by Tom Leturgey
Eight days before famed professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson hosts Wrestlemania 27 in Atlanta, Georgia one of his predecessors takes his rightful place in the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame in Pittsburgh.
Bobby “Hurricane” Hunt, once a promising track and field athlete and collegiate tailback, had his professional football dreams dashed by a brutal tackle that forever damaged his knee. Years after rehabilitation, Hunt found himself inside the squared circle, a hero in Studio Wrestling. It was there that “The Hurricane” became one of the industry’s top stars.
BOBBY “HURRICANE” HUNT
By 1963, Hunt was wrestling frequently on WIIC-TV and in the Civic Arena and Forbes Field where thousands would come out each month to see their favorite wrestling stars. Those early matches saw Hunt wrestle local athletes like Chuck Martoni (who is now vice president, Allegheny County Council), Frank Durso and “Killer” Joe Abby. Hunt was also tag team partners with the legendary Bobo Brazil and current Allegheny County Councilor-At-Large “Jumpin’” Johnny DeFazio. Over the years, Hunt wrestled just about every star of consequence, including George “The Animal” Steele and Baron Mikel Scicluna.
It’s interesting to note, despite doctors once telling him that his damaged right leg would be virtually useless, Hunt would become a “quick” wrestler who utilized the Drop Kick to finish off opponents in the middle of the ring.
Hunt will be honored at the KSWA’s 4th annual Joe Abby Memorial Tournament on March 26 at the Home of Professional Wrestling in Pittsburgh, the Lawrenceville Moose. The tournament was named for Abby because of his Lawrenceville roots and work ethic. Abby was the first inductee into the KSWA Hall of Fame and Durso, who is still very much active as a villainous “Advisor,” to a stable of “Megastars” called the “VIP’s,” was also inducted immediately after Abby.
Hunt has made periodic appearances in the KSWA (including last year’s Joe Abby Tournament) and has garnered instant respect with the newer generation of wrestlers. His visit during last year’s tournament re-kindled a feud with old rival Durso. At another event in Lawrenceville last year, a fundraiser for the St. John Neumann School, Hunt seconded a KSWA wrestler to the ring.
Hunt will be inducted along with the late Ron Romano, another Studio Wrestling character, as a part of the “Class of 2011.”
Bobby “Hurricane” Hunt was profiled in a 1965 edition of Ebony Magazine that highlighted his incredibly-impressive 123-2 win/loss record. The article went on to say that Hunt was on the verge of super stardom in the business, and he had the eye of then-champion Bruno Sammartino. The Hurricane would continue with a stellar wrestling career in Pittsburgh—and was the case for many local wrestlers—he had a day job as a contractor. He continues to make appearances at autograph signings, along with quite a few of the Studio Wrestling stars, as as Sammartino, Dominic DeNucci, DeFazio, Martoni, Durso and famed announcer “Chilly” Bill Cardille.
But Hunt once again steps inside Pittsburgh’s professional wrestling ring when he accepts induction into the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame. Bell time is 7:30 p.m. All tickets are $5 each.