Former WWWF/WWF International Tag Team Champion and WWWF/WWF World Tag Team Champion and wrestling trainer Dominic DeNucci has died at age 89 confirmed by WWE.
Dominic DeNucci is not a household name and most wrestling fans, even old school fans, probably don’t know him. However, he’s responsible for training some very well known, well regarded and one of the most beloved wrestlers of all time. He trained the likes of Moondog Spot, Shane Douglas, and none other than Mick Foley.
Dominic DeNucci: The Start Of A Legendary Career
Dominic DeNucci was born in Venice, Italy, in 1932. He eventually made his way to Canada and debuted in 1958 in Montreal eventually teaming with the original Dino Bravo. The pair wrestled up and down Southwest Canada and occasionally ventured down to Ohio and New York. In 1962 they went to wrestle for the legendary Stu Hart in his infamous Stampede Wrestling promotion.
In 1967 DeNucci won the WWWF International Tag Team Championship with Bruno Sammartino for Vince McMahon Sr. He won the tag championship a few more times while in the WWWF, but eventually transitioned into a jobber during his 15-year run in the promotion leaving in 1982.
While in the WWWF/WWF Dominic DeNucci developed a taste for training and nurturing young talent like Hulk Hogan and Superstar Billy Graham. After leaving WWF he opened up a wrestling school and trained Douglas and Foley during the early 1980s.
DeNucci retired in 1987 at 55 years old. However, he made sporadic appearances in the 1990s and wrestled off-and-on up 2012 when he called it quits for good this time.
In 2012 DeNucci was inducted into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. During June of last year DeNucci was admitted to the hospital for heart-related issues. However, Dominic DeNucci’s family have not released if his death was related to his previous heart condition or his cause of death.
DeNucci made his debut during the start of the golden age of pro wrestling and ended his career working with and training some of the greats of the modern era. That is one hell of a career in wrestling. He literally saw it all and wrestling evolve through different styles. His student, Foley, has inspired some of the top wrestlers of today and who knows how different wrestling would be without DeNucci training a young Foley.
We here at The Illuminerdi extend our deepest condolences to the DeNucci family, his friends, his students and his fans. Are there any DeNucci matches or appearances which stick out in your mind?
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