wrestling / Video Reviews

YouTubular: Mario Mancini

October 12, 2010 | Posted by Leonard Hayhurst
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YouTubular: Mario Mancini  

Based on a comments section suggestion, we have another great late eighties WWF jobber. Marion Mancini was born Leonard Inzitari June 21, 1966, in Milford, Conn. He debuted July 31, 1984, for WWF and was one of the company’s youngest wrestlers at the time at 18. Information courtesy of Online World of Wrestling.

Mario Mancini vs. Ted Arcidi
Video Length: 3:42


This is Arcidi’s debut. Commentary by Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura. Arcidi pushes Mancini out of a lock up to start. He then throws him to the mat out of an overhead wristlock. Mancini is thrown clear across the ring on a knee lift. Arcidi gets a body slam. He gets a bear hug and slams Mancini back first into the corner. Mancini tries to punch out, so Arcidi just drops him. Arcidi hits a shoulder block off the ropes. Arcidi hits a one armed power slam. He drops an elbow to Mario’s back. He uses a Canadian backbreaker rack for the win. I agree with the fans chanting boring, but Arcidi did look pretty awesome power wise. ½*

Mario Mancini vs. Randy Savage with Miss Elizabeth
Video Length: 4:02


Commentary is Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino. This would seem to be shortly after Savage and Elizabeth’s arrival in the WWF in 1985 as the commentators don’t know much about the pair. Savage catches Mancini coming off the ropes with a hooking clothesline. He drops Mancini throat first over the top rope while leaping to the floor. Savage comes back into the ring with a double axe handle from the top rope. Savage pitches Mancini to the floor and follows from on high with a double axe handle. He rolls Mancini back into the ring and finishes with the top rope elbow smash. A little short and formula for Savage, but he had such flow and crispness with his moves. Nobody was better than Savage around this period, of course, your mileage may vary. ¼*

Mario Mancini vs. Adrian Adonis with Jimmy Hart
Video Length: 3:43


McMahon, Sammartino and Jesse Ventura are commentators and this is from “Superstars” in 1986. I think most underrate Adonis, but he looks terrible here. He’s really bloated and the pale pink tights do nothing for him. He looks like he just rolled out of a jail drunk tank. Adonis just mauls Mancini over in the corner. Adonis brings him out of the corner and knocks him down with a shoulder block off the ropes. Adonis pulls him up to only chop him down and then splashes him. Adonis pulls Mario up by his trunks and it’s Goodnight Irene, or a regular sleeper hold for the uneducated. It’s over. After the match, Adonis takes a small bouquet of flowers and puts them in Mancini’s mouth. The ref then makes Adonis wake Mancini up. He does and then puts him right back to sleep again. Good jerk heel tactics, but the match was a whole lot of nothing. ¼*

Mario Mancini vs. Dangerous Danny Davis with Jimmy Hart
Video Length: 3:12


This is from “Superstars” with McMahon and Ventura on commentary. Hart is wearing a beret from getting his hair cut by Brutus Beefcake. Mancini and Davis get into a shoving match and Davis rakes the eyes. Davis hits a DDT and stomps Mancini on the mat. Davis works Mancini over in the corner then brings him out into the middle of the ring. Mario tries to slug back. Hart gives an insert promo promising revenge on Beefcake. Davis ducks a clothesline and hits a back elbow. Mancini tries a sunset flip on a backdrop try, but Davis drops a right hand on him. Mancini reverses a whip, but runs chest first into the corner on a blind charge. He falls back and Davis drops a big elbow Davis hits a butt splash from the top rope for the win. Much better match than it had any right to be. Mancini got enough offense in to keep it interesting and Davis showed a decent move set for a supposed banned referee turned wrestler (and yes I know he’s a real wrestler). ½*

Mario Mancini vs. Hercules with Bobby Heenan
Video Length: 2:13


From “Superstars” with McMahon and Ventura on commentary. Hercules beats on Mancini as we get an insert promo from Billy Jack Haynes, who Hercules was feuding with over who had the better full nelson. Hercules no sells several shots to the gut and nails Mancini with a hooking shot to the back of the head. Hercules hits a body slam and an elbow drop. Mario trips to his feet and into the full nelson for a quick submission. DUD. Even for a squash it just had no energy or value to it. It didn’t even serve to get the full nelson over.

Mario Mancini vs. Kamala with Kim-Chee and the Wizard
Video Length: 5:02


Commentators are Gorilla Monsoon, Johnny Vand Ernie Ladd. Kim-Chee is Steve Lombardi and the Wizard is King Curtis Iakuea. Lord Alfred Hayes is doing the ring announcing, which you rarely see. Kamala kicks and punches Mancini. He throws him across the ring on a choke and chops on him. The Wizards cut an insert promo where talks about the moon of Simpoola and crap like that. If you think the Ultimate Warrior cut some wacky promos, check out some old King Curtis interviews. Kamala repeats the kicks, chops and choking. A big splash finishes it. Kim-Chee and Wizard have to pull Kamala off and calm him down afterward. ¼* for the entertainment factor.

Mario Mancini vs. Dino Bravo with Frenchie Martin
Video Length: 3:26


From “Superstars” in 1989 with McMahon and Ventura on commentary. McMahon hates on Bravo for being an illegal immigrant. That’s an angle ahead of it’s time, but McMahon has always hated on the Canadians. Martin has a sign that reads “USA not OK” and cuts a pre-match promo in French. Mancini attacks Bravo in the corner to start, but Bravo reverses a whip and catches Mario on the bounce out from the corner with a hooking clothesline. Bravo kicks Mancini and drops an elbow. He then yells at the fans for chanting USA. Bravo flips Mancini over with a knee to the gut and drops an elbow for two. Jim Duggan cuts a pro-USA insert promo. A gut wrench suplex gets two. Bravo hits a piledriver and gloats. He finishes with a side slam. ¼* Nothing to see here, keep moving.

Mario Mancini vs. the Undertaker with Brother Love
Video Length: 3:19


This is the Undertaker’s debut on “Superstars,” which was actually taped before his official debut at the 1990 Survivor Series. UT is announced as “Kane the Undertaker,” which was his original name. McMahon, Honky Tonk Man and Roddy Piper are the commentators. Undertaker chokes Mancini until the ref gets on his case, then the Undertaker stalks the referee. He then whips back around to clothesline Mancini to the floor and follows. Brother Love gives an insert promo to put over the Undertaker. UT rolls Mario back into the ring and gets his flying clothesline. Old school ropewalk. Tombstone piledriver wins it. Michael Cole would have jizzed in his pants, because that was vintage Undertaker before it was vintage. Much like Savage, it was just awesome to see him during this period when his act was still fresh and novel. ¼*

Mario Mancini and Jim Powers vs. Kamala and Sika with Kim-Chee and Mr. Fuji
Video Length: 3:58


From Superstars in 1987 with McMahon, Sammartino and Ventura on commentary. This won’t be pretty. McMahon: “What do these two youngsters need to do to win here?” Sammartino: “Pray.” Sika and Powers starts with Sika continually throwing Powers out of a lockup. Powers jumps over a backdrop and then baseball slides between Sika’s legs. Sika turns around into a dropkick. He whiffs on a second and Sika beats on Powers. Kamala tags in for more beatings as we get an insert promo from Mr. Fuji. Kamala allows Powers to tag Mancini. Kamala gets a back kick off the ropes and tags Sika. Kamala whips Mario into the ropes and Sika catches him with a body slam. Tag to Kamala for the big splash and the win. ¼* Better chemistry from the heel team than one would think with the characters.

Mario Mancini and Corporal Kirchner vs. Bob Orton and Don Muraco with Mr. Fuji
Video Length: 2:39


From “Superstars” with McMahon, Sammartino and Ventura on commentary. Orton and Kirchner duke it out to start. Orton tries to ram Kirchner’s face into the top turnbuckle, but he blocks and sends Orton’s face into his boot. Orton gets his boots up on a charge. Strike Force cut an insert promo on Muraco and Orton. Muraco drives a knee into Kirchner’s back from the apron and tags in. Muraco misses an elbow drop. Mancini tags in and eats a clothesline. Muraco goes after Kirchner on the apron and everybody is brawling. Muraco is tossed to the floor and the heels get a double team slam on Mario. Muraco comes off the top to spike a suplex by Orton and pins Mancini for the win. I liked the finishing move, but the match overall felt disjointed and got no real energy going. DUD.

Mario Mancini and Max Blue vs. Bob Orton and Don Muraco with Jimmy Hart and Mr. Fuji
Video Length: 4:06


From “Wrestling Challenge” with Monsoon and Bobby Heenan on commentary. Orton and Muraco come out dressed like Roddy Piper and to his music to mock him. Muraco suplexes Mancini and tags Orton. He comes off the top with a forearm. Orton gets a body slam and tags Muraco. An insert promo from Hart and Fuji illustrates how well they are getting along in allowing their men to work together. Muraco throws Mancini into his corner and attacks Blue. Muraco brings Blue into the ring with a slam and beats on him, even though a legal tag wasn’t made. Orton hits a delay suplex and drops an elbow. Tag to Muraco. He wins with a piledriver. I like this much better than the above match, because Orton and Muraco seemed much more into it as their move set and quick tags would illustrate. Just being into a match can mean so much. ¼*

Mario Mancini and Salvatore Bellomo vs. Demolition with Johnny V
Video Length: 5:15


This is from “Superstars” with Ventura, Sammartino and McMahon on commentary. This is the debut of the original Demolition with Randy Culley as Smash. Ax beats on Bellomo to start. He delivers a body slam and a big elbow off the ropes before tagging Smash. Smash works Bellomo over in the corner while V gives an insert promo on his new team. Ax back in as Bellomo stumbles to his corner to tag Mancini. Mancini meets the turnbuckle and then Smash’s foot. Smash pitches Mancini to the floor and Ax body slams him out there. Bellomo checks on his partner. Mancini takes a big ax handle to the chest back in the ring. The Demolition Decapitation gets the win. ¼* This got the team concept of Demolition over pretty solidly. Culley is smaller than Eadie, so switching to the bigger Darsow probably made the team work better.

Mario Mancini and Sivi Afi vs. Demolition with Johnny V
Video Length: 3:30


From “Superstars” with McMahon, Sammartino and Ventura on commentary. According to YouTube, this is Barry Darsow’s debut as Smash. His hair is still really short here. Afi bounces off of Smash like a superball to start. Smash catches Afi on a cross body try for an inverted atomic drop. Tags all around. Ax pounds on Mancini. Back to Smash for a double throat thrust off the ropes. Demolition Decapitation makes it all she wrote. Nice historical element, but that’s all. DUD.

Mario Mancini, Don Driggers and some jobber vs. King Harley Race, Hercules and Paul Orndorff
Video Length: 5:39


From “Wrestling Challenge” with Monsoon and Johnny V on commentary. This is Orndorff’s debut in the Heenan Family. The announcement of the jobbers are cut, so I don’t know the third guy on that team. Hercules beats on Driggers to start and dumps him into his corner off of a fireman’s carry. Race in with a power slam. He covers, but pulls Driggers up. Race hits a delay suplex. Tag to Orndorff. He hits a high knee. Mancini tags in. He takes a big clothesline. Orndorff pulls Driggers back in and hits a piledriver for the win. The third guy never got in. ¼* for historical significance.

Mario Mancini, Don Driggers, Paul Roma and Jim Powers vs. Harley Race, Hercules, Paul Orndorff and King Kong Bundy with Bobby Heenan
Video Length: 7:50


This is from “Superstars” with McMahon, Ventura and Sammartino on commentary. Heenan comes out with Race and Hercules and then introduces Orndorff and Bundy himself. Heenan gives an insert promo on how awesome the Heenan Family is. This might be Bundy’s debut for Heenan. Driggers and Orndorff start. Orndorff gets a running knee lift and works Driggers over on the mat. He throws Driggers into Hercules’ boot and tags Bundy. He hits a body slam and drops an elbow. Bundy pulls Driggers up on the pin. Tag to Hercules, who delivers a big clothesline. He pulls Driggers up on a cover. Race comes in for a power slam. Race picks Driggers up on a cover. Orndorff back in. He telegraphs a backdrop and takes a knee to the face. Tag to Powers. He eats boots on a charge. Orndorff comes off the second rope with a elbow to the head and scores a body slam. Tag to Race for a clothesline and he drops a knee. Tag to Hercules. He throws Powers into his corner off of a body slam and Mancini tags in. Suplex and a tag to Orndorff. Orndorff signals for the piledriver and gets some face pops. The piledriver finishes. A great match to get the Heenan Family over as the storyline was basically they could end the match anytime they wanted and were just toying with their opponents for their own sadistic pleasure. ½*

The 411: Mario Mancini was surprisingly involved in some historical WWE moments. The Undertaker’s first singles match. The debut of both versions of Demolition. Paul Orndorff and King Kong Bundy joining the Heenan Family. Ted Arcidi’s debut. He was serviceable in the ring and did his best to get his opponents over. A career not marked by many wins, but some great memories gets the YouTubular thumbs up
Final Score:  6.5   [ Average ]  legend

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Leonard Hayhurst

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