By Paul Stratoti, Contributing Writer
“Fantastic” Bobby Fulton, who had just defeated his bout with cancer has just reported that our 2012 Professional Wrestling Hall Of Fame recipient has just fallen ill. No other info is available at this time.
Dominic debuted in 1965 in WWE. In 1971 Dominic teamed up with Bruno Sammartino and together they captured the International Tag Team Championship by defeating Beppo and Ghito the Mongols. During this time in the Buffalo/Cleveland NWF territory his feud with Waldo Von Erich stands out the most vividly for me, a WWE grudge that somehow carried over to the NWF. During this time I was 13 years old and this grudge resembled what I was watching on television with my father regularly, the World War 2 series Combat. It is no wonder then why I was always harassing Waldo at the matches. Unbeknownst to me was Dominic’s successfull WWWF career which was not yet shown on our Northeast Ohio airwaves. To me Dominic wasn’t performing up to speed as he wasn’t able to put an end to Von Erich’s terror in the ring. I didn’t like that and I didn’t think Dominic would ever be that good…at least until the 2nd half of 1971.
On January 7, 1971 at St. Joseph High School Dominic defeated Eric the Red
On January 14, 1971 Cleveland Ohio St. Joseph High School Ernie Ladd defeated Dominic DeNucci (bloody)
On February 4, 1971 at Cleveland Arena Dominic served NWF as Tex McKenzie’s Mystery partner and defeated the Sheik & Ernie Ladd
February 11, 1971 at Cleveland Arena Dominic defeated Ernie Ladd when Ladd was counted out.
July 1, 1971 at Cleveland Arena Dominic DeNucci defeated Sweet Daddy Siki
July 8, 1971 at Cleveland Arena – Bulldog Brower & Dominic defeated Waldo von Erich & Crusher Verdue
August 7, 1971 at Cleveland Arena – This was a 7 1/2 hr. NWF Afternoon Supercard TV taping. Dominic defeated Jack Vansky first. Later, the Mongols defeated DeNucci & Jack Slade. Still later Bulldog Brower & DeNucci defeated Kurt Von Hess & Erik the Red. Later Tony Parisi won a 17 man battle royal! Not sure if Dominic was in that one.
October 28, 1971 at Cleveland Arena Waldo von Erich def Dominic DeNucci by disqualification
November 6, 1971 at Cleveland Arena: Special Referee Johnny Powers – Waldo von Erich defeated Dominic (It was a legitimate defeat and Denucci swore revenge on WUAB-TV.)
December 2, 1971 at Cleveland Arena Dominic defeated Waldo Von Erich for the NWF World Championship!
On December 9, 1971 at Cleveland Arena Waldo von Erich vs Dominic DeNucci went to a Double Disqualification.
December 30, 1971 at Cleveland Arena in an NWF World Title Barbed Wire Match: Waldo von Erich defeated Dominic DeNucci for title! (Dominic was incensed. He called Von Erich a “sommanobich” on live TV)
January 6, 1972 at Cleveland Arena Johnny Powers & DeNucci defeated Waldo von Erich & Abdullah the Butcher
On April 27, 1972 the Fabulous Fargo Brothers vs Tony Parisi and Dominic DeNucci went to a No Contest. Later that evening, Dominic’s best friend Bruno Sammartino debuted at
Cleveland Arena and wrestled Baron Scicluna who lost via count out. Also on the card 2 of Bruno & Dominic’s bitter rivals in Waldo Von Erich and Hans Schmidt fought each other to a DQ!
March 17, 1972 Cleveland Ohio Cleveland Arena Dominic defeated Jesse Ortega
March 23, 1972 at Cleveland Arena for International Tag Team Championship: Tony Parisi & DeNucci defeated the Love Bros. by DQ
March 30, 1972 at Cleveland Arena Tony Parisi & DeNucci def Luke Graham & Hell’s Angel #1 by DQ
April 6, 1972 at Cleveland Arena saw the Fabulous Kangaroos vs Parisi & DeNucci went to a DRAW
April 13, 1972 at Cleveland Ohio Cleveland Arena Parisi & DeNucci defeated Bill Miller & Luke Graham
April 20, 1972 at Cleveland Arena – Chief White Owl, DeNucci & Parisi def Love Bros. & Mad Dog Momberg
April 27, 1972 at Cleveland Arena – Fargo Bros vs Parisi & DeNucci – NO CONTEST
May 4, 1972 at Cleveland Arena – Fabulous Fargo Bros vs Parisi & DeNucci – DRAW
May 11, 1972 at Cleveland Arena NWF World Tag Team Championship Texas Death Match: The Fabulous Fargo Bros. defeated DeNucci & Parisi to win belts!
May 18, 1972 at Cleveland Arena – Dominic DeNucci def Mike Hull
In 1975 Dominic captured the WWE Tag Team Championship with Victor Rivera
On March 14, 1978 Dominic and Dino Bravo defeated Mr. Fugi and Professor Toru Tanaka for the WWE Tag Team Title.
On the May 27, 1978 edition of WWE Championship Wrestling: Dominic & Rene Goulet defeated Frank Savage & Davey O’Hannon
On June 26, 1978 the Yukon Lumberjacks defeated Denucci and Dino Bravo for WWE Tag Team Championship
Dominic began working as enhancement talent in 1980 and left WWE after a successful 15 year tenure.
March 29, 1980 during a WWE Championship Wrestling TV taping, The Wild Samoans (w/ Capt. Lou Albano) defeated Dominic DeNucci & Mike Masters at 8:32 when Masters was pinned with the Samoan Drop
On April 12, 1980 Dominic defeated Johnny Rodz
On April 29, 1984 at Orange High School for Tony Vicaro Promotions Promoter Tony Vicaro vs Black Panther went to a No Contest when Zoltan interfered. Next, Dominic DeNucci & Bob White went against the Assassins
He retired after his April 14, 2012 match where he teamed up with his former student Shane Douglas to defeat Lord Zoltan and Shawn Blanchard.
International Wrestling cartel’s Night of Legends
Dominic was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame when his lifetime friend the late Living legend Bruno Sammartino presented him with his award
Dominic proudly speaks to the PWHOF Universe just before Bruno handed him his award as MC Ken Jugan stands by in celebratory silence
During International Wrestling Cartel’s Night of Legends III the Mayor of the City of Franklin, PA presented Bruno with his very own key to the city of Franklin then proclaimed that day Bruno Sammartino Day! Afterwards, Bruno spoke of his honor in being given such an honor as Tito Sanatana and Dominic look on.
Another time on a Shawn Blanchard Legends filled card yours truly asked for a unique pose
This reporter reflected on that event when I saw the YouTube video of Bruno being carried into his hearse for the final time and Dominic’s final wave goodbye. Consequently, on April 8 or 24, 2018 I wrote the following message to Lord Zoltan For Dominic: “Hang in there, Dominic, and Thank You for all you have done for us!”
When Lord Zoltan told me that Dominic accompanied him to the Winchester (an Absolute Intense Wrestling venue) for some music a few months back I was dumbfounded how I was able to miss the event which is in my local community.
Bob Amarant says, “He is one of the nicest people iI have ever met.”
Greg Danko: “When Jack Reynolds passed away in October of 2008 and during the viewing in Parma, OH, I was able to meet heroes and legends: Abdullah the Butcher, Johnny Powers, Reginald Love, Dominic DeNucci, Jacques Rougeau Jr, Newton Tattrie, Bill Eadie, and Vince McMahon Jr. It sure brought back memories of NWF (Cleveland – Buffalo).”
I would have liked to have been there, Greg. That goes to show all how well he was respected.
Notwithstanding, the Cauliflower Alley Club and the Gorilla Position Website wishes Dominic a speedy recovery from his illness and look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas in a little over 3 months when you are awarded the 2020 CAC “Trainer’s Award”!
Photos by Paul Stratoti unless otherwise noted