Vito LoGrasso

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Vito LoGrasso
Vito Lo Grasso 2013.jpg
Lo Grasso, aka Big Vito, making his entrance at a show in March 2013
Born (1964-06-18) June 18, 1964 (age 50)[1]
Brooklyn, New York
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Skull Von Krush[2]
Von Krus
Vito Krus[2]
Vito LoGrasso[2]
Big Vito[2]
Vito
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[2]
Billed weight 249 lb (113 kg)[2]
Billed from

Little Italy, Manhattan, New York,

Staten Island, New York
Trained by Johnny Rodz[2]
Debut 1990[2]

Vito Joseph LoGrasso[1] (born June 18, 1964)[1] is an American professional wrestler, of Italian origin, best known for his work in World Championship Wrestling as Big Vito and more recently World Wrestling Entertainment and working for their "developmental territories" Ohio Valley Wrestling and Deep South Wrestling as Vito.[2]

Career[edit]

Independent & World Wrestling Federation (1990-1993)[edit]

LoGrasso started wrestling in 1990 on the independent circuit until being approached by NOW Wrestling Federation, based in Japan. He worked there for a while and then returned to the states in 1991 and became a jobber in the WWF. He wrestled on early editions of WWF Monday Night Raw as "Von Krus", a generic big wrestler who began with a subtly "evil foreigner" gimmick. He faced such superstars as Bret Hart and The Undertaker. Vito then went on to work in the USWA and WWC.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1999)[edit]

After a lot of success in those promotions, Vito met up with extreme wrestler Tazz at a gym, and was able to get him hired in ECW. When he started in ECW, he changed his name to Vito "The Skull" LoGrasso and became a member of "Da Baldies" stable, who in the storyline, claimed to be an offshoot of a real life New York street gang, and as such took issue with New Jack calling himself a "Gangsta" and began a feud with him.[2] Vito worked a couple of shows with the now defunct LIWF with Billy Alaimo and was on the Junkyard Dog memorial show in a casket match at The Elks Lodge in Queens, New York.

World Championship Wrestling (1999–2001)[edit]

In 1999 Vito left ECW for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) where he teamed with Johnny the Bull as The Mamalukes.[3] Managed by Tony Marinara The Mamalukes captured the WCW World Tag Team Championship twice, and were, in storyline, jointly awarded the WCW Hardcore Championship.[2] After being awarded the championship, however, Vito and Johnny were forced to face each other in a match to crown one champion, which Vito won.[2]

In WCW Vito was billed from Staten Island, New York, which is where he actually grew up, not the later WWE work Little Italy.

In December 2000, the Mamalukes reunited and teamed together until March 2001, when WCW was acquired by the WWF. After the acquisition, Vito was one of the wrestlers who was lost in the shuffle, neither becoming a part of The Invasion nor taking one of the large ticket buyouts offered.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2004)[edit]

Vito also had a brief run in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in late-2004 with Glenn Gilbertti, Trinity and Johnny Swinger as the "New York Connection".[4] His only feud was with "Irish" Pat Kenney, in which they exchanged victories.[5][6]

World Wrestling Entertainment (2005–2007)[edit]

In early 2005, Vito worked dark matches for the now renamed World Wrestling Entertainment and signed a contract with them in July.[7] He was assigned to their Ohio Valley Wrestling developmental territory for several months until he was ready to be called up to the main roster.

Vito made his debut on WWE television on the August 6 episode of WWE Velocity, where he helped Nunzio win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship from Paul London.[8] Together Vito and Nunzio reformed the Full Blooded Italians stable, acting mostly as a tag team together on Velocity with scattered appearances on SmackDown!.[2]

Vito and Nunzio turned heel once again (after a short flirtation with being faces with a brief feud against then-heel, Gregory Helms) in March 2006 under an angle in which Vito announced that he wanted to be recognized as a "Godfather" and he would wear a blazer and glasses.

Beginning in May, various wrestlers such as Orlando Jordan and Paul Burchill began approaching Nunzio in backstage situations and spreading rumors that they had, in storyline, seen Vito in public places in various forms of cross-dress.[9][10] Nunzio originally wouldn't hear of any such thing until the June 2 SmackDown! when Vito came down the ramp, in a dress, to collect Nunzio after losing a match.[11] The next week, after arguing about Vito's clothing choices, the two former friends faced each other in a match which Vito won after hitting Nunzio with The Code of Silence.[12] Not long after, Nunzio joined the ECW brand, leaving Vito on SmackDown! alone.[13]

The idea for the gimmick (which was said to come from Vito himself, but was in actuality Stephanie McMahon's idea) seemed to originate on The Sopranos, who also had a character named Vito who had recently been outed as a homosexual (though he was never seen in women's clothing).

Regardless of his passion for cross dressing, Vito continually explained that he was a straight man; including one instance of asking Diva Ashley Massaro out on a date while wearing a dress, to which she agreed.[14] After this he began to "have more fun" during his matches, running around and waving his dresses and otherwise interacting with the fans, turning him once again face.[15] As the gimmick took off various people began kayfabe voicing problems with a man wrestling while wearing a dress, including color commentator John "Bradshaw" Layfield (who refused to do commentary with him) and wrestlers Montel Vontavious Porter[16] and William Regal[17] who (kayfabe) threatened SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long with a sexual harassment lawsuit to get out of a match with Vito.[18] At the same time, WWE began to "censor" any incidents of Vito's dress raising and exposing his (bethonged) buttocks. Despite his detractors, once he started wearing a dress Vito began an undefeated streak which didn't end until over four months later when he was defeated by Elijah Burke after interference from his partner Sylvester Terkay.

On November 2, 2006 WWE.com announced that Vito would be posing (non-nude) for the April 2007 edition of Playgirl. On May 15, 2007, Vito was released from his WWE contract.[19]

Deep South Wrestling (2007-2008)[edit]

Vito defeated champion Bradley Jay and Ryan O'Reilly in a three-way round robin match to win the DSW Heavyweight Championship on January 25, 2007.[2] Almost immediately upon winning the title he underwent a gimmick change, losing the dress and instead adopting martial arts-style trunks, a headband, and wrestling without shoes.[2] When asked on DSW TV he announced that he changed his style of dress because his opponents were citing it as a distraction and claiming his clothing was the reason they were losing to him. The look was briefly shown during the Lumberjack tag match on Sunday Night Heat at WrestleMania 23, between Carlito and Ric Flair against Chavo Guerrero and Gregory Helms, Vito was grouped with the face lumberjacks. He held the title until February 22, when he lost it back to Bradley Jay.[2]

Independent Circuit (2009-Present)[edit]

Vito has appeared at numerous events across the East Coast of the United States. On March 12, 2011, he wrestled "Bulldog" James Dylan at an Atomic Championship Wrestling event. He also formed a new tag team with Tate Hammer known as The Skull Von Hammer brothers, who defeated Jon Dahmer and Ryan Slater in a tag match at the same event. He has also wrestled on various tours of Europe with Irish Whip Wrestling. Several people he has mentored over the last two years have been signed to WWE Developmental deals.

Ring Warriors (2013-present)[edit]

On September 2013, LoGrasso debuted in Ring Warriors as the leader of The Slambinos stable.

Personal life[edit]

Vito's girlfriend is wrestling personality, and model Noel Harlow. The occasionally work together in the US, where she is billed as "Lil Noel" as a play on his "Big Vito" name.[20] Vito and Noel announced via their joint Twitter account,their engagement February 11, 2011.

On March 6, 2014, it was reported that Vito was injured in a mishap and had to be rushed into emergency surgery. He was released from a Florida hospital several days later.

September 27th, 2014, Vito married his longtime girlfriend Noel Harlow according to Gerwick.net

Current[edit]

Vito continues to travel the world; performing in France,Italy, Malta, Nepal, and Canada, as well as wrestling in the US for ISPW, ACPW, ACW, PWX,DTW, and Wrestling for a Cause in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Vito's tour March 2010 of Nepal makes him the first former ECW, WCW, TNA, WWE, Superstar to work in that country. There he was involved in a riot involving 4,000 people that made international news and became an internet viral video.

February 24, 2011, He returned to defeat the Himalayan Tiger in Kathmandu, Nepal for the Golden Cine Professional Wrestling Show held at the Dasharath Stadium in front of 20,000 people, to be come the first ever Profession Wrestling Champion of Nepal.[21] On March 1, 2011 Vito presence was requested by the US Embassy of Nepal . He was greeted and congratulated by the councilor of public affairs of US embassy to Nepal, Terry J. White and staff .

Vito is well known for his charity work for Children's Hospitals, Autism Awareness, and Homes for Soldiers. He also is a public speaker and mentor, speaking at numerous schools and events throughout the country.

July 2012, Vito has joined the fight to save the Pa771 ROTC in Coatesville, Pa. He helped raise money and awareness of the local program that does over 400 hours of community service per year. It was announced in August 2012 the program was saved.

July and August 2012, Vito began filming the feature film "Apnea" set to release Fall 2013. February and March 2013, Vito began filming "The Church" with Clint Howard and Bill Mosley. Vito is set to film Rumble Rama with Gene Sninsky June 2013

March 2, 2013 Vito made his ring return wrestling in Canada for the ECW Hardcore Roadtrip teaming with Nunzio against Pitbull Gary Wolfe and Balls. He also faced Al Snow earlier on the card. August 2013 Vito opened a wrestling school in Clearwater, Fl and launched a website BigVito.com

On September 19, 2013, Vito appeared in Ring Warriors as the leader of the stable The Slambinos.

On September 18, 2013, LoGrasso announced his relationship between his wrestling school and Dragon Gate USA, as the Farm territorie.[22]

In wrestling[edit]

  • Nicknames

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Atomic Championship Wrestling
    • ACW Tristate Championship (1 time)
  • American Championship Pro Wrestling
    • ACPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time, current)
  • Big Time Wrestling
    • BTW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • European Wrestling Promotion
    • Ironman Hardcore Knockout Tournament (2002)
  • Golden Cine Professional Wrestling
    • Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship of Nepal (1 time)
  • Midwest Championship Wrestling Alliance
    • MCWA Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Helmut Hessler[27]
  • United States Extreme Wrestling
    • UXW United States Championship (1 time)[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Individual's Charge Report - LOGRASSO,VITO JOSEPH". Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Big Vito". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  3. ^ "The Mamalukes". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  4. ^ "NWA: Total Nonstop Action PPV; July 14, 2004 - Nashville, Tennessee - Aired Live". Online World of Wrestling. 2004-07-14. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  5. ^ "NWA: Total Nonstop Action PPV; July 21, 2004 - Nashville, Tennessee - Aired Live". Online World of Wrestling. 2004-07-21. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  6. ^ "NWA: Total Nonstop Action PPV; August 4, 2004 - Nashville, Tennessee - Aired Live". Online World of Wrestling. 2004-08-04. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  7. ^ "WWE SmackDown! Results - February 24, 2005". Online World of Wrestling. 2005-02-24. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  8. ^ "WWE SmackDown! Results - August 4, 2005". Online World of Wrestling. 2005-08-04. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  9. ^ "Tragic Homecoming". WWE. 2006-05-12. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  10. ^ "Seeing red". WWE. 2006-05-19. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  11. ^ "All hail the king". WWE. 2006-06-02. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  12. ^ "Hell week continues". WWE. 2006-06-09. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  13. ^ "An Extreme Debut". WWE. 2006-06-13. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  14. ^ Dee, Louie (2006-06-23). "Family tradition". WWE. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  15. ^ "Lashley reigns supreme". WWE. 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  16. ^ "Friday knightmare". WWE. 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  17. ^ "Signing Bonus". WWE. 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  18. ^ "All the King's men". WWE. 2006-09-08. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  19. ^ "Vito released". WWE. 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  20. ^ Big Vito's online world of wrestling Profile
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ http://www.pwinsiderxtra.com/ViewArticle.php?id=26221
  23. ^ a b c d e f World Championship Wrestling (1999-12-19). "Disco Inferno & Lash Leroux Vs The Mamalukes /w Tony Marinara". WCW Starrcade.
  24. ^ a b World Championship Wrestling (2000-01-24). "Flair, Crowbar & Daffney hijack announce table; Fit Finlay & Brian Knobs vs. The Mamalukes w/Disco Inferno". WCW Monday Nitro.
  25. ^ a b "The Mamalukes profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  26. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITkSgpXN20s
  27. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 

External links[edit]