Earlier today, news arose that Thomas “Tiny” Lister Jr., actor and professional wrestling star, passed away. In addition to roles in films including “The Dark Knight,” “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” and most notably, “Friday,” Lister worked for the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling during the 1990s. The news of Lister’s passing was first broken by TMZ before being confirmed by additional outlets.
Thomas Lister Jr. appeared in the 1989 film “No Holds Barred,” which featured Joan Severance, Kurt Fuller, and the WWF’s biggest star at the time, Hulk Hogan. In the film, Lister played the role of its antagonist, Zeus. In an interesting media crossover, Lister would appear as Zeus in the WWF. In storyline, he feuded primarily with Hogan, the storyline reason being jealousy over his rival’s top billing. This would ultimately lead to a main event match at SummerSlam 1989. In this match, Zeus teamed with “Macho Man” Randy Savage in a losing effort to Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) December 11, 2020
Lister remained with the WWF until 1990, even joining forces with Ted DiBiase and The Million Dollar Team en route to Survivor Series 1989. From there, he made his way to the World Wrestling Council, based out of Puerto Rico. All the while, he retained the Zeus character. In July of 1990, he wrestled Abdullah the Butcher at the WWC’s Capitol Sports Promotions 17th Aniversario event.
The final promotion Lister wrestled for was WCW, where he debuted in the mid-90s. Not unlike the time he spent in the WWF, Lister’s focus was on his storyline rival, Hogan. Dropping the Zeus moniker, Lister would become known as Z-Gangsta in WCW. Lister’s only WCW match took place at Uncensored 1996. In the main event, he joined The Alliance to End Hulkamania in a Doomsday Cage Match. Though Z-Gangsta was part of an eight-man team, he was unsuccessful in defeating opponents Hogan and Savage.
WWE is saddened to learn that Tom "Tiny" Lister, known as Zeus to the WWE Universe, passed away today at age 62.https://t.co/ZhueFZ2hDw
— WWE (@WWE) December 11, 2020
The staff at Last Word on Pro Wrestling wish to offer their condolences to the friends, family, and loved ones of Thomas Lister Jr.
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