WWWF United States Tag Team titles w/ Killer Kowalski defeating Brute Bernard and Skull Murphy (November 14, 1963);
WWWF United States Tag Team titles w/ Bill Watts defeating Gene Kiniski and Waldo Von Erich (April 8, 1965);
WWA (Los Angeles) World Tag Team titles w/ Luke Graham defeating Grizzly Smith and Luke Brown (January ??, 1966);
WWA (Los Angeles) World Tag Team titles w/ El Mongol defeating Moondog Mayne and Luke Graham (January 23, 1966);
IWA (Australia) World Heavyweight title defeating Spiros Arion (Febuary 16, 1968);
WWC North American Heavyweight title defeating Hartford Love (July 30, 1977);
WWC North American Heavyweight title defeating Bruno Sammartino (July 22, 1978);
In The Beginning:
Early 1960s: Gorilla Monsoon broke into the wrestling business competing under the name Gino Marella.
Gorilla Monsoon debuted in Pedro Martinez’s National Wrestling Federation based in Rochester, New York.
Gorilla Monsoon was also known as “The Manchurian Giant” and was introduced as hailing from Manchuria, China.
Pittsburgh Wrestling: World Wide Wrestling Federation:
January 20, 1964 – Madison Square Gardens: Vittorio Apollo and Bobo Brazil defeated Gorilla Monsoon and Killer Kowalski.
October 27, 1969 – Madison Square Gardens: Gorilla Monsoon defeated Killer Kowalski.
September 30, 1972 – WWWF Showdown at Shea: Gorilla Monsoon vs Ernie Ladd ended in a 10-minute draw.
January 12, 1980 – WWWF: Gorilla Monsoon defeated Swede Hanson.
World Wide Wrestling Federation:
Gorilla Monsoon formed a friendship with
Vince McMahon Sr. and became a shareholder in the World Wide Wrestling Federation. Gorilla Monsoon owned 1/6 of the World Wide Wrestling Federation and controlled bookings in several WWWF territories.
Gorilla Monsoon once picked up Muhammad Ali and applied the Airplane Spin in an extremely memorable WWWF moment.
Gorilla Monsoon received several WWWF title shots at then champion
Bruno Sammartino in Madison Square Garden. Gorilla Monsoon and
Bruiser Brody allegedly had a backstage fight, which lead to Brody being blackballed from the WWF. Gorilla Monsoon challenged then WWF IC champion,
Ken Patera, to a title match, saying if he didn’t win the title, he would retire. ~~~The match was stopped after Gorilla Monsoon suffered a cut on his face, and true to his word, Gorilla Monsoon retired.
March 1, 1980: Gorilla Monsoon wrestled his final match defeating
Baron Mikel Scicluna.
World Wrestling Federation:
Gorilla Monsoon moved into a commentary position where he hosted MSG cards, as well as being a top booker and road agent.
Gorilla Monsoon came out of retirement once, to substitute for
Andre the Giant at an Madison Square Garden event. Gorilla Monsoon teamed with Rick Martel and Tony Garea to defeat Stan Hansen, Lou Albano and Moondog Rex.
Gorilla Monsoon was defeated by Ken Patera and later said that Patera had “put the nail in the coffin of my career”.
Vince Sr. requested that Vince Jr. would to take financial care of certain employees/friends who worked alongside Vince Sr. for years.
Vince Jr. took over the WWF, Gorilla Monsoon sold his shares to him and in return, Monsoon was insured lifetime employment.
1983: Gorilla Monsoon was one of the first to accept
Big John Studd‘s “bodyslam challenge”. Gorilla Monsoon and
Jesse “The Body” Ventura became the announcing team for most WWF pay per views in the 1980s. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura formed one of the most legendary commentary combinations in the industry.
Gorilla Monsoon also hosted WWF TV shows Wrestling Challenge, Prime Time Wrestling, and All-American Wrestling.
Gorilla Monsoon also formed one of the most entertaining on-air partnerships with his real life friend
Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Gorilla Monsoon created the “Gorilla Position” – the entrance way, which separates the “inside” of the arena from “backstage”.
1993: Gorilla Monsoon steps down from being lead Pay Per View announcer to a Coliseum Home Video commentator.
1993: Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan started a feud which resulted in Monsoon kicking The Brain out of the WWF!
June 9, 1994: Gorilla Monsoon was inducted into the
WWF Hall of Fame – he was presented the award by Jim Ross. 1994: Gorilla Monsoon’s son, referee
Joey Marella, died in a horrible car accident. Gorilla Monsoon filled in as a broadcast announcer in King of the Ring 1994 and Survivor Series 1994.
1995: Gorilla Monsoon became Interim President of the World Wrestling Federation when Jack Tunney retired.
January 1996: Gorilla Monsoon suspended Vader, and was viciously attacked and Vader-bombed on Monday Night RAW.
WrestleMania XII: Gorilla Monsoon was officially announced as World Wrestling Federation president.
1997: Gorilla Monsoon stepped down from his position as World Wrestling Federation president due to illness.
1998: Gorilla Monsoon joined the World Wrestling Federation International broadcast announce team.
Gorilla Monsonn appeared on a WWF Attitude commercial featuring
Fred Blassie, Ernie Ladd, Pat Patterson, Killer Kowalski. WrestleMania XV: Gorilla Monsoon made his final public appearance as the third judge for the Butterbean/Bart Gunn ‘Brawl 4 All’ bout.
~~~The legendary and beloved Gorilla Monsoon received an enormous standing ovation from the appreciative live audience.
Gorilla Monsoon was known as ‘Gino’ to his fellow colleagues/friends for many years in the WWWF/WWF.
~~~At times his fellow announcers would openly acknowledge him as Gino on WWF Television.
October 6, 1999: Gorilla Monsoon died of heart failure after a long battle with illness.
Gorilla Monsoon was one of the most knowledgeable and wittiest commentators who mastered the play-by-play role.
~~~His voice will forever be remembered and will always represent the nostalgic and the glorious era of the 1980s.