Nunzio turns his attention to training
DANIEL WILSON - For SLAM! Wrestling
Some know him as Little Guido, while others are more familiar with his Nunzio moniker. Regardless, some lucky aspiring grapplers will soon know him as instructor.
Starting Feb. 26, Nunzio will join the staff of Bodyslam U, in New Jersey, as their newest trainer, a role the 17-year veteran has greatly been looking forward to for some time.
"I always wanted to train, to give back and teach students the right way," he recently told SLAM! Wrestling. "There are a lot of schools out there, but I have a good reputation in this business and my resume speaks for itself."
The course will start with the basics: learning how to fall and how to make contact with basic maneuvers. Then will come the microphone skills and ring psychology. Nunzio will also put emphasis on keeping in shape, how the rookies should conduct themselves at shows and how to get booked on independent cards.
The only thing he wonít do is guarantee any of the hopefuls a job. To him, thatís up to their drive and dedication to the business and to learning and developing.
"If you want to come to this school and you want to be a pro wrestler, in your mind you have to make sure that youíre 100 per cent ready," said Nunzio. "Itís not something you join and say, ĎOh, Iíll go this week and skip the next week and come back two weeks later.í Thatís not serious and youíre never going to learn like that, especially in this business. You really have to be gun-ho and you have to give a lot of things up.
"What you put into it, is what youíll get out of it. When I got trained, I was hungry and I wanted it and I made sure to go to school every day it was open at the time."
As can be seen, Nunzioís training style will reflect that of his in-ring style, strict and no-nonsense, but with a side of fairness that often wasnít portrayed with his heelish wrestling character.
"Am I going to get in there and get guys into the ring and beat them and throw them around? No," he said. "Iím going to treat you in the way you show me that you respect the wrestling business and what you put into it. If I see you trying every day and making sure youíre there and on time and sometimes youíre not getting something, am I going to take advantage of you, no. I want you to learn, youíre there to learn. If youíre going to waste my time and come once a month and then screw up all the stuff, I might be a little harder on you."
Known for his mat wrestling and grounding skills, Nunzio wonít jump to teaching his students what he knows best, unless theyíre ready for it.
Nunzio himself learned to ply his trade from the legendary Billy Robinson, while he wrestled for the shoot style UWF International promotion in Japan. While there, he was also tutored by the likes of Lou Thesz and Danny Hodge.
It was in Japan, where the high school amateur wrestler was taught the submission holds that would become synonymous with his in-ring style. It didnít come easy, though.
"Itís a very hard thing," said Nunzio. "Itís something you have to stick with. I was doing it full-time then, every day."
And he will continue to work every day. Nunzio will carry on wrestling on tours and the independent scene on weekends, while concentrating on the school during the week.
The five-month course starts Feb. 26 with an orientation session. Any aspiring wrestler can attend after sending a non-refundable $50 money order to Bodyslam U, 370 West Pleasantview Ave. #315, Hackensack, NJ, 07601. The money order should be made out to James Maritato and if the student chooses to enter the full program, that payment will be applied towards their tuition fee.
For more information on Bodyslam U, go to www.bodyslamu.com or contact the school at 973-473-1599 or email@example.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Watch for more from Nunzio, including his answers to SLAM! Wrestling reader questions, in the coming weeks.
Nunzio bio and story archive
Daniel Wilson is a sports journalism student and life-long wrestling fan. He has previously covered the B.C. Lions and Vancouver Canucks and Giants. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.