The Pitbulls

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The Pitbulls
Pitbull Gary Wolfe 2013.jpg
Wolfe (top) and Durante (bottom)
Tag team
Members Pitbull #1
Pitbull #2
Name(s) The Pitbulls
Wolfe and Durante[1]
Mad Bull Busters[1]
The American Bulldogs
The Pit Bulldogs
Heights 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) - Wolfe
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) - Durante
Combined
weight
485 lb (220 kg; 34.6 st)
Hometown Hammonton, New Jersey
Debut 1989
Disbanded September 25, 2003

The Pitbulls (sometimes written as The Pit Bulls) were a professional wrestling tag team that consisted of "Pitbull #1" Gary Wolfe and "Pitbull #2" Anthony Durante. They were best known for their tenure in Extreme Championship Wrestling, where they were one-time Tag Team Champions. In addition to tag team success, both members were each one time Television Champions as well.

History

World Wrestling Federation

In 1989, Wolfe and Durante wrestled briefly in the World Wrestling Federation, losing to The Hart Foundation on March 4, 1989. They also lost to The Brain Busters on June 27, 1989.

Extreme Championship Wrestling

The Pitbulls debuted Extreme Championship Wrestling in April '92 both competing in battle royals to crown the first ECW Heavyweight Champion. Neither were successful. Durante left shortly after, Wolfe, became known as "the Pitbull", won the Television Championship on April 16, 1994. Later 1994, Wolfe and Durante, who became "Pitbull #2", reunited The Pitbulls and had notable feuds with Public Enemy and the Bad Breed, the feud with the Bad Breed cumlminated at the November to Remember in a match where the Losing team was forced to split up. The Pitbulls were victorious. The Pitbulls won their first and only Tag Team Championship on September 16, 1995 at Gangstas Paradise from Raven and Stevie Richards.[2] They were soon joined by Francine, who became their manager and dubbed herself "The Beastmaster". One month later, they lost the titles back to Raven and Richards.[2] In 1996, The Pitbulls moved into an intense feud with The Eliminators, which saw their manager Francine receive the Total Elimination on two different occasions. The feud culminiated at the first-ever CyberSlam in a three-on-three dog collar match, which saw Francine team with the Pitbulls against Stevie Richards with The Eliminators. The Pitbulls won the match after superbombing Richards and letting Francine pin Richards. However, The Eliminators hit the Total Elimination on Pitbull #1, Pitbull #2, and Francine after the match. After this, Pitbull #2 went on to win the ECW Television Championship on June 1 at the Fight the Power event; he held the belt for only 21 days before losing it to Chris Jericho at Hardcore Heaven.

On July 13, 1996 at Heat Wave, Francine turned on The Pitbulls and became the manager of Shane Douglas. The feud between Douglas and The Pitbulls culminated on April 13, 1997 at the first ECW pay-per-view Barely Legal, where Pitbull #2 faced Douglas for the Television Championship in a losing effort.

Independent circuit

After leaving ECW, The Pitbulls began competing on the independent circuit. Pitbull #2 began a brief singles run, which included one-time reigns as the MEWF Heavyweight Champion and the second-ever JAPW Heavyweight Champion, both of which ended via title vacation due to injuries. The team returned to the tag team division as they debuted in the National Wrestling Alliance's New Jersey territory, where they won the NWA United States Tag Team Championship on two occasions in 1998 and 1999 and remained the title's final champions upon the title's deactivation 2000. In 2002, the team went their separate ways as Pitbull #1 began competing under his real name along with the nickname "The Pitbull" for Pro-Pain Pro Wrestling, where he was the company's first-ever and only two-time Heavyweight Champion as well as a one-time Tag Team Champion with .

Death of Durante

Durante died on September 25, 2003 along with his girlfriend Dianna Hulsey due to drug overdoses. A substance believed to be the painkiller oxycodone was found in the house but it was officially announced that he overdosed on the painkiller fentanyl. He and his girlfriend were found after lying in their home dead for days, all while their two small children, a 21-month-old boy and an 8-month-old girl, were apparently alone in the house with the bodies. In 2005, Wolfe appeared at World Wrestling Entertainment's first-ever One Night Stand event to introduce the "ECW Remembers" video honoring the ECW alumni who had died, including his tag team partner Durante.

After the death of Durante, Wolfe returned to the independent circuit and began competing for Pro Wrestling Unplugged as "The Pitbull" Wolfe, where he reused The Pitbull gimmick in honor of his late friend and tag team partner.

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ a b Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Pitbulls « Tag Teams Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.de.
  2. ^ a b "ECW Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  3. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "APWF Tag Team Championship « Titles Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.de.
  4. ^ Saalbach, Axel. "Wrestlingdata.com - The World's Largest Wrestling Database". wrestlingdata.com.
  5. ^ Royal Duncan & Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  6. ^ "PITBULLS & SCORPIO TO BE INDUCTED INTO ECW ARENA HARDCORE HALL, HARDY WINS MCW TITLE, LOW KI VS. DANIELS, BOLIVIA, HERO IN FRANCE AND MORE NEWS - PWInsider.com". www.pwinsider.com.
  7. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Pitbulls « Tag Teams Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  8. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Matches « Pitbulls « Tag Teams Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.

External links

  • Online of Wrestling's page on Pitbull #1 Wolfe
  • Online of Wrestling's page on Pitbull #2, Durante
  • Online of Wrestling's page on The Pitbulls
  • December 30th, 2008 with Pitbull #1 Wolf
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