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Vito Joseph LoGrasso[1] (born June 18, 1964)[1] is an American actor and former professional wrestler, 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]

Vito LoGrasso
Vito Lo Grasso 2013.jpg
Lo Grasso, aka Big Vito, making his entrance at a show in March 2013
Birth nameVito Joseph LoGrasso
Born (1964-06-18) June 18, 1964 (age 55)[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 height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[2]
Billed weight255 lb (116 kg)[2]
Billed fromLittle Italy, Manhattan, New York, Staten Island, New York
Trained byJohnny Rodz[2]
Debut1990[2]
Retired2014[3]

Contents

Professional wrestling careerEdit

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. LoGrasso holds a rare pin one on one pin against Mitsuharu Misawa. He also teamed with "The Great" Genichiro Tenryu

World Wrestling Federation (1991–1993)Edit

He returned to the states in 1991 and became enhancement talent in the WWF. He wrestled on early editions of WWF Monday Night Raw as Von Krus, a german wrestler with an "evil foreigner" gimmick.

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 as he was already signed to WCW.

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.[4] 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".[5] His only feud was with "Irish" Pat Kenney, in which they exchanged victories.[6][7]

Return to WWEEdit

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.[8]

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.[9] 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, wrestlers 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.[10][11] 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.[12] 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.[13] Shortly after, Nunzio would join the ECW brand, leaving Vito on SmackDown, officially disbanding the team.[14]

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 to.[15] 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.[16] During this time, Montel Vontavious Porter[17] and William Regal,[18] 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.[19] 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.[20]

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 into a martial arts character, as he began wearing kickboxing-style trunks, a hachimaki 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 (2009–2015)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.

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.[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.

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's wrestling school announced a partnership with Dragon Gate USA wrestling as a farm system.[22] In mid-2014, Vito retired from in-ring competition.[3] Vito again appeared with the Ring Warriors in April 2015 as the manager of the Slambinos.

Acting careerEdit

Lograsso had a minor role as Bodo in the science fiction film The Survivor.[23] He had a leading role in the 2014 horror thriller film The Church, alongside Clint Howard, Bill Moseley, Lisa Wilcox and Ashley C. Williams.[24] 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.[25]

Personal lifeEdit

Vito married former wrestling personality and model Noel Harlow LoGrasso on September 27, 2014. They previously worked together in the US, where she was billed as "Lil Noel" as a play on his "Big Vito" name.[26]

Lograsso began podcasting with Vince Russo's "The Brand" on the RELM Network in July 2017. He opened up his own podcast series with his wife Noel and Russo in August 2017.

Lograsso (alongside former WWE NXT wrestler Adam Mercer) filed a concussion lawsuit against WWE in January 2015, claiming “serious neurological damage, including severe headaches, memory loss, depression and anxiety, as well as deafness” as a result of WWE run.[27] The lawsuit was dismissed in April 2018.[3]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Individual's Charge Report - LOGRASSO,VITO JOSEPH". Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. 2008-09-25. Archived from the original on 2008-09-27. 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 "Big Vito". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  3. ^ a b c Reddick, Jay. "Davenport's Vito LoGrasso bridges the gap between wrestling and acting". OrlandoSentinel.com.
  4. ^ "The Mamalukes". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-05-08.
  5. ^ "NWA: Total Nonstop Action PPV; July 14, 2004 - Nashville, Tennessee - Aired Live". Online World of Wrestling. 2004-07-14. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  6. ^ "NWA: Total Nonstop Action PPV; July 21, 2004 - Nashville, Tennessee - Aired Live". Online World of Wrestling. 2004-07-21. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  7. ^ "NWA: Total Nonstop Action PPV; August 4, 2004 - Nashville, Tennessee - Aired Live". Online World of Wrestling. 2004-08-04. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  8. ^ "WWE SmackDown! Results - February 24, 2005". Online World of Wrestling. 2005-02-24. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  9. ^ "WWE SmackDown! Results - August 4, 2005". Online World of Wrestling. 2005-08-04. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  10. ^ "Tragic Homecoming". WWE. 2006-05-12. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  11. ^ "Seeing red". WWE. 2006-05-19. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  12. ^ "All hail the king". WWE. 2006-06-02. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  13. ^ "Hell week continues". WWE. 2006-06-09. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  14. ^ "An Extreme Debut". WWE. 2006-06-13. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  15. ^ Dee, Louie (2006-06-23). "Family tradition". WWE. Retrieved 2008-01-27.
  16. ^ "Lashley reigns supreme". WWE. 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  17. ^ "Friday knightmare". WWE. 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  18. ^ "Signing Bonus". WWE. 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  19. ^ "All the King's men". WWE. 2006-09-08. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  20. ^ "Vito released". WWE. 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ "PWInsiderXTRA.com". www.pwinsiderxtra.com.
  23. ^ Vito LoGrasso on IMDb
  24. ^ unclecreepy (17 February 2015). "Worship Horror at The Church with Bill Moseley". Dread Central.
  25. ^ "Former WWE Star Vito "Big Vito" Lograsso Wraps Up Filming Thriller Film "Apnea"". PR.com.
  26. ^ "Big Vito". Online World of Wrestling.
  27. ^ News, A. B. C. (21 January 2015). "Former Wrestlers File Concussion Lawsuit Against WWE". ABC News.
  28. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.

External linksEdit