Ilio DiPaolo

Ilio DiPaolo

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Ilio DiPaolo

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Ilio DiPaolo (November 8, 1926–May 10, 1995), was an Italian professional wrestler and restaurateur who lived in the Buffalo, New York area.

Professional wrestling career

DiPaolo was born in Italy and lived there until he moved to Venezuela in 1949. There, he met promoter Toots Mondt, who taught him to wrestle. After the paperwork was completed, he moved to Buffalo, New York in 1951. He then began to work for Frank Tunney out of the Toronto area. Around this time he teamed with Whipper Billy Watson to win the NWA Canadian Open Tag Team Championship.

After wrestling around the world, he returned to Toronto in 1968 to wrestle Pat O'Connor for the World Championship, but the match went to a one-hour time limit draw. His last match was against Lou Thesz for the same title; a match that also went to a one-hour time limit draw.

Personal life

DiPaolo met his wife Ethel, stepdaughter of promoter Pedro Martinez, in 1952.

He opened his first restaurant, a pizzeria, when he was in his 40s, but it was destroyed by a fire. DiPaolo retired from wrestling full time in 1965 and...
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