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
Birth name Vito Joseph LoGrasso
Born (1964-06-18) June 18, 1964 (age 52)[1]
Brooklyn, New York
Spouse(s) Noel Harlow (m. 2014)
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]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Independent circuit (1990–1993)[edit]

LoGrasso started wrestling in 1990 on the independent circuit until being approached by NOW Wrestling Federation, based in Japan. Vito then went on to work in the USWA and WWC using the name Skull Von Krush.

World Wrestling Federation (1991–1993)[edit]

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.

Memphis Wrestling (1994)[edit]

1994 Vito debuted in USWA as Skull Von Krush managed by Lee Womack. He feuded with Brian Christopher, Spell Binder, and Jeff Gaylord. On March 7, 1994 Memphis Memories show. Vito, as Skull Von Krush, teamed with Danny Davis & Ken Wayne in a six-man tag match at a USWA show in Memphis to defeat the team of Jeff Gaylord, King Cobra & Spellbinder. He also later attacked Jerry Lawler.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1999)[edit]

After a lot of success in those promotions, Vito met up with extreme wrestler Tazz at Johnny Rodz training school, who was able to get him a try out in ECW. When he started in ECW, he was still using the name Skull Von Krush. He later 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.

On the November 19, 1999 edition of ECW Wrestling on TNN, LoGrasso was pinned in a tag team match where the loser of the fall was forced to leave the company.

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.

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]

Return to WWE[edit]

The Full Blooded Italians and Singles competition (2004–2007)[edit]

In early 2005, Vito worked in various dark matches with Val Venis before signing a contract with WWE in June.[7]

On the August 6, 2005 episode of WWE Velocity, Vito made his WWE debut, where he helped Nunzio win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship from Paul London.[8] Vito and Nunzio would then reform as The Full Blooded Italians, wrestling in various tag team matches.[2] After a brief feud with Gregory Helms, in March 2006, Vito and Nunzio would turn heel, after Vito announced he wanted to be recognized as a "Godfather".

Beginning in May, various superstars such as Orlando Jordan and Paul Burchill would approach Nunzio, spreading rumours that they had seen Vito in public places in various forms of cross-dress.[9][10] On the June 2, 2006, episode of WWE SmackDown, after Nunzio would be defeated by Matt Hardy, Vito, wearing a dress, would come out to help Nunzio backstage.[11] The following week on SmackDown, after arguing about Vito's clothing choices, the two would have a match against each other, where Vito would defeat Nunzio.[12] Shortly after, Nunzio would join the ECW brand, leaving Vito on SmackDown, officially disbanding the team.[13]

Despite him cross dressing, Vito would continually explain that he was a straight man; as on the June 23 episode of SmackDown, Vito would ask Ashley Massaro out on a date, which she agreed too.[14] Vito would then begin 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] During this time, Montel Vontavious Porter[16] and William Regal,[17] as well as SmackDown color commentator JBL, began to voice their problems with a man wrestling in a dress. Both MVP and Regal would threaten 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. Vito would then begin an undefeated streak, which would last over four months until the October 21 episode of SmackDown, when Vito was defeated by Elijah Burke after interference from his partner Sylvester Terkay. On the November 3 episode of SmackDown, Vito would team with Layla in a losing effort against The Miz and Kristal.

On May 15, 2007, Vito was released from his WWE contract.[19]

Deep South Wrestling (2007)[edit]

On January 25, 2007, Vito would win the Deep South Heavyweight Championship after defeating former champion Bradley Jay and Ryan O'Reilly in a three-way round robin match.[2] After his title win, Vito would then undergo a gimmick change, as he began wearing martial arts-style trunks, a headband, and wrestling without shoes, with Vito later explaining that the only reason he won matches was because his opponents were claiming that him wearing a dress was a distraction.[2] Vito would briefly return in his new gimmick when he appeared as a lumberjack on the episode of WWE Heat before WrestleMania 23, in a tag team match between Carlito and Ric Flair against Chavo Guerrero and Gregory Helms. On February 22, Vito re-lost the title to Jay.[2]

Return to the independent circuit (2009–present)[edit]

Vito (left) and James Maritato in 2013.

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.

He has also wrestled on various tours of Europe with Irish Whip Wrestling.

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 become the first ever Profession Wrestling Champion of Nepal.[20] 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.

On March 12, 2011, he wrestled "Bulldog" James Dylan, who works for the DDP Yoga association, at an Atomic Championship Wrestling event and was victorious . 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.

March 2, 2013 Vito made an appearance 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 as Skull Von Krush.

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 territory.[21]

Summer of 2014 Vito continued to wrestle in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Vito again appeared with the Ring Warriors in April 2015 as the manager of the Slambinos. This was his first appearance since filing suit against the WWE. LoGrasso did not wrestle at the event.

Acting career[edit]

Lograsso had a minor role as Bodo in the Science fiction film The Survivor.[22] 2014 returned on screen in a leading role in the Horror thriller film The Church, who starred on the side of Clint Howard, Bill Moseley, Lisa Wilcox and Ashley C. Williams.[23] He is also set in the role of Ricardo Lewis in the upcoming Action thriller film Apnea, who also will work besides his acting as Stunt coordinator.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Vito married former wrestling personality, and model Noel Harlow LoGrasso on September 27, 2014 according to Gerwick.net. They previously worked together in the US, where she was billed as "Lil Noel" as a play on his "Big Vito" name.[25]

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.

Lograsso filed a class action lawsuit against WWE in January 2015 with former WWE developmental star Adam Mercer in Pennsylvania. Lograsso claims that he suffers from serious neurological damage, chief complaint being deafness as a result of concussions sustained while wrestling for WWE.[26]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

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. ^ [1]
  21. ^ http://www.pwinsiderxtra.com/ViewArticle.php?id=26221
  22. ^ Vito LoGrasso at the Internet Movie Database
  23. ^ The Church stars horror icon Bill Moseley (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 & 3 , The Devil’s Rejects), Lisa Wilcox (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and 5), Ashley C. Williams (The Human Centipede, Julia), Keith Stallworth (Step Up 3D), Clint Howard (Halloween, Cinderella Man), and former WWE superstar Vito
  24. ^ "Big Vito" Lograsso Wraps Up Filming Thriller Film - PR.com
  25. ^ Big Vito's online world of wrestling Profile
  26. ^ "SAT. UPDATE: Big Vito & Adam Mercer sue WWE, More on Daniel Bryan's Recovery, Lots of TV Notes, and More". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. January 17, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b c d e f World Championship Wrestling (1999-12-19). "Disco Inferno & Lash Leroux Vs The Mamalukes /w Tony Marinara". WCW Starrcade. 
  28. ^ 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. 
  29. ^ a b "The Mamalukes profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  30. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITkSgpXN20s
  31. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 

External links[edit]