National Wrestling Superstars Sends Out Heartfelt Condolences to Albano Family
On behalf of the management of the National Wrestling Superstars and all the wrestlers who have ever graced the NWS wrestling rings over the last decade and have had the absolute pleasure to work with the late great Captain Lou Albano, our heartfelt condolences to the entire Albano clan in their loss.
On a personal note, myself Joe Panzarino, I can tell you what a thrill it was for me back in the mid 80’s when I was working my now retired Dapper Johnny Falco manager character, I got the chance to manage against Lou at an upstate New York Fairgrounds show, and if memory also serves me correct, the event also featured Greg The Hammer Valentine and Bam Bam Bigelow. It was a dream comes true as Albano was one of the TV legends that graced the WWWF rings and here I was working with him, albeit in an adversarial role…but yet a figure that I grew up watching on the old WOR-TV Channel 9 Broadcast. Over the years, Lou grew much closer to Gino Moore and the NWS promotion as Gino was the engine and I steered the good ship NWS, the countless halls, arenas, gyms and whatever venue could hold a wrestling ring and hold 200-2000 or better fans. And on many of these shows, the first guy we would book to open up a new territory was Louie.
We always knew at least over the early part of the decade that Lou had a tendency at least when he was still driving himself to the shows to get in town just a little early and find the local watering hole to extole the virtues of pro wrestling, the show he was on and the NWS to whomever would listen or was within earshot as he sipped some vino/red wine and then find his way to the event.
He was and will always be one of the most beloved characters ever to enter our business; and neither Gino nor I do not know anyone who has ever said a bad thing about him. Over the last few years when Lou started to slow down for health reasons (we need not go into here), Lou at first would have his wonderful wife Gerry drive him to the shows, but this task over the past four years or so became the passion of a totally devoted neice Kami Albano who always got Lou to whatever booking he was booked and always kept the NWS updated on Louie’s health.
We here at the NWS are proud to say it was at our show befittingly at an Italian American Club in Jackson New Jersey back on May 17, 2008, that was Lou’s official last live pro wrestling appearance and also announced that way. And for all the lucky ones who worked or attended the event, the Spike’s/Julio Dinero’s and the Equalizer for taking the last punch thrown by the Captain, always hold onto that memory. Keep it dear and near to your heart as they’ll never be another Captain Lou. It`s also funny how we also just ran into Lou`s costar in some of those memorable movies Joe Piscapo just the other week in Edison NJ as both the NWS and Joe where performing at the street fair as Joe asked me how the Captain was doing during a break in the green room area.
As I spoke to a grieving Kami Albano earlier this morning, we both thought what better way to honor Lou’s memory than at the October 24th North Brunswick High School spectacular when so many of Lou’s piers and friends like Superstar Billy Graham, Terry Funk, Kevin Sullivan will be on hand along with Kami to acknowledge Lou’s life and without question the mandatory ten bell salute as no better heart in pro wrestling, at least from this perspective, there ever was.
We are so proud to be a part of Lou’s twilight years and even have Lou mention Gino and myself and the NWS in his book, is something that we will cherish for all time.
We end this by saying I’m Captain Lou and I’ll Be Watching Down On All Of You!
God Bless Up Above Louie…You Will Be Sorely Missed.