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Two Pittsburgh Wrestling Legends Pass Away Within Weeks Of One Another

Pittsburgh Wrestling Legends
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Two Pittsburgh wrestling legends, Frank Durso and Bobby “Hurricane” Hunt have both passed away within the month of December. Durso, a former enhancement talent for WWE during the studio wrestling days passed away due to an ongoing illness at the age of 81 on December 7. Hunt, also a former WWE talent, passed away yesterday. Pittsburgh wrestling historian, “Trapper” Thomas Leturgey wrote the following about Durso and “Hurricane” Hunt:

“Trapper” Thomas Leturgey on Bobby “Hurricane” Hunt:

Bobby “Hurricane” Hunt was profiled in a 1965 edition of Ebony Magazine that highlighted his incredibly-impressive 123-2 win/loss record. The article went on to say that Hunt was on the verge of super stardom in the business, and he had the eye of then-champion Bruno Sammartino. The Hurricane would continue with a stellar wrestling career in Pittsburgh—and was the case for many local wrestlers—he had a day job as a contractor. He continues to make appearances at autograph signings, along with quite a few of the Studio Wrestling stars, as as Sammartino, Dominic DeNucci, DeFazio, Martoni, Durso and famed announcer “Chilly” Bill Cardille.

From Pittsburgh wrestling promoter Hank Hudson’s Facebook page:

High-flying BOBBY “HURRICANE” HUNT, always introduced on live WIIC-TV11 “Studio Wrestling” as 218 pounds from the Beltzhoover section of Pittsburgh, passed away on Thursday, December 27, 2018!!! In addition to scores upon scores of weekly bouts televised on early Saturday evenings from the Channel 11 studios over the years as well as many more at the various regular and infrequent stops around the Greater Pittsburgh Tri-State Area, Hunt appeared on no less than sixty-four major wrestling events at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena and at Forbes Field over an eight-and-one-half year period between March 19, 1963 and September 17, 1971!!! My most vivid memory of Hunt was his breath-taking ability (second-to-none locally) to launch a series of flying-dropkicks with seconds!!! After 1971 Hunt disappeared for over eleven years from the local wrestling scene until suddenly appearing on at least two W.W.F. “spot shows” that I know of in late 1982!!!

“Trapper” Thomas Leturgey on Frank Durso:

Frank Scuillo was one of a kind. Born on January 30, 1937, in Pittsburgh, Frank was tough as nails. A Marine in his youth, Scuillo cemented his place in Pittsburgh lore as one of the mainstays of the city’s popular Saturday night “Studio Wrestling” show.

On Saturday nights and at professional wrestling shows around the region, he was “Frank Durso,” a brawler who would do anything to win. Although at 5’9″ and 238 pounds, Durso wasn’t a giant of a man, but in a Simpson’s Leader-Times article leading up to his March 19, 1963, battle with Chief Red Cloud at Redbank Valley High School in New Bethlehem, he was described as “tough and towering.”

In a Facebook post by longtime Pittsburgh professional wrestling historian Hank Hudson, Durso in “a nearly fourteen-year period between January 31, 1964 (a draw with Frank Holtz) and October 7, 1977 (pinned by longtime rival Jumpin’ Johnny DeFazio) Durso appeared on no less than fifty-three major pro wrestling events at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena as well as Forbes Field!” Hudson also estimates “this is in addition to what has to number in the hundreds of bouts on live “Studio Wrestling” and all of the regular towns and small “spot show” stops within the Channel 11 Greater Pittsburgh Tri-State viewing area!”

Pittsburgh broadcasting legend and Studio Wrestling host “Chilly” Bill Cardille gave Durso the nickname “Slip Mahoney” because of the villain’s resemblance to Leo Gorcey’s “Bowery Boys” character of the same name. At one time it was seen as a slap at Durso; however, he would later embrace the name.

On August 10, 1966, Durso challenged Bruno Sammartino for the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) World Heavyweight championship in Philadelphia, PA. No definitive results can be found; however, Sammartino defended against Prince Iaukea on August 9 and 11 of that year.

Throughout his career in the 1960s and ’70s, Durso rarely won. He routinely wrestled fellow enhancement talent Joe Abby, a young John L. Sullivan (later known as “Luscious” Johnny Valiant), the “Fighting Cop From Carnegie” Frank Holtz and many others.

WrestleZone would like to extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Frank Durso and Bobby “Hurricane” Hunt.

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