Joseph Anthony Marella (February 28, 1963 – July 4, 1994) was an American professional wrestling referee for the World Wrestling Federation and the adopted son of former wrestler and then WWF announcer Gorilla Monsoon (Robert Marella) from Willingboro Township, New Jersey.
|Birth name||Joseph Anthony Marella|
|Born||February 28, 1963|
Willingboro Township, New Jersey, United States
|Died||July 4, 1994 (aged 31)|
New Jersey Turnpike near Willingboro, New Jersey
|Family||Gorilla Monsoon (father)|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Joey Marella|
World Wrestling Federation (1983–1994)Edit
Joey Marella joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1983, and moved through the ranks until he was often assigned to referee feature promotion matches. In 1987, he served as the referee for the much-hyped match between Hulk Hogan and André the Giant at WrestleMania III as well as their rematch in 1988 at Wrestlemania IV. Marella was also the official for the 1992 SummerSlam main event of Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith at London's famous Wembley Stadium. Marella was briefly suspended for a substance abuse problem in 1993 and then later re-hired. He was also part of the controversy at the 1994 Royal Rumble match in which he and former WWF referee Earl Hebner couldn't decide between Lex Luger and Bret Hart as to who had won the match.
During Marella's career as a WWF referee, while becoming one of the Federation's most respected in-ring officials, he also became the butt of jokes for heel based commentators especially when they were teamed with Marella's father Gorilla Monsoon with Monsoon regularly using one of his catch phrases "Will you stop" (mostly said to either Jesse "The Body" Ventura or Bobby "The Brain" Heenan) when they would criticize his performance. This was actually an inside joke, as the fact that Monsoon and Marella were actually father and son was not well known by fans until after Marella had died.
He died on July 4, 1994, after he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed while driving home on the New Jersey Turnpike after a night of refereeing WWF matches in Ocean City, Maryland. Bruno Lauer, better known by his ring name Harvey Wippleman, was with him at the time and was critically injured. Lauer was wearing a seatbelt, while Marella was not.
Marella is buried next to his father Gorilla Monsoon (1937-1999) at Lakeview Memorial Park in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. Images of a baseball player and a golfer were placed on his headstone due to his love of the two sports.
- Magee, Bob (2008-06-30). "Remembering Joey Marella". Online World of Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2009-12-25. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- Mooneyham, Mike (1994-07-04). "Crash Claims Joey Marella". The Wrestling Gospel According to Mike Mooneyham. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- Scramm, Chris. "Triumph and tragedy on July 4th". SLAM! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- Dee, Louie (2007-09-01). "Brother, can you spare some gold?". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- The Wrestling Observer Newsletter: July 11th, 1994
- McAvennie, Mike (2007-01-22). "Fighting Hart beats strong". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "Joseph A. Marella". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-12-15.