Dead Wrestler Wednesday: Captain Lou Albano

WWE, TNA, Wrestling

Do the Mario!

Lou Albano’s career as an active wrestler was short, although not an entirely unsuccessful one; he’s a former WWWF United States Tag Team Champion, along with Tony Altimore.  However, most of Albano’s legacy took shape after he retired from in-ring competition.  At the suggestion of Bruno Sammartino in 1969, Albano hung up the boots to become a full-time manager.  Captain Lou was born.

As a nefarious manager of heels, Captain Lou Albano revised his promo cutting methods in order to bring the most heat possible unto himself and his clients.  He utilized rambling and exaggerated speech patterns to draw the ire of the crowd, and found much success in doing so.  While managing Oscar “Crusher” Verdu, the heat generated by Albano led to a then-record gate for a wrestling event in Madison Square Garden when his client grappled with WWF Champion Bruno Sammartino.  A year later, Albano managed Ivan Koloff to the Championship, ending Sammartino’s seven year reign.  He also managed Greg “The Hammer” Valentine & Don Muraco to Intercontinental Title wins, but his true talent was in handling tag teams.  Captain Lou led fifteen tag teams to championship gold during his career, not the least of which were The Wild Samoans, the British Bulldogs, & The Headshrinkers.

Lou Albano’s Hall of Fame managing career witnessed him guide over 50 different wrestlers to a combined two dozen championship reigns.  He ushered in the WWE’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Era, collaborating with Cyndi Lauper and appearing in a number of her music videos.  The good Captain even lent his talents to the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, appearing as the title plumber himself.  In October of 2009, the Italian born legend passed away at age 76 after suffering a massive heart attack in his sleep.

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