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SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Dino Bravo

Dino Bravo in 1986.

REAL NAME: Adolfo Bresciano
BORN: Italy in 1949
DIED: March 11, 1993
ALIASES/NICKNAMES: The World's Strongest Man, Italian Strongman

 To remember Dino Bravo from his WWF days as a heel under the management of Johnny V, or in a tag team with Greg Valentine as the New Dream Team, is to do injustice to what was once an agile, exciting wrestler. Pumped up on steroids in the WWF, Bravo had lost the ability to do much in the ring except pose. But he had made it big nationally.

 To better remember Dino Bravo, one must look to his reigns as Canadian heavyweight champion, at one time recognized as such by the three big boys -- WWF, NWA and AWA. He took on all comers as Canadian champion for Frank Tunney's Toronto office and was the star of the Montreal Grand Prix wrestling circuit. Bravo was WWF tag team champion with Dominic DeNucci in 1978, and also formed a very successful tag team with Gino Brito. He met a tragic end March 11, 1993, when he was killed in his Montreal apartment by a hail of gunfire

  "I remember Dino when he was a skinny little kid 22 years ago," said then-WWF president Jack Tunney at the time. "What I'll remember is a dedicated athlete who worked very hard. I hope that people celebrate Dino's life and not the tragic way it ended."


Memories
 I consider Dino Bravo to be one of the greatest athletes to never hold a World Heavyweight title.
 My earliest memories of him were his tag team accomplishments with Gino Brito (together billed as the Italian Connection) and Mr. Wrestling I(Tim Woods)
 He was truly a class act. In and out of the ring. His tragic demise saddens me even 4 years after the violent that took him away from his friends family and fans! True fans of the sport shall never forget him I know I want!
 Jeff F., Salisbury NC.
 Dino Bravo never got the respect he deserved during his long tenure in the WWF. This man went from being a true athlete too a marketing tool. Today's wrestling fans will only remember him, as that guy who unofficially became worlds strongest man. Its very sad, when a promoter takes a talented young superstar and turns their life around with a poor marketing idea. I will remember Dino Bravo for what HE really was. A talented wrestler.
  Ed Baker
 Although Dino Bravo's era was quite a while before my time, I remember in 1989 at WrestleMania he was truly a pride out of Quebec. I enjoyed his talents and especially appreciated the respect that Jesse Ventura gave him. I'm never forget the day I found out that Bravo died. I was utterly shocked. Truly we lost a great individual.
 N. Izzi, Quebec
 A great athlete is a great athlete no matter what promoters do to him.What matters most is you never forget his exploits in the ring and the gift,the calibre of Dino Bravo, left behind.
 Princilio Cortes, Jr.
Dino Bravo as Canadian Champion and Rick Martel as AWA World Champion.

 During his time in the WWF, Dino Bravo was one of the strongest man in the squared circle, unfortunately he was passed his prime. Dino was a big star in Quebec particularly in Montreal, he was a fan favorite and was liked by everybody, he was a smart and quick wrestler. His worst career move in the WWF was to associate himself with Rick Martel's brother, Frenchy Martin. During the time he was with Frenchy, his career went no where. He had his best moments in the WWF as a member of the Dream Team with Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and their manager, Johnny Valiant. Although they never won the tag team championship, they were a pretty solid tag team, combining strength and ring knowledge.
 It's really unfortunate that he was shot in his home, the world of wrestling lost a great athlete.
 WWF Fan
 Although I never seen Dino Bravo wrestle live, my great grandmother always loved to watch him wrestle. By reading these paragraghs about him I truly now know Dino Bravo was one of the greatest wrestlers in the WWF and all over the wrestling world.
 TWILIGHT
 Dino Bravo was my favorite wrestler since the beginning of the 80's until the end.I had the chance to train with him in Laval,where he lived ( 5 minutes from Montreal ), I must admit that he was a very distinguished and generous person to all of his fans in Quebec!I am only shocked by the tragedy that occurred since he was the father of a beautiful little girl.He mentioned to me a few months before his death that he had been screwed by the WWF. He was considering ending his career in the WCW but he wasn't sure because of his family (he didn't really want to move from Montreal). Past is past but I will never forget this powerhouse that bench pressed 675 pounds in front of everybody in "Atlantis gym" in Laval and always gave his best in the squared circle. -- WE WILL ALL REMEMBER YOU!.....BON VOYAGE CHER AMI...(nice trip dear friend...)
 Nicolas Tetrault
  Long before Dino Bravo went to the WWF, he was a major hero to his fans in Quebec. He was the most popular Canadian Champion at the time. He was exciting, and truly a man of the people. To understand how popular he was with fans, is to understand how he truly was a part of Montreal.
 DSERD
 I don't remember much of Bravo's younger days, since I was born in 1980, but I do remember the WWF tenure that always had a special place in my heart. I have watched dozens of wrestling tapes with my friends, and I have a WWF tape from God knows when where Dino gets a clean pin over the Hitman. I was so happy. It brought a smile to my face and I actually stood up and clapped. Who can forget him benching all that weight with Ventura? (a guy I'd like to see back) Dino Bravo is still one of my favorite wrestlers and always will be. I had a picture of him in the lockerroom at school in my basketball locker, and I put it in late in the season. That night we played a rival team and I did alot better than usual. I swear Bravo was there that night. I look at that picture and smile. I know he's up there right now, kicking @$$ in the HWF, or Heaven's Wrestling Federation. Who knows, maybe he's wringing Vince Sr's neck for letting his son have him lose to Von Erich at WrestleMania.
 BRAV0187
 I`ll always remember Dino Bravo for his classic battles with Abdullah The Butcher, of which I have many on video. The sight of Dino coming back to beat Abdullah by DQ ( When Bad News Allen invaded the ring ) After Abdullah had bloodied him with a sharp pencil and a fork earlier.
 His battles with Samu also were some to watch. The WWF did not credit Bravo for what he was really worth, but he still put in a valuable effort, prior to his untimely death in 1993. I will always remember Bravo as one of the alltime greats, and a fantastic wrestler.
 Daniel Slengerich, Denmark
  I remember one particular time way back in the seventies, in the Mid- Atlantic promotion run by the Crocketts, when Bravo was wrestling Blackjack Mulligan. He was still a muscular guy, but not nearly as musclebound as his later WWF years, and he was a high-flyer. Well, he dazzled Mulligan with an array of aerial maneuvers and eventually pinned olè Jack. Mulligan was so irate he demanded that Bravo get back in the ring and give him 5 more minutes. Well, Bravo pulled a fast one on Jack and rolled him into a small package for the second pin! No small feat since Blackjack was one of the major stars of that time and US champion to boot. Hopefully fans will remember that Bravo and not the one who met an untimely end in the WWF.
 BIG CG
 I only saw Dino Bravo briefly during his career but seeing Dino wrestle was enjoyment for all who saw him.I will never forget Dino as he was a great wrestler and entertainer. He definitely did not get the accolades he deserved in the WWF but that is Vinceès fault and we'll leave it at that. My fondest memories of Dino are with his curly blond hair and his loud accented voice yelling during his matches. Before Bret came on the scene he was Canada's favourite wrestler and will be remembered that way. There is only one WORLD'S STRONGEST MAN and that is DINO BRAVO.
  AU REVOIR DINO! NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN
 Jason Mackenzie Toronto,Ontario
 They should have give im what he wanted in WWF, he wanted to meet Hulk Hogan in Olympic Stadium in Montreal. The place would have been sold out.
  Patrick from Quebec. Say so long Dino
 I grew up watching wrestling in the 80's. All the big names, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Rick Martel, and of course, "The Canadian Strong Man," Dino Bravo.... I can remember watching him on TV as it was yesterday......He was one of my favorite wrestlers.......I saw him on several occasions, with his curly hair, his big smile, and his love of the sport.....I would cheer as he would deliver his side suplex and pin his opponent.....He was a great athlete, and not only will I miss him, but all wrestling fans will.........
 OneOfGrey
 I didn't see much of Dino.But I got old movies of WrestleManias and The Best of WWF.He truly was a great entertainer and Vince truly missed a great opportunity to have a real class act of a champion with Dino.
 Daniel Davis
  I was browsing on the Net and came across your Hall of Fame section from a Net search. To tell you the truth, I'm not a big wrestling fan, and never was. However, when I read the memories on Dino's section, it brought warmth to my heart. I may not know his wrestling career as much as some of you guys out there (great fans! :), but I loved him very much, as he was my uncle. I won't tell you about his career, since you probably know as much (if not more!) then I. But I can tell you this, he was a great man. And yes, it's true, he was a father all right, and a good one too! (To Claudia, my little cousin) I just wanted to thank all his fans, for being so supportive, even after his death. Keep writing people, as I want to hear more, like many of you I'm sure...
  Sincerely,
 Wallas (AKA Philippe Bresciano Potvin)
  Dino Bravo was good, maybe even great, but he was very lucky at SummerSlam to get past The Magnificent Don "The Rock" Muraco. I'm not taking from Dino's great skills. He's very strong also. But, only due to outside interference did he get past Muraco and the Hawaiian Hammer.
  raymardo
  I remember watching Dino Bravo in the early A.W.A. years.Sitting with my dad on the sofa watching wrestling. That was wrestling! I was sad to here about his death.
  Steve Kovanen
  I just want to say that I feel sorry for the family of Dino Bravo he was a great wrestler and should always be remembered
  LLandme
 If it weren't for three pounds of finger pressure applied by Jesse Ventura, Dino Bravo would be recognized as The World's Strongest Man...Jesse, if you're reading this - how do you sleep at night! USA is not O.K. as long as Dino Bravo is no longer with us.
 Eric Evangelista
  Dino was not just a great wrestler but a funny and kind man .Way back when Dino was first in the WWF he lived in West Haven, CT. I was lucky to have met him and his little brother Gino who I also came to care about. Gino would stay with me and ex wife when Dino had to go to wrestle to far to take Gino. You could see the love he had for his brother and how Gino looked up to Dino. To Gino I can't tell you how bad I feel for you, I hope you read this and try and contact me at my web site. And to Dino, buddy we all know who was the best there is the best there was and the best there well ever be God bless you.
  Andrew Calandrelli
  I'm only eleven years old, and I may not know everything, but I do know that Dino Bravo, was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. From when Bravo came to the WWF, to the end, he was one of the best. I wish he was still alive here and well today. Thank you Dino for the memories, the moments, and the great times.
  David S. Ford
  Dino Ruled when he was a co-holder of the tag-team championship with Dominic Dennuci. When Frenchy Martin took over his career then he started to blow it. By the time Jimmy Hart took over his career and started hanging with that loser Earthquake then his career was as valuable as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. Enough said!!
  PMS
  Possibly the greatest Canadian wrestler of all time. I watched him put people such as Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Ronnie Garvin, and a whole list of others. And this man was A WWF Tag Team Champion and he will always be remembered.
  Richard Morin
  Dino, was more than a great wrestler or the strongest man,(at least to me). He was a true friend, that had lot of love for life, and the people around him. I know, because he saved my life, when my world was crashing down around me; he got me to believe in myself again. I lost a true friend, and my heart still ache, from my loss (but also for his family, for I know that he loved them dearly)..
  valda f. anderson
 I think what happened to him is a terrible shame, not only because he was murdered, but because he was an excellent entertainer who had many, many fans. He was in the mid-prime of his life, and not to mention the first Italian/Canadian to make the bigs in pro wrestling. There is no doubt that he was the strongest of his era and I have many memories of him in character at his best and worst. It's too bad to see such a young man leave this world in such a horrible manner. I don't know the details regarding his death, but I firmly believe that he was taken from his family and friends without cause or justification. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to see him in action, live at Toronto Maple Leaf Gardens and on TV via Pay Per View Events. It's too bad we didn't get the opportunity to have him entertain us for years to come. He will always be missed and remembered.
 pgiardetti
  I first saw Dino as a fan favorite as the Canadian Heavyweight Wrestling Champion in the World Wrestling Federation in the early-80's. I still liked Dino when he a rulebreaker. But, I hated his blond hair.
  I still like Dino to this day.
  Dave Coz
 Dino Bravo was a great performer and I miss seeing the man in the ring. I saw him at a house show in Moline and he was such a great heel. God bless Dino R.I.P
  jwheeler
 Like many Montrealers, I grew up watching one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, Dino Bravo. The greatest memory I have of him was at a live event at the Montreal Forum. It was the infamous match where he teamed-up with the Rougeaus Brothers to face Greg Valentine, Brutus Beefcake and their manager Johnny V. For those of you who were around back then you'll remember that this is when he turned his back on his long time friends, The Rougeaus and started his alliance with Johnny V and his proteges. Being a kid a the time, I remember feeling deeply betrayed. That's how much he meant to us Montrealers. One thing is for sure, the name Dino Bravo will not be soon forgotten in this city. God Bless.
 Mary Daniel
 My memories of Dino Bravo goes way back when I was a kid. I could tell a lot about one of my childish heroes, but what I remember the most is his match, June 25 in the International Wrestling Alliance in Hull, Québec against Man Mountain Moore. It was a great match. It was very rough. Bravo was coming back from an operation somewhere in his stomach (I don't remember) and Man Mountain Moore was always using that at his advantage (even in submission move). But Dino won the match.
 Pascal L.
 Earlier sometime I sent a memory of Dino being forced to be a stiff. I would like to withdraw that opinion. I did see Dino in earlier years (clips of course, I was not born until 1980), and I have been doing some research. I have to say, Dino was a heck of a good wrestler, and I was very amazed to see him throw drop kicks, and stuff like that. I still maintain his strength was over rated, but nevertheless, he was strong. Dino was one of the better wrestlers.
 Derek M. Ellis
 Dino Bravo was a great man & wrestler who knew how to get the job done. Dino could outclass any wrestler and could get down & dirty whenever he was wrestling in the WWF, NWA or anywhere he wrestled.
 Dino will be missed.
 David J. Cox
 Dino Bravo was a hero of mine in the mid-70's during the Grand Prix Wrestling years. Where I was raised, in northern Ontario, we only had two channels back then and we had no choice but to watch Grand Prix Wrestling on Saturday afternoons. Who cannot remember announcer Fernand St-Marie, referee and part-time wrestler Luigi Mascera; villain Don Leo Jonathan and the great Edward Carpentier. But, my favorite of all wrestlers, was a member of the Italian Connection tag team (along with Gino Brito), the great Dino Bravo. Tall, dark-haired, lean but muscular, he was a far cry from his WWF days (when people today most remember him from) where he was now blond, bloated up, slow and now a heel to top it all! No, to me, the real Dino Bravo left us the day he left Grand Prix Wrestling and joined the WWF.....you will be missed!
 Lance Lafleur
 He was so friendly to his fans. We met in Montreal and Toronto on several occasions
 Harris Black, Montreal
 Dino came to Murfreesboro, TN in 1991 to wrestle the British Bulldog. He lost but I still remember the match.
 cg12380
 Dino Bravo in his Quebec cape running around the ring like he was Superman while the "H-earthquake" did his little quake dance. That says it all. Bravo! for a great wrestling hero!
  A True Dino Bravo Fan
 I don't know what to say, I can only say that he was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
 And I'm 100% SURE that the real wrestling fan, will never forget him.
 You'll be in our hearts Dino!!!!!!
 Ali Hejazi
 I was a regular viewer of IWA in the mid 80's and was impressed by Dino's physique as well as his being a perfect gentleman. He was so soft spoken and bashful. He also challenged another late legend Dick "The Bulldog" Brower for the North American title. Don't know whether the bout actually took place. But I am shocked and saddened to learn while surfing the net that this gem of an athlete faced such a tragic end. My condolences to his family and well wishers. May his soul rest in peace and may he serve as a role model for aspiring wrestlers.
 Somnath Sircar, Calcutta.