Memories of Studio Wrestling
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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 

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 finishers.

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 participated in.

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 around 1972.

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 his opponents.

Hunt generally didn't get above the second or third bout on a house card. No matter who he faced he was always in the match.

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 early 70's.

Hunt is still alive and living in Pittsburgh. 

Frank Holtz

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 his size.

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 Pennsylvania. 

Ace Freeman 

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 Masked Destroyer.

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 

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 rarely won.

Martoni at one point was the mayor of Swissvale.

Martoni is alive & well living in Pittsburgh. 

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 a match.

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 

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 

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 1973.

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 team titles

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 guy.

Grabmire was a low to mid card heel and was known for taking the tag rope and tried to strangle his opponent with it.

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 retiring.

Jim Grabmire passed away in 1997. 

Ron Romano 

Ron Romano competed on Studio wrestling from 1964-1969.

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 

Larry Zbyszko was trained by the living legend Bruno Sammartino.

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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