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Gorilla Monsoon


Name: - Gorilla Monsoon
Height: - 6'5” (196cm)
Weight: - 401lb (182kg)
Born: - 4 June, 1937
From: - New York City, NY
Debut: - 1959
Retired: - 1982
Died: - 6 October, 1999 (heart failure)
Finishers: - Airplane spin, Manchurian splash
Also known as: - Gino Marella

Toured Australia: - 1968

Was an accomplished amateur wrestler, footballer and athlete. Turned pro in 1959, working for Pedro Martinez in upstate New York. Began working for Vince McMahon Sr. at the start of WWWF in 1963, first as a face (Gino Marella), then growing a beard, taking Bobby Davis as a manager, and becoming heel Gorilla Monsoon from Manchuria.

Began a running feud with Bruno Sammartino, which continued through the 60s. Came to Australia in 1968, swapping the IWA World title with Spiros Arion.

Turned face in WWWF after running in to save Bruno from an attack by Crazy Luke Graham, and became one of the company's most loved personalities for the rest of his career, and life. Wrestled Superstar Billy Graham for the WWWF title in 1977, and toured Puerto Rico, inning the North American title there.

After he retired, he became a commentator, doing duties first with Jesse Ventura, then with Bobby Heenan. Was appointed WWF on-screen “President” in 1995, replacing Jack Tunney, but relinquished the role in 1997 due to poor health. Was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1994.

The WWE character, “Santino Marella” was named in tribute to Monsoon.

Titles held: - IWA World Hwt, WWC North American Hwt (2), (LA) WWA World Tag (2, w/ Crazy Luke Graham, / El Mongol), WWWF US Tag (2, w/ Killer Kowalski, w/ Bill Watts)

Gorilla Monsoon v Ken Patera (retirement match), WWF 1980

Credit: Mark Dalgleish, Wikipedia, Libnan Ayoub's 100 Years of Australian Professional Wrestling
Photo credit: