WWE Hall of Famer Baron Mikel Scicluna died over the weekend after a battle with liver cancer. He was 80.

When I was watching wrestling as kid in the '70s and early '80s, Scicluna was one of the "glorified jobbers" in the WWWF/WWF. He always put over the stars on television, but at the arena shows it was not uncommon for Scicluna to defeat other preliminary wrestlers (as they were referred to at the time).Despite his less-than-impressive win-loss record, Scicluna was a distinctive heel character. He wore a red cape into the ring and, to my knowledge, is the only wrestler to hail from The Isle of Malta.

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A staple of Scicluna's act was that he would use a foreign object and then conceal it in various places – in his trunks, his boot, his mouth, under his arm, etc. – as he played a shell game with the referee. Another unique thing about Scicluna was that he would always sell his ear no matter what move he was on the receiving end of.

I watched Scicluna wrestle in person numerous times at The Baltimore Civic Center. His matches were never high on the card, but he always got a heated reaction from the crowd. Scicluna would often engage in entertaining verbal exchanges with the regulars at ringside.

He was indirectly involved in a famous angle in 1976. Scicluna was wrestling Gorilla Monsoon at a WWWF TV taping when boxing great Muhammad Ali, who was seated at ringside, began yelling at Monsoon. Scicluna, who had been tossed from the ring by Monsoon, threw up his arms in disgust and walked back to the dressing room as Ali proceeded to get into the ring and mix it up with Monsoon. The confrontation ended with Monsoon giving Ali an airplane spin and dumping him to the mat.

While I only saw Scicluna during the latter part of his career, he was a star in the '60s and early '70s and wrestled all over the world. He challenged both Bruno Sammartino and Pedro Morales for the WWWF title and was a co-holder of the WWWF tag team title with King Curtis Iaukea (managed by Capt. Lou Albano).

Scicluna retired in 1983 after 30 years in the ring. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996 by Monsoon.

My condolences to Scicluna's family and friends.

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