Dino Bravo (real name Adolfo Bresciano), was a professional wrestler
Born in Italy
on August 6, 1948, he soon moved to Canada
He began wrestling for various promotions in the early 1970's in Montreal.
He competed as a tag team wrestler for most of his early career, winning
various NWA tag belts and winning the WWWF (the company which would
later become the WWF) tag team belts on Match 14, 1978 with partner Dominic
DeNucci by defeating Tanaka and Fuji at a show in Philadelphia.
They would lose the belts three months later to the Yukon Lumberjacks
in New York.
In the late seventies and early eighties, Bravo became a singles wrestler
and was recognized as the Canadian National Champion of several promotions,
including the AWA (1979) and the WWF (1985). He joined the WWF
as a regular in 1985.
In January of 1986, at the height of his popularity, Bravo was scheduled
to wrestle Hulk Hogan at a show in Montreal--Bravo's home territory.
The World Wrestling Federation feared that Dino would clearly be the
crowd favorite, and they didn't want Hogan--their WWF Champion and #1 draw at the time--to be booed. So, they
cancelled the show at the last minute. Bravo subsequently quit the
WWF over that incident.
He rejoined the WWF in March 1987, however, dying his hair blond and
throwing away his old gimmick ("The Italian Strongman") for a new one--the
World's Strongest Man. At Royal Rumble '88, Bravo tried to set
the world record for the bench press with an attempted lift of 710
pounds. He cheats (he was a heel, after all) with Jesse Ventura's
help to set the "record". He was really very strong, however (undoubtably
due to steroids), and is believed to have legtimately lifted around 575
Bravo and his partner Earthquake (John Tenta) were Hulk Hogan's
main opponents for much of 1990-91, vaulting Bravo near the main event
once more (although Tenta was pushed more; Bravo just got the rub as a
perk of having been his stablemate at the time).
His appearances began to decline in late 1991, as he went back to being
a brown-haired babyface and wrestled less and less.
Dino Bravo was brutally shot to death in his Montreal home on March
11, 1993. He was 44. Bravo was allegedly involved with organized
crime in Montreal, and his execution death in a hail of gunfire is believed
to have something to do with cigarette smuggling.
"I remember Dino when he was a skinny little kid 22 years ago.
What I'll remember is a dedicated athlete who worked very hard. I hope
that people celebrate Dino's life and not the tragic way it ended."
--WWF President Jack Tunney, 1993.
Grand Prix tag champion, with Gino Brito, 1973
NWA Americas champion (Los Angeles), 1974
NWA Americas tag champion (Los Angeles), with Victor Rivera, 1974
NWA Mid-Atlantic champion, 1975
2-time NWA Mid-Atlantic tag team champion, 1975-76
NWA World tag champion (Mid-Atlantic), with Mr. Wrestling, 1976
WWWF World tag champion, with Dominic DeNucci, 1978
NWA Canadian champion, 1978-79