Back in the 80’s and 90’s, it was very common to see some no name wrestler go up against a proven star of a promotion. Whether that be from the WWF, NWA/WCW, AWA or elsewhere, these nomads of professional wrestling were there to make the stars look great. They were known as enhancement talent, preliminary wrestlers or as many fans have come to know them…”jobbers.” While fans were clamoring to see big time match ups, these “squash matches” served a very important purpose. While perhaps not appreciated at the time, they were just as important as the stars themselves.
In 1989, a couple of newly trained wrestlers from the famed Monster Factory wrestling school in New Jersey were almost immediately given an opportunity with the World Wrestling Federation. The WWF paired up the duo of Tony Durante and Gary Wolfe. This team of “jobbers” would face established teams like the Brain Busters, the Hart Foundation and the Twin Towers (Big Bossman and Akeem) in losing efforts. Tony Durante would also have a singles run losing to the likes of the Barbarian and Ravishing Rick Rude.
Away from the bright lights of losing on WWF television, Durante and Wolfe went their separate ways for a couple of years on the independent circuit. They eventually reunited as the American Bulldogs (Spike and Rex) and later tweaked their team name to the Pitbulls. As a team they wrestled all over the world in places like Europe and Japan, but found their greatest success in ECW. Managed by ‘The Beastmaster’ Francine, the Pitbulls won the ECW world tag team titles on one occasion and both individually won the ECW television title.
Sadly, Anthony Durante (Pitbull #2) passed away in 2003 of a drug overdose. Pitbull #1 Gary Wolfe continues to wrestle and make appearances on the independent circuit.