Italy is home to some of the best wrestlers in the world. From Olympic gold medalists to World Champions, Italy has produced some of the greatest athletes in the sport.
From the ancient Greco-Roman style of wrestling to the more modern freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, the Italians have a long history of producing some of the best wrestlers in the world.
We will take a look at some of the best wrestlers in Italy and the incredible accomplishments they have achieved throughout their careers.
Peter Senerchia, better known by his ring name Taz, is a prominent figure in the world of professional wrestling. He is an American radio personality, color commentator, and retired professional wrestler.
Taz is well-known for his time in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). His signature offense included the “Tazmission”, a submission hold, and his signature move was the “Tazplex”.
Aside from wrestling, Taz is currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW) as a color commentator and manager. As a manager, he manages his son, Hook, and is involved in the tag team of The Butcher and The Blade.
His radio personality is showcased on his Sirius XM show, “The Taz Show: Bodyslams & Beyond”. Taz has also made appearances in various other media, including movies and video games. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
2. Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Leopoldo Francesco Sammartino was an influential figure in professional wrestling. He was born in Italy but eventually made his way to the United States, where he made a name for himself in the world of professional wrestling.
He is best known for his time with the World Wide Wrestling Federation, where he competed for a number of years and held multiple championship titles. He was known for his tenacity and strength, and his matches were highly anticipated.
He was a fan favorite, and his matches were often sold out. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013, and his legacy continues to live on in the world of professional wrestling.
Sammartino was an inspiration to many wrestlers, and his presence in the professional wrestling world will be remembered for years to come.
3. Vincenzo Maenza
Vincenzo Maenza is a highly decorated Greco-Roman wrestler with an impressive career. He has represented Italy in the Olympics a total of three times, winning gold medals in the 1984 and 1988 games and a silver medal in the 1992 games.
These achievements make him one of the most successful Italian Greco-Roman wrestlers of all time. Maenza has always been a fierce competitor, training hard and pushing himself to his limits in order to reach the top.
His impressive Olympic record shows just how determined he was to succeed.
His dedication and commitment to the sport of wrestling paid off, as he was able to claim two golds and a silver medal at the Games. The Italian athlete’s achievements have also earned him a great deal of recognition and respect from the international wrestling community.
His career has been a source of inspiration for many aspiring wrestlers, proving that hard work and determination can pay off. He has set a high bar for future generations of wrestlers and will continue to be remembered as one of Italy’s greatest athletes.
4. Andrea Minguzzi
Andrea Minguzzi is an accomplished Italian Greco-Roman wrestler. He has had a successful career in the sport, and his crowning achievement came in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
There, he won a gold medal in the Greco-Roman wrestling event, showing his skill and determination in the sport. This win was especially impressive given the level of competition at the Olympics, and it demonstrated that Minguzzi was up to the challenge.
His victory was more than a personal accomplishment, as it was a great moment of pride for Italy and its wrestling community.
Since the win, Minguzzi has continued to compete and excel in Greco-Roman wrestling, and his achievements serve as an inspiration to other aspiring wrestlers.
5. Bubba Ray Dudley
Mark LoMonaco is a highly accomplished professional wrestler. He is currently signed to Impact Wrestling, where he is known by his ring name, Bully Ray. He has earned a good reputation in the wrestling world and has been praised for his skill and athleticism.
LoMonaco is also a part of the National Wrestling Alliance, where he makes sporadic appearances. His appearances are usually highly anticipated and he is often seen as a great asset to the organization.
He has been a part of various wrestling promotions throughout his career and has achieved several championships. LoMonaco is a veteran of the wrestling industry and his experience and skill make him an extremely valuable asset to any wrestling promotion.
His presence is often seen as a great addition to any event and he has been praised by many for his in-ring work and charisma. His contributions to wrestling are valuable and his impact on the industry has been immense.
6. Gorilla Monsoon
Robert James Marella, better known by his ring name of Gorilla Monsoon, was an American professional wrestler, play-by-play commentator, and booker. Marella enjoyed a long and successful career in wrestling, beginning his career as a wrestler in the early 1960s.
He competed in various leagues all over the world, including Japan, Canada, and the United States. He became a household name in the mid-1960s when he began to appear on the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) broadcasts as the play-by-play commentator.
His signature phrase of “Gorilla Monsoon has spoken” soon became a popular catchphrase. As his fame grew, he also began to serve as a booker in the WWWF, helping to book matches and create storylines for the wrestlers.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1994, as recognition for his contributions to professional wrestling.
7. Lisa Moretti
Lisa Mary Moretti is an inspirational figure in the world of professional wrestling. She is best known for her long tenure in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where she rose to become a three-time WWE Women’s Champion and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2018.
Moretti’s career in wrestling began during the 1980s. She made her debut in the ring in 1985, and within a few years, she became one of the top female wrestlers in the WWE.
During her time in the WWE, she won the Women’s Championship three times and was a part of memorable feuds with Trish Stratus, Victoria, Lita, and Molly Holly. Moretti retired from professional wrestling in 2003 and has since pursued a career as a teacher and coach.
She has worked as a wrestling coach at the High School of Wrestling in Florida, where she has helped to develop the skills of many aspiring wrestlers. Moretti’s achievements in wrestling have earned her international recognition.
In 2018, she was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, cementing her place in the history of professional wrestling. She is an example of hard work and dedication paying off and serves as a role model for aspiring wrestlers everywhere.
James Maritato is a professional wrestler from the United States. He is best known for his work in two of the biggest wrestling promotions in the world – Extreme Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment.
In Extreme Championship Wrestling, he went by the ring name Little Guido. In World Wrestling Entertainment, his ring name was Nunzio. James Maritato is a former ECW World Tag Team Champion and a former WWE World Tag Team Champion.
He was known for his high-flying ability and technical wrestling style. Maritato also had a successful career in Japan, wrestling in All Japan Pro Wrestling, Big Japan Pro Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling Zero1.Maritato’s career began in 2000 when he joined ECW.
He soon formed a tag team with Tony Mamaluke and the two became known as “The Full-Blooded Italians”. The two gained great success in ECW and went on to win the World Tag Team Championships.
Maritato also had successful singles runs in ECW, winning the Cruiserweight Championship and the Television Championship. In 2005, Maritato signed with the WWE and was assigned to its development territory Ohio Valley Wrestling.
In OVW, he competed as Nunzio and won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championships with Johnny Jeter. He was soon promoted to the main roster and competed as Nunzio in the WWE’s Cruiserweight and Tag Team divisions.
He won the World Tag Team Championships with Vito in 2006. Maritato retired from professional wrestling in 2011 and has since become a wrestling trainer.
His influence in the wrestling business is still felt to this day as many of his students have gone on to have successful careers in the WWE. Maritato will always be remembered for his success in ECW and WWE as Little Guido and Nunzio.
9. Antonino Rocca
Antonino Rocca was a professional wrestler who was born in Italy but had become a naturalized citizen of Argentina. He was best known for his tag team partnership with wrestler Miguel Pérez. His career was highly successful and he was recognized for it after his death.
In 1995, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and in 1996 he was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.
His achievements in wrestling are still remembered and celebrated today, making him one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport.
10. Enrica Rinaldi
Enrica Rinaldi is an Italian freestyle wrestler who has achieved great success in recent years. In 2022, she won a bronze medal at the European Wrestling Championships held in Budapest, Hungary.
This was an impressive feat, especially considering the high level of competition present at the event. A few months later, Rinaldi went on to win the silver medal in the 76 kg event at the 2022 Mediterranean Games held in Oran, Algeria.
This was a remarkable accomplishment, as the Mediterranean Games are renowned for their high level of competition. The success of Enrica Rinaldi is a testament to her hard work and dedication to the sport of freestyle wrestling.
She is a shining example of what can be achieved through commitment and dedication.
11. Dominic DeNucci
Domenico A. Nucciarone, better known by his ring name Dominic DeNucci, was a renowned Italian-American professional wrestler and trainer.
Born in the 1930s, DeNucci had an illustrious career in the field of professional wrestling and was a holder of more than a dozen championships across the world in the 1960s and 1970s.
He was an extremely talented wrestler, and his influence was such that he was able to teach and train some of the most renowned names in the history of wrestling, such as Mick Foley, Shane Douglas, and Brian Hildebrand.
He was a master of various wrestling techniques and was able to pass on his knowledge to his students, who went on to become some of the most successful wrestlers in the world.
DeNucci was a true pioneer in the world of professional wrestling, and his legacy lives on through the wrestlers he trained and the championships he held during his career.
12. Enrico Porro
Enrico Porro was an accomplished Italian Greco-Roman wrestler and Olympic champion. He made history by becoming the first wrestler to win gold at the Olympic Games for the Italian military sports body Gruppo Sportivo della Marina Militare.
Porro’s victory was a significant milestone for the sport of wrestling and for the Italian military sports body, as it was the first time an athlete from the organization had won a gold medal at the Olympics. Porro’s win was a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport.
He had trained rigorously for the Olympic Games, and his victory was a result of his dedication and persistence. Not only did Porro bring home a gold medal for his country, but he also inspired many others to strive for excellence in the field of wrestling.
His success has served as an example to athletes in Italy and beyond, showing that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.
13. Giovanni Vinci
Fabian Aichner is an Italian professional wrestler who has been competing in the ring for a number of years. He has made a name for himself in the wrestling world and is currently signed with WWE, performing on the Raw brand under the ring name Giovanni Vinci.
Aichner is a member of the heel stable known as Imperium and is quite proud of his work in the ring. He is known for his strong technical wrestling and ability to put on a great show for the crowd.
He has become a fan favorite and is often praised for his athleticism and ability to entertain. Aichner is a versatile wrestler who can handle any match style, from high-flying to mat-based submissions.
With his unique style and hard-hitting moves, Aichner is sure to be a force to be reckoned with in the WWE for many years to come.
14. Santino Marella
Anthony Carelli, better known by his professional wrestling ring name, Santino Marella, is a Canadian professional wrestler and judoka.
He is currently signed to Impact Wrestling and is best known for his long 11-year tenure with WWE. Carelli trained in judo from a young age and was the youngest black belt in Canadian history at the time.
He also trained to become a professional wrestler and made his debut in 2001. He soon signed to WWE in 2007, where he adopted the ring name Santino Marella.
He quickly became popular with WWE fans, particularly for his comedic timing and comedic character. During his 11-year tenure with WWE, Marella held the Intercontinental Championship twice, the United States Championship once, and the WWE Tag Team Championship twice.
He also had memorable feuds with the likes of Kane and The Great Khali, and he competed in a number of high-profile matches. In 2018, Marella left WWE and signed with Impact Wrestling.
He has since become a successful competitor in Impact Wrestling and has held the Impact World Tag Team Championship once with partner Cheerleader Melissa. Overall, Santino Marella is a highly accomplished professional wrestler and judoka and has made his mark in both WWE and Impact Wrestling.
He is respected for his comedic timing, his in-ring work, and his ability to entertain crowds.
15. Lou Albano
Louis Vincent Albano was a prominent figure in the world of professional wrestling. He was born in Italy in 1933 and immigrated to the United States at a young age. He began his wrestling career in 1953, performing under the name “Captain” Lou Albano.
During his time as a wrestler, he was known for his hard-hitting style and dominating presence in the ring. He built a reputation as a powerful competitor and was often seen as a fan favorite. In 1969, Albano decided to shift his focus from wrestling to managing.
He assumed the role of a manager for many top wrestlers of the era, such as Bruno Sammartino and The Wild Samoans. In his managerial career, he was known for his loud and outrageous personality, often acting as the foil to his clients.
He was also a master at creating storylines and feuds between wrestlers that would draw in fans from around the world. Albano was involved in professional wrestling until 1995 when he retired from the business.
In addition to his wrestling career, Albano also pursued an acting career. He appeared in a number of films and television shows throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He also made numerous appearances on MTV’s music video show, “Yo! MTV Raps”.
Albano’s long career in professional wrestling and entertainment made him a popular figure in pop culture. He passed away in October 2009 at the age of 76.
16. Ignazio Fabra
Ignazio Fabra is a flyweight Greco-Roman wrestler from Italy. He is well-known for his achievements in the world of wrestling, having won a world title in 1955, and coming in second place at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics and the 1962 and 1963 world championships.
Fabra was not done there, as he still managed to place fifth at the 1960 Olympics and fourth at the 1964 Olympics, showing that he was a consistent competitor. What makes Fabra’s achievements even more remarkable is the fact that he was deaf since birth.
Despite his disability, Fabra was able to communicate by signs and still managed to reach the highest levels in his sport. This is a testament to his hard work and determination, as he was able to overcome the odds and show the world what he was capable of.
His story is an inspiration to those who feel hindered by their disability, and it proves that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
17. Joe Savoldi
Joseph Anthony Savoldi Jr., better known by his nickname “Jumping Joe” Savoldi, was a man of many talents. He was an Italian-American professional wrestler, football player, and Special Ops agent for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II.
Savoldi was an incredibly versatile individual and his nickname “Jumping Joe” has become a testament to his athleticism and capability. Savoldi was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1907 and was a star athlete at a young age.
He began his career as a professional wrestler in the 1930s and quickly became one of the most popular wrestlers in the industry. Savoldi was known for his signature move, the “jumping flying tackle”, which earned him his nickname.
He was an incredibly successful wrestler and held multiple championships throughout his career. In addition to his career as a wrestler, Savoldi was also a professional football player.
He played for the Chicago Cardinals in the National Football League and the Chicago Rockets in the All-America Football Conference. His football career was brief, but he was still able to make a name for himself thanks to his athleticism and skill on the field.
During World War II, Savoldi enlisted in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and became a Special Ops agent. His mission was to conduct espionage operations in Nazi-occupied Europe and he completed multiple successful missions during the war.
He was a brave and courageous soldier and was highly respected by his peers. Joseph Anthony Savoldi Jr., better known as “Jumping Joe” Savoldi, was an incredible individual who excelled in multiple fields.
His athletic prowess, bravery, and determination made him a success in all of the areas he pursued. He will be remembered as a true American hero.
18. Giovanni Raicevich
Giovanni Raicevich was a well-known figure in the world of professional wrestling. Born in Italy in 1934, Raicevich made his debut in the ring in 1953 and quickly gained prominence in the sport.
He competed in various promotions around the world and held several titles throughout his career. He gained a reputation for his hard-hitting style and was known for utilizing a variety of submission moves.
He was also a master of the art of psychological warfare, often using psychological tactics to outsmart his opponents. He was a popular draw and was considered one of the most dangerous and talented wrestlers of his era.
After his retirement in 1975, Raicevich was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1983. He is remembered as one of the most influential figures in the history of professional wrestling.
19. Marvin Vettori
Marvin Vettori is an Italian professional mixed martial artist and currently competes in the Middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Vettori began his professional career in 2012 and has since become a former Venator FC Welterweight Champion.
As of August 1, 2023, he is ranked fourth overall in the UFC Middleweight rankings. Vettori has shown tremendous skill and determination in his MMA career and has become a top fighter in the Middleweight division.
His impressive record and consistent performances have earned him recognition from both his peers and fans alike. With his current ranking, Vettori is looking to make a statement and gain the title of UFC Middleweight Champion.
20. Garibaldo Nizzola
Garibaldo Nizzola was an Italian freestyle wrestler who had some impressive achievements during his career. He competed in the lightweight division at the 1948, 1952, 1956, and 1960 Olympics, and his best result was a fourth-place finish in 1948.
Additionally, he won silver medals at the 1951 World Championships and Mediterranean Games. Nizzola was incredibly dedicated to his sport and was determined to succeed at the highest level.
Throughout his career, he worked hard to perfect his skills and techniques, and his hard work paid off when he achieved success at the Olympic and World Championships. He was also successful at the Mediterranean Games, where he won silver medals.
Nizzola was an inspirational figure in the world of wrestling, and his achievements are admired by many. He was a true champion, and he will always be remembered for his dedication and commitment to the sport of wrestling.
21. Dawn Marie Psaltis
Dawn Marie Psaltis is a multi-talented individual who has accomplished a great deal in her life. She is an American actress, nurse, retired professional wrestler and professional wrestling valet.
She has appeared in multiple movies and television shows and is well-known for her work in the wrestling industry. Psaltis is most widely known for her work with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and SmackDown! brand of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
During her time in the sport, she went by the ring name “Dawn Marie.” Marie was a popular figure in the wrestling world, as she was known for her bold personality and her ability to perform in the ring.
Psaltis’ successful career in wrestling led to her being inducted into the ECW Hall of Fame in 2018. She has also been honored with the Women’s Division Award for her achievements in the sport.
After a long and successful career, Psaltis retired from professional wrestling in 2011. Today, Dawn Marie Psaltis continues to be a respected figure in the wrestling world.
She is also a successful actress and nurse, and her work in the entertainment and medical industries has been paramount to her success. Her name is synonymous with excellence, and she has left a lasting legacy in the wrestling world.
22. Bull Montana
Lewis Montagna, better known by his stage name Bull Montana, was a prominent figure in the world of professional wrestling, boxing, and acting. He was born in Italy and immigrated to the United States with his family as a child.
He developed a passion for wrestling and boxing at a young age and eventually began competing in his teens. He quickly gained fame for his size, strength, and agility, and became a professional wrestler by the early 1900s.
He competed in a variety of matches, including tag team matches, and had notable feuds with the likes of Frank Gotch and Ed “Strangler” Lewis. Montagna’s career as a professional wrestler led to opportunities in film and television.
He appeared in the silent films The Man from Hell’s River and The Italian and later appeared in such films as The Sheik and The Return of Chandu.
He was also featured in several episodes of the popular television series The Adventures of Superman. Montagna was not only a successful wrestler and actor but also a successful boxer.
He won several local championships and fought in several matches against famous boxers, such as Jack Dempsey. Montagna retired from the world of professional wrestling in the 1930s and focused on his acting career.
He was a popular figure in Hollywood and appeared in several films until his death in 1950. He was posthumously inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003.
23. Chuck Palumbo
Charles Palumbo is a well-known name among professional wrestling fans. He is an American retired professional wrestler who achieved success in multiple promotions during his career.
Palumbo is most notably remembered for his time in both World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/E). During his time with WCW, Palumbo held the WCW World Tag Team Championship with partner Sean O’Haire.
This championship win made them the first tag team to hold both the WCW and WWF/E Tag Team Championships.
Palumbo also achieved success in the WWF/E, winning the World Tag Team Championship with fellow wrestler Johnny Stamboli. Palumbo’s career in the world of professional wrestling spanned the late-1990s and 2000s.
During this time, he was a popular wrestler and managed to make an impact in multiple promotions. His championship reigns with WCW and WWF/E are a testament to his talent and dedication to the sport.
24. Marcello Nizzola
Marcello Nizzola was an Italian wrestler who achieved success in Greco-Roman wrestling. He competed in the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where he won a silver medal in the bantamweight class.
Four years later, he returned to the Olympics for the 1936 Summer Games, though it is unclear what results he achieved. Nizzola was a highly regarded wrestler in his own country and was considered to be one of the best Greco-Roman wrestlers in Italy.
He trained extensively for the Olympics and was determined to bring honor to his country.
His success at the 1932 Summer Olympics was a major achievement and earned him acclaim from fellow athletes and fans. Nizzola’s success at the Olympics was an inspiration to many aspiring wrestlers in Italy.
He was held in high regard and his silver medal was a symbol of his country’s success in the sport. He set a standard for other Italian wrestlers to strive for and his legacy remains a source of pride and admiration in his home country.
25. Ashley Massaro
Ashley Marie Massaro was a multi-faceted entertainer with a career spanning across various platforms. She was an American professional wrestler, reality television contestant, and model.
Her professional wrestling career was most notably associated with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). She was also recognized for appearing on the popular reality television series Survivor: China. Massaro first gained notoriety in 2005 when she won WWE’s Diva Search.
This competition was a nationwide search for the best female wrestler in the country. As the winner, Massaro received a contract with WWE and made her debut on the wrestling circuit.
Her participation in the Diva Search launched her career in professional wrestling and she quickly became a fan favorite. Massaro’s success in WWE was further cemented by her participation in Survivor: China.
During her time on the show, Massaro was able to demonstrate her strength and determination as she competed in various challenges.
This experience, in addition to her success in WWE, further solidified her as a multi-talented entertainer. Massaro’s career in the entertainment industry was sadly cut short in 2019 when she passed away at the age of 39.
Despite her untimely passing, Massaro will be remembered and celebrated for her impressive career and impact on the wrestling and reality television industry.
26. Daigoro Timoncini
Daigoro Timoncini is an Italian Greco-Roman wrestler who has achieved a great deal of success in his sport. He is a two-time Olympian, having represented Italy in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
Furthermore, he is a six-time Italian National Wrestling Champion in the heavyweight category.
His successes have earned him a great deal of respect in the wrestling community, and his name has become iconic in Italian wrestling. Timoncini began his wrestling career in the mid-1990s, and it didn’t take long for him to make a name for himself.
He won his first Italian National Wrestling Championship in 1998, and he went on to win five more championships in the following years. His success at the national level made him an obvious choice to represent Italy in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
Although he did not medal in either of these games, he earned a great deal of respect for his hard work and dedication. Timoncini is still an active wrestler today, and his accomplishments remain a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport.
His name is synonymous with Greco-Roman wrestling in Italy, and he is an inspiration to aspiring wrestlers everywhere.
27. Ercole Gallegati
Ercole Gallegati was an Italian wrestler who achieved great success throughout his career. He competed in several Olympic Games, both in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling. At the 1932 and 1948 Olympics, he won bronze medals in Greco-Roman wrestling.
He also competed in the 1936 Olympics in both Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling and at the 1952 Olympics. On top of that, he won a bronze medal in the 1934 European Championships. All of these achievements make Ercole Gallegati an impressive figure in the world of wrestling.
His success inspires many aspiring wrestlers to strive for excellence and pursue their dreams.
Italy has a rich history of wrestling, and some of the best wrestlers in the world have come from this country. Italy is home to many talented grapplers, and it is no wonder that Italian wrestlers are respected and admired by their peers around the world.
From the traditional Greco-Roman style to the more contemporary freestyle and submission wrestling, Italy has a wide variety of talented wrestlers.
Whether they are competing for gold at the Olympics or just enjoying a friendly match in their own backyards, Italian wrestlers are a force to be reckoned with.