Dominic DeNucci

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Dominic DeNucci
Dominic DeNucci 2012.jpg
Birth nameDominic Nucciarone
Born (1932-01-23) January 23, 1932 (age 89)
Venice, Veneto, Italy
ResidenceFreedom, Pennsylvania, U.S
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Dominic DeNucci
Dominic Bravo[1]
Billed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Billed weight245 lb (111 kg)
Billed fromPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
RetiredApril 14, 2012

Dominic Nucciarone (born January 23, 1932), is an Italian-American retired professional wrestler and trainer better known under his ring name of Dominic DeNucci.[2] Former wrestling students include Mick Foley, Shane Douglas, Cody Michaels, Preston Steele and Brian Hildebrand.[3]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

As a youth he was an amateur Greco-Roman wrestler.

Early career (1958-1964)[edit]

He made his pro wrestling debut in 1958 in Montreal as the Masked Marvel. Also wrestled in Ottawa, Ontario.

In 1959, DeNucci started teaming with the original Dino Bravo as Dominic Bravo, a storyline/kayfabe brother as the two worked as a tag team in Canada in The Maritimes, Toronto and Winnipeg. They also worked in Ohio and Buffalo. The team headed west for Calgary wrestling for Stampede Wrestling starting in 1962.

DeNucci would keep the Bravo name until he left Stampede in 1963. He wrestled as Don DeNucci in the San Francisco territory in 1963 for a year.

World Championship Wrestling (Australia) (1964–1966, 1968, 1970)[edit]

In 1964, DeNucci made his debut in Australia for World Championship Wrestling. He feuded with Killer Kowalski. On November 7, 1964 he defeated Kowalski for the IWA World Heavyweight Championship in Melbourne. He dropped the title to Ray Stevens on January 9, 1965. A month he regained the title back by defeating Stevens. On March 10 he dropped the title again to Stevens. He continued feuding with Kowalski. On February 12, 1966 he won the title for third time defeating Kowalski. He held the title for 111 days until losing it to Toru Tanaka on June 3 in Sydney. Afterwards he teamed with Kowalski and his Italian friend Bruno Sammartino feuding with Toru Tanaka and Mitsu Arakawa.

On July 1, 1966 he teamed with Mark Lewin as they defeated Larry Hennig and Harley Race for the IWA World Tag Team Championship. They dropped the titles to Skull Murphy and Brute Bernard on July 15. After that DeNucci returned to North America.

In May 1968 he returned this time teaming with Antonio Pugliese as they defeated Skull Murphy and Killer Karl Kox to the IWA World Tag Team Titles. They dropped it to Killer Kowalski and Bill Miller. He found a new partner Mario Milano and they defeated Kowalski and Miller for the titles. Then they dropped the titles to Mikel Scicluna and Ciclón Negro.

In 1970 he made another return this time feuding with King Curtis Iaukea. On January 16 he won his fourth and final IWA World Heavyweight Championship defeating Iaukea. On March 25 he dropped the title to Iaukea.

Various promotions (1966–1978)[edit]

After he left Australia in 1966 he returned to North America wrestling in Vancouver, Canada for a year.

He wrestled in many territories in Cleveland, Buffalo, St. Louis, Chicago, and Big Time Wrestling in Detroit. Also he was very popular in the Michigan/Ohio territory in the early 1970s. As well as Toronto for Maple Leaf Wrestling from 1969-1978.

In 1974 he wrestled for Championship Wrestling from Florida where he won the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship with Tony Parisi defeating Dick Slater and Toru Tanaka. They dropped the titles in 1975 to Slater and J.J. Dillon.

Japan (1971, 1972, 1979-1981)[edit]

He in 1971 went to Japan for the first time to work for Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance. In 1972 he worked for Giant Baba's brand new All Japan Pro Wrestling as Don Denucci. He had a few matches with Baba unsuccessfully losing to him.

In 1979 he return to All Japan where he feuded with Dick Beyer, Jumbo Tsuruta, Kim Duk and Great Kojika. He left the promotion in 1981.

World Wide Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Federation (1967–1982)[edit]

He debuted in New York City in 1967. On June 18, 1971, DeNucci won his first World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) title, the WWWF International Tag Team Championship, with Bruno Sammartino by defeating The Mongols (Bepo and Geto Mongol).[4] They lost the title to The Mongols three days later.[4] On May 13, 1975, DeNucci and Victor Rivera won the WWWF World Tag Team Championship from Jimmy and Johnny Valiant.[5][6] In June, however, Rivera left the WWF, and Pat Barrett became DeNucci's replacement partner.[5][6] They lost the title approximately three months later to The Blackjacks on August 26.[5] DeNucci became a two-time WWWF World Tag Team Champion when he and his partner Dino Bravo defeated Professor Tanaka and Mr. Fuji on March 14, 1978.[5] They held the title until June 26 when they dropped it to The Yukon Lumberjacks.[5] DeNucci also unsuccessfully challenged inaugural WWF Intercontinental Champion Pat Patterson on a number of occasions for the IC belt in 1979 and 1980. Later he became a jobber. He left the company in 1982 after 15 years.

Later career (1982-1987)[edit]

After leaving the WWF, DeNucci returned to Toronto and wrestled there for a year. From 1984 to 1985 he wrestled for Lutte Internationale in Montreal and American Wrestling Association in Minnesota.

On November 16, 1987 he returned to the World Wrestling Federation for a one night appearance at a house show in East Rutherford, New Jersey participating in a Legends Battle Royal won by Lou Thesz. After that he retired form wrestling at 55 years old.

Sporadic Appearances (1990s)[edit]

During the 1990s DeNucci wrestled only five times. The first was a loss to Johnny Valiant by disqualification on November 9, 1990 at an event in Chesterland, Ohio.

Then he defeated Johnny Hotbody on April 4, 1993 at Maccabiah Mania in Livingston, New Jersey.

On May 13, 1994 he defeated Lord Zoltan at an IWA event in Warren, Ohio.

On June 7, 1996 DeNucci reunited with Tony Parisi as they defeated Bruiser Bedlam and Danny Johnson at the Ilio DiPaolo Memorial Show in Buffalo, New York.

Then on July 30, 1999 he defeated Lord Zoltan at Curtis Comes Home event in Rostraver, Pennsylvania. The show paid tribute to DeNucci's student Mark Curtis who died from cancer.

Return to Wrestling: Independent Circuit (2005-2012)[edit]

In 2005, DeNucci came out of retirement at age 73. On August 27, 2005 he lost to Ivan Koloff in a Russian Chain match at WrestleReunion 2 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He wrestled in the independent circuit in Pennsylvania for the rest of his career. Also he made appearances as a referee and manager.

On March 24, 2007 he defeated Larry Zbyszko at International Wrestling Cartel's Night of Legends 3 in Franklin, Pennsylvania. He had Bruno Sammartino in his corner as a manager.

On May 3, 2009 he teamed up with students Shane Douglas and Cody Michaels as they defeated J.J. Dillon, Lou Marconi and Frank Stalletto at Deaf Wrestlefest in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

He wrestled his last singles match on May 29, 2009 defeating Samuel Elias by count out at Far North Wrestling in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

He wrestled his final match on April 14, 2012 in Toronto, teaming with his protege Shane Douglas to defeat Lord Zoltan and Shawn Blanchard at Pro Wrestling Superstars.[7]

Professional wrestling trainer[edit]

After ending his career as an active professional wrestler, he trained Moondog Spot, Mick Foley, Shane Douglas, Preston Steele and Brian Hildebrand among others.[3][8] DeNucci is featured in Mick Foley: "Madman Unmasked", where he is seen training Mick Foley and reminiscing about Foley in the days of his training. He is also featured prominently in the opening chapters of Mick Foley's autobiography, Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. DeNucci was profiled on the fourth episode of the podcast, Titans of Wrestling. In 2012 he was inducted in the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Personal life[edit]

DeNucci can speak at least four languages: English, French, Spanish, and Italian.[9] He has a son named Tony DeNucci who is also a professional wrestler. In June 2020, DeNucci experienced heart issues and was hospitalized.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


  1. ^ "Dino Bravo". OWW. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
  2. ^ Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.74)
  3. ^ a b Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.66-68, 80)
  4. ^ a b c "WWWF International Tag Team Championship History". Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "History of the World Tag Team Championship". Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  6. ^ a b c "WWE World Tag Team Title". Retrieved 2007-05-11.
  7. ^ "Dominic DeNucci > Matches".
  8. ^ Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
  9. ^ Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.75)
  10. ^ Hoops, Brian (January 18, 2019). "Pro wrestling history (01/18): Ivan Koloff defeats Bruno Sammartino for WWWF title". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  11. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  12. ^ "W.W.A. World Tag Team Title (Indianapolis)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
  13. ^ "West Virginia Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.


  • Mick Foley (2000). Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. HarperCollins. p. 511. ISBN 0-06-103101-1.

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