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship on August 10, 1976 by defeating local favorite Jerry Lawler. He also won the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship on November 26 with a victory over Bob Backlund. At this time, the Briscos were also awarded the ESA International Tag Team Championship, although they did not wrestle as a team in the area.
Wrestling in Florida again, Brisco teamed with his brother to win several more championships. In 1977, they defeated the team of Barry Orton, Jr. and Bob Roop to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship. Although they lost the title to Ox Baker and "Superstar" Billy Graham, they soon regained the belts in a rematch. On January 25, 1978, they won the belts again by defeating Ivan Koloff and Mr. Saito. While holding these belts, the Briscos also won the NWA Florida United States Tag Team Championship on February 21 with a victory over Mike Graham and Steve Keirn. They dropped the United States tag belts back to Graham and Keirn but soon regained them. They were defeated for the United States title by Killer Karl Kox and Bobby Duncum but were again successful in regaining the belts in a rematch. The same thing happened when the Briscos faced Mr. Saito and Mr. Sato that year: they lost the belts and quickly won them back. Meanwhile, the Briscos also defeated Saito and Sato to regain NWA Florida Tag Team Championship. The following year, another victory over Saito and Sato earned the Briscos their final United States Tag Team Championship.
The Briscos also enjoyed success in Georgia Championship Wrestling, where they won the NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship twice. They competed in a tournament for the tag team belts but finished in second place after a loss to the Funks. They defeated the Funks two months later, however, to win the belts. On November 25, 1979, the Briscos defeated Austin Idol and The Masked Superstar to win the belts a second time. Jack gave up his share of the title, however, giving it to Ole Anderson. Later that year, Jack Brisco became the first NWA National Heavyweight Champion when he defeated Terry Funk in a tournament final.
In 1980, Brisco resumed wrestling in Florida. He won the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship again, teaming with Jimmy Garvin this time. After losing the belts, Brisco followed this up by teaming with his brother to win them for a final time.
The following year, Brisco won his final Southern Heavyweight Championship by defeating Bobby Jaggers. Brisco finished off his time in Florida with two reigns as co-holder of Florida version of the NWA North American Tag Team Championship. They won a tournament to win their first title, defeating Assassin #1 and Bobby Jaggers in the finals. They lost the belts to the Funks on January 9, 1982 but regained them in a rematch seven days later.
Brisco also wrestled in Puerto Rico in 1981, competing for the World Wrestling Council. He won the WWC Caribbean Heavyweight Championship on May 30, 1981 and held the belt for almost seven months. He also teamed with his brother to win the WWC North American Tag Team Championship. They defeated Los Pastores (better known as The Bushwhackers) for the title on August 8, 1981 and held it for a month and a half before dropping it to The Fabulous Kangaroos. Brisco also returned to Missouri in 1981, defeating Ted DiBiase to win a second NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship. He held the belt for only three weeks, however, before losing it to Ken Patera.
In 1982, Brisco returned to Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. He regained the NWA Eastern States Heavyweight Championship, which had since been renamed the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship, by defeating Roddy Piper on May 10, 1982. Although he dropped the title back to Piper on July 7, Brisco regained the belt the following month. After his matches with Piper, Brisco traded the title back and forth with Paul Jones several times. He lost the belt to Jones on September 1, 1982 but won it back on October 18. Jones won the belt once again seven days later, but Brisco beat him for the championship in November.
Brisco also teamed up with his brother to win the Mid-Atlantic version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship three times. They beat Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood for the belts on June 18, 1983. This set up a rivalry in which the belts switched hands several times. Steamboat and Youngblood regained the belts on October 3, but the Briscos won them back on October 21. The Briscos then held the title for a little over a month before dropping the belts back to Steamboat and Youngblood. The Briscos won the belts back the following year, however, by defeating Wahoo McDaniel and Mark Youngblood.
The Briscos acquired minority interests in Georgia Championship Wrestling, and in 1984 they convinced a majority of the shareholders (52%) to sell their shares to Vince McMahon, enabling him to increase his dominance of the professional wrestling world. Contrary to popular folklore, Jack and Jerry Brisco were never offered lifetime jobs with the WWF in exchange for selling their interests in Georgia Championship Wrestling. Jack Brisco debunked that myth in 1996 when he was interviewed by Wrestling Perspective. Jack left the business in 1984, while Gerald has worked with the WWF/WWE for decades.
Years after the Montreal Screwjob, Brisco was asked during a live online chat about his thoughts on the incident. Brisco, apparently uninformed of the entire situation, promptly put his foot in his mouth and criticized Bret Hart for his refusal to job. This led to a scathing response from Hart who defended his actions and mentioned a time when Ernie Ladd allegedly beat the Brisco brothers in a parking lot, stuffed them into the trunk of his car, and drove around town before dumping them out at the promoter's house. Hart finished the statement with "Jack Brisco can kiss my ass".
Brisco was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2005. Brisco lived in Florida where he ran the Brisco Body Shop with brothers Gerald and Bill for over 30 years. He has also made occasional wrestling appearances such as Florida's Wrestle Reunion in January 2005. Brisco is considered one of the great legendary wrestlers of the 1970s and has often been cited as such by Ric Flair during his emotional promos. Brisco and his brother, Gerald were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2008.