of Studio Wrestling
Wiic TV Channel 11
The lineup of wrestlers on Studio Wrestling was
made up of many local wrestlers.
Besides Bruno Sammartino the following
wrestlers participated sometime between 1960 - 1974.
Johnny DeFazio started in the early 1960's and
continued through the entire run of Studio Wrestling.
DeFazio's early opponents included Chet Walik,
Jim Grabmire & T.N.T. Napolitean.
DeFazio used the cradle and sunset flip as
DeFazio started out as a prelim guy the first
year or two and then moved up to the second or third bout on a house
card and by 1967 he had become the Jr. Heavyweight Champion
defeating Paul DeGalles.
In 1972 DeFazio teamed with Geeto Mongol to win
the local version of the Tag Team Title defeating Tarzan Tyler &
Crazy Luke Graham.
By the mid 1970's Johnny DeFazio was only
wrestling Civic Arena and other house shows and would generally be
up against a mid level Wwf star.
DeFazio had one last feud with Dr. Bill Miller,
Miller had been wrestling as a fan favorite and turned on DeFazio
after having a 10 minute draw.
In the late 70's DeFazio had some memorable but
losing matches against the Great Hossein, Cowboy Bobby Duncum &
Sgt. Slaughter. These were some of the most physical matches he ever
Victories were few and far between from 1975 to
1985 when he retired.
DeFazio is alive & well in Pittsburgh and
is still affiliated with labor unions.
Bobby Hurricane Hunt
Bobby Hurricane Hunt started out in the early
1960's as a prelim wrestler on Studio Wrestling nd continued until
Hunt received small pushes mainly in tag team
matches during the 1960's.
Hunt teamed with Bobo Brazil on a number of
occasions with mixed results. One of the most memorable was a 1964
bout as Brazil & Hunt took on Baron Gattoni & Klondike Bill,
Hunt made a nice accounting of himself but could not beat either of
Hunt generally didn't get above the second or
third bout on a house card. No matter who he faced he was always in
Hunt wrestled as a babyface and used the drop
kick as a finisher.
Hurricane Hunt's opponents included Jim
Grabmire, Frank Durso, & Ron Romano.
Hunt teamed with Johnny DeFazio in the late
60's with moderate success.
A very memorable match from the Wwwf sydicated
show had Hurricane Hunt fact Tony Marino the Battman, this was a
very good scientific match.
Hurricane Hunt retired after an injury in the
Hunt is still alive and living in Pittsburgh.
Frank Holtz, the fighting cop from Carnegie
competed on Studio Wrestling from the mid 1960's through the end of
the run in 1974 and worked a few house shows till 1978.
Holtz was a big guy, about 270 pounds and used
the bearhug and body slam and press as a finisher.
Holtz was mainly a prelim wrestler but at times
would move up to the third match on the house show just because of
Holtz never really got a push, probably because
of his availability as a policemen.
A few memorable matches of Frank Holtz was his
1965 draw against Ron Romano & and an early 70's Wwwf syndicated
bout vs Prof. Tanaka. In a rare instance when Tanaka broke clean
Holtz came off and kicked Tanaka and then gave him 2 powerful
bodyslams. In the post match interview Tanaka said Holtz was his
toughest opponent ever.
Frank Holtz was injured in the line duty as a
policeman in the ealry 80's.
Holtz is still alive & lives in rural
Ace Freeman particiapted on Studio Wrestling
during its entire run.
Freeman was an experienced wrestler who by the
time Studio Wrestling hit was getting up in age but Ace stayed
pretty active till 1966 and then took a few bouts in 67 & 68.
Freeman was a mid level babyface wrestler who
won most of his Tv matches but lost most of his house show matches.
Freeman teamed with Johnny DeFazio during the
mid 60's and had some success as a team.
The most memorable match for Ace Freeman was a
six man tag at the Civic Arena as he teamed with Chief White Owl
& Johnny DeFazio and took on Duke Hoffman, Ron Romano & the
Freeman took over running the booking office in
the 1970's and stayed involved with wrestling till the early 90's.
Ace Freeman passed away in 2002, he was 87.
Chuck Martoni appeared on Studio Wrestling and
wrestled for a couple of years. He made an occasional appearance in
the mid to late 60's.
Martoni was a prelim babyface wrestler who
Martoni at one point was the mayor of
Martoni is alive & well living in
Killer Joe Abby/The Red Demon
Killer Joe Abby started on Studio wrestling and
stayed throughout the run.
Abby was a prelim heel wrestler and rarely won
During the 70's he donned a mask as the Red
Demon, he continued to wrestle until 1985.
Joe Abby passed away in 1996.
Ron Mattucci appeared on Studio Wrestling in
the late 60's & early 70's.
Mattucci was a prelim babyface wrestler and
generally appeared in the first or second match on a house card.
Mattucci went on to become a school teacher.
Not sure if Ron Mattucci is still alive.
Frank Durso was a prelim heel wrestler who
competed from the early 60's to the mid 70's.
Durso was from Greensburg but most of the time
it was announced he was from New York.
Durso wrestled Johnny Defazio, Hurricane Hunt
& other local wrestlers dozens of time.
It is believed that Durso is still alive.
John L. Sullivan
John L Sullivan started out as a prelim
babyface wrestler around 1967 and stayed on Studio Wrestling till
Sullivan worked the first or second match of a
house card his first 3 years. One difference with Sullivan is that
he appeared on Msg shows dating back to 1967.
About 1972 Sullivan showed signs of turning
heel, by 1973 he was 100% heel.
In one of his last bouts he teamed with Killer
Kowalski and wrestled Larry Zbyszko & Bruno Sammartino.
In 1973 he formed a team with Jimmy Valiant and
Sullivan became Johnny Valiant.
In 1974 the Valiant Brothers won the Wwwf Tag
After his retirement from the ring Johnny
Valiant did a stand up comedy act.
Hangman Jim Grabmire
Jim Grabmire was actually from Springfield Ohio
but he appeared on Studio Wrestling so often he was like a local
Grabmire was a low to mid card heel and was
known for taking the tag rope and tried to strangle his opponent
Grabmire rarely won in the Pittsburgh area but
was a pretty good overall wrestler and had a much better win/loss
record outside of Pittsburgh.
Grabmire was always in top shape and could
wrestle a 30 minute match with no problem.
Grabmire was also good enough to fill in for
some top talent who couldn't make the show.
Grabmire wrestled for about 30 years before
Jim Grabmire passed away in 1997.
Ron Romano competed on Studio wrestling from
Romano was a low to mid level heel and formed a
tag team with veteran wrestler Duke Hoffman.
Romano is died in the early 2000's.
Larry Zbyszko was trained by the living legend
Zbyszko started on Studio Wrestling in 1972 and
entered the Wwwf in 1974 and was the rookie of the year.
Zbyszko was a mid card to headline babyface for
most of the 1970's.
Zbyszko had formed a successful partnership
with Tony Garea.
In 1979 Zbyszko challenged Bruno Sammartino to
a match on Tv, during this match Zbyszko turned on Bruno Sammartino.
Bruno got revenge in a number of rematches.
Zbyszko went on to compete in the Nwa & Awa
in the 80's & 90's.
Zbyszko retired from active wrestling just a
few years ago.
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