Big John Studd Biography

(American Professional Wrestler and Actor)

Birthday: February 19, 1948 (Pisces)

Born In: Butler, Pennsylvania, United States

John William Minton, better known as Big John Studd, was a well-known American professional wrestler and actor. He had won various wrestling championships during the course of his wrestling career. He exhibited his wrestling skills at ‘World Wrestling Federation’ (WWF) in the 1970s and 1980s. Studd was a giant of a man and often dominated his opponents. His wins often became the talk of the town in the mid-80s. His rivalry with wrestlers like Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan became legendary within the WWF sphere. Big John Studd was intimidating inside the ring and his opponents often feared him. For his fights, he would bring in a stretcher as he knew his opponent would need it at the end of the fight. Big John Studd was an actor too, and starred in a few movies. He had also appeared in television shows like ‘Hunter’ (1987) and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (1988). He passed away in 1995 due to Hodgkin’s disease and liver cancer.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: John William Minton

Died At Age: 47


Spouse/Ex-: Donna Conklin (m. 1978; his death 1995)

Born Country: United States

Actors WWE Wrestlers

Height: 6'10" (208 cm), 6'10" Males

Died on: March 20, 1995

place of death: Burke, Virginia, United States

Notable Alumni: Stampede Wrestling

Cause of Death: Lymphoma

U.S. State: Pennsylvania

More Facts

education: Stampede Wrestling

Childhood & Early Life
Big John Studd was born John William Minton on February 19, 1948 in Butler, Pennsylvania, USA. He was raised by his mother, Helen Hayden.
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Early Career
John started his training at the age of 18. He was trained by Killer Kowalski, a Hall of Famer. John made his wrestling debut in 1972 at Los Angeles’ independent circuit. In the beginning, he used the stage name ‘The Mighty Milton.’
He continued wrestling at various events, until he got an opportunity to showcase his skills at ‘World Wide Wrestling Federation’ (‘WWWF’).
He made his ‘WWWF’ debut with Kowalski as his tag team partner. John became an instant crowd-puller and, along with Killer Kowalski, went on to win the ‘Tag Team Championship’.
He was also known as ‘the masked executioner’ as he sported a mask while making his appearance with Kowalski. While fighting without his partner, he was known by another stage name, ‘Chuck O’Connor.’
On September 12, 1972, he challenged the Puerto Rican wrestler, Pedro Morales, for a Heavyweight Championship match, but Pedro Morales managed to defeat him.
He then faced wrestlers like Gorilla Monsoon and Chief Jay Strongbow during his association with ‘WWWF’. He then left the federation in February 1973. However, he continued wrestling using his stage name Chuck O’ Connor and later made his ‘Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling’ debut in 1974.
He was partnered with Ken Patera, and eventually won the ‘Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship’.
He left ‘Mid-Atlantic Wrestling’ to make a comeback in ‘WWWF’. He went on to win the ‘Tag Team Championship’ with his partner and together, they came to be known as ‘The Executioners’. However, they were beaten while defending their title on October 26, 1976.
In 1977, John left the federation again, and after taking some time off, he competed at the ‘NWA World Heavyweight Championship’, but lost to the then undefeated wrestler, ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair.
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He returned to ‘WWWF’ in 1982, which was now known as ‘World Wrestling Federation’ or simply ‘WWF.’ Soon, his rivalry with Andre the Giant turned fairly popular among the viewers. Around this time, he started bringing stretchers to his matches as he thought his opponents would need them at the end of the match.
His rivalry with Andre the Giant became intense when he gave Andre a haircut during a tag team match in 1984.
At the first ‘Wrestlemania’ event in 1985, Studd announced a ‘$15000 Body Slam Challenge’. He claimed that no one in the federation is skilled enough to slam him. He also announced a $15000 cash prize for the individual who could slam him.
Andre slammed Studd during the event, but the money was stolen by King Kong Bundy, with whom Studd had formed an alliance. Studd and Bobby Heenan often attacked Andre at various ‘WWF’ events.
In ‘Wrestlemania 2’, Studd and Andre participated in a 20 men royal rumble match which was eventually won by Andre. Other famous wrestlers like Hulk Hogan, Ted Arcidi and The Islanders were also considered Studd’s rivals.
Studd then took a two year break. His last match before leaving WWF for two years was against ‘The Machines.’ In the match, he was partnered with King Kong Bundy.
He returned to ‘WWF’ in 1988 and got into feud with many members of the Heenan family. The Heenan family had joined hands with his nemesis, Andre the Giant. This enraged him and led to a rivalry with the Heenan family.
In 1989, he won the ‘Royal Rumble’ held at Houston. This was one of the most significant matches of his ‘WWF’ career. His last match in ‘WWF’ was supposed to be held on June 4, 1989, but he did not show up for the match and was replaced by Hillbilly Jim.
He fought his last wrestling match against The Honky Tonk Man at a promotional event.
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Other Endeavors
Minton made his acting debut in 1984 when he appeared as himself in the movie ‘Micki & Maude.’ He was a part of several other movies, such as ‘The Protector’ (1985), ‘Double Agent’ (1987), ‘Hyper Space’ (1989), ‘Caged In Paradiso’ (1990), ‘Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man’ (1991), ‘Shock ‘Em Dead’ (1991) and ‘The Marrying Man (1991).’ He made his television debut in an episode of ‘The A-Team’ in 1985.
Awards & Achievements
He won the ‘NWA Hawaii Tag Team Championship’, along with Buddy Rose. At ‘50th State Big Time Wrestling’, he won the ‘North American Heavyweight Championship’.
He won ‘NWA Florida Global Tag Team Championship’ with Jimmy Garvin at the ‘Championship Wrestling’ in Florida.
He also won ‘NWA Canadian Heavy Weight Championship’ at ‘Maple Leaf Wrestling’.
He won ‘Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship’ on four different occasions.
He won the ‘Pro-Wrestling Championship Tag Team of the Year’ with Killer Kowalski in 1976.
He won ‘WWA World Tag Team Championship’ with Ox Baker at the ‘World Wrestling Association’.
He won the ‘Royal Rumble’ match in 1989. He also won ‘WWWF World Tag Team Championship’ with ‘Executioner #1’ at the ‘World Wide Wrestling Federation’.
He was posthumously inducted into the ‘WCW’ (‘World Championship Wrestling’) and ‘WWE’ (‘World Wrestling Entertainment’) Hall of Fame in 1995 and 2004 respectively.
Personal Life
He married Donna Conklin in 1978 with whom he had three children – Janelle Minton, John Minton Jr., and Sean Minton. His son, Sean Minton Studd, is also trying to make a mark in the field of wrestling. He currently wrestles for ‘MCW’.
Minton passed away on March 20, 1995 at the age of 47. Prior to his death, he suffered from Hodgkin’s disease and liver cancer. He reportedly used steroids, which might’ve led to several health issues that he faced.

Big John Studd Movies

1. Micki + Maude (1984)

  (Romance, Comedy)

2. Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991)

  (Action, Western, Drama, Thriller, Crime)

3. The Protector (1985)

  (Action, Crime, Thriller)

4. The Marrying Man (1991)

  (Comedy, Music, Romance)

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