James Maritato

This article is about the professional wrestler known as "Nunzio". For other uses, see Nunzio (disambiguation).
James Maritato

Maritato in 2010
Birth name James Maritato
Born (1972-03-12) March 12, 1972[1]
Howard Beach, Queens, New York, New York[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Damien Stone[1]
Guido Maritato[1]
James Maritato[1]
James Stone
Little Guido[1]
Little Guido Maritato[1]
Tony Broadway[2]
Billed height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Billed weight 170 lb (77 kg)
Billed from Rockland County, New York[3]
Little Italy, New York City
Trained by Billy Robinson[1]
Debut 1991[1]

James Maritato[1] (born March 12, 1972)[1] is an Italian American professional wrestler currently working on the independent circuit. He is best known for his work in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) under the ring names Little Guido Maritato and Nunzio.

Professional wrestling career

Early career

While attending Nanuet Senior High School (located in Rockland County, New York), Maritato competed in football (as part of the school's 1989 team that went undefeated, untied, and unscored upon) and wrestling. He was later trained as a professional by Billy Robinson, debuting in the professional ranks in the early 1990s, with his first match against a wrestler known as Parsippany Smith Fields (real name Eric Fox), according to his shoot interview.[1][4] Maritato then went to Japan to compete in the shoot style UWF International promotion.[1] He also competed in Amarillo, TX promotion USWF under the name James Stone.[5]

Eastern / Extreme Championship Wrestling (1992–2001)

He stayed in UWF until 1992 where he joined Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) under the name Damian Stone.[4] He was later given the gimmick of Little Guido and put in the comedy stable The Full Blooded Italians (F.B.I.), alongside an African American named "The Italian Stallion" J.T. Smith, Tracy Smothers, and "The Big Don" Tommy Rich. None of whom, with the exception of Maritato, were really of Italian descent.[4]

During 1999, he became a "serious wrestler", although still accompanied by Sal E. Graziano and proclaiming himself to be an F.B.I. member (though only the two of them were left). After his turn he was involved in some intense singles matches until late 2000, when he formed a tag team with Tony Mamaluke.[4] The duo won the World Tag Team Championship on August 26, 2000 and held them until December when they lost them to Danny Doring and Roadkill.[4] They continued to wrestle together until ECW folded in January 2001.[1]

World Wrestling Entertainment

SmackDown! (2002–2006)

When ECW closed, Maritato wrestled for several independent promotions, mostly in the New York Tri-State area; he often teamed with former partner Tony Mamaluke. They had a notable run in Ring of Honor before Maritato was signed by World Wrestling Entertainment in 2002.[4]

Maritato was introduced on WWE television as Nunzio, a possible reference to the mob/bodyguard characters Guido and Nunzio in the MythAdventures series of books by Robert Asprin.[4] As the on-screen heel cousin of Jamie Noble, he attacked then face Crash Holly after he defeated Noble in a match on the December 12, 2002 edition of SmackDown!.[4][6] Nunzio began a feud with Holly after this, defeating him on several occasions before going on to face the likes of Tajiri, Shannon Moore, and Chuck Palumbo.[7][8]

The team and cousin storyline of Nunzio and Noble soon faded. Nunzio reformed the Full Blooded Italians, this time with Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli and Chuck Palumbo, but the team found little success.[9] After WrestleMania XX, Palumbo was drafted to Raw, and the F.B.I. was reduced to a tag team.[10] After Stamboli was released, Nunzio began competing in the cruiserweight division.[4]

In 2005, Maritato returned to his Little Guido persona for one night; he reunited with the original Full Blooded Italians to take on Super Crazy and Tajiri in a three-way dance at the ECW reunion show One Night Stand.[11]

As Nunzio, he continued to perform on SmackDown! B-show Velocity as both a fan favorite and a villain, forming a short-lived tag team with Funaki. On the August 6 (taped on August 2) edition of Velocity, Nunzio won the Cruiserweight Championship by defeating Paul London after a new villainous wrestler, Vito, made his debut by giving Nunzio a blackjack, which he used to knock London out.[12] Nunzio joined forces with Vito, thus becoming a full-time villain.

The pair began feuding with The Mexicools and at No Mercy, Mexicool member Juventud defeated Nunzio with a Juvi Driver to take the Cruiserweight Championship.[13] Nunzio regained the title on November 15 at a house show in Rome, Italy but lost it right back to Juventud on the November 25 SmackDown.[14]

Nunzio and Vito would both briefly turn into fan favorites by briefly engaging in a feud against Gregory Helms. Vito and Nunzio would quickly go back to being villains, however, due to Vito's new godfather gimmick.

In late May 2006, Nunzio's partnership with Vito began to crumble after it was revealed that, in storyline, Vito enjoyed cross-dressing, which made Nunzio feel betrayed and embarrassed.[15][16] Nunzio ended his alliance with Vito, and moved to the ECW brand.[17]

ECW (2006–2008)

In June when the ECW brand was launched, Nunzio left SmackDown to join other "ECW originals" on ECW, retaking his Little Guido name in the process.[17] F.B.I. was revived again, this time with Little Guido as a face once again, alongside Tony Mamaluke and Trinity and for a short while, Big Guido.[18] The F.B.I. were used for tag matches on ECW to either take on debuting tag teams or facing another tag team when a tag match is needed.[18] At December to Dismember, they took on Elijah Burke and Sylvester Terkay in a losing effort.[19] His partner Tony Mamaluke was released on January 18, leaving Guido and Trinity alone to carry on the stable.[20][21]

After Mamaluke's release, Little Guido vanished from television (he only appeared once on ECW on Sci Fi with the Little Guido name). After his hiatus, he later returned on the April 17, 2007 episode (in Italy, where he was well received by fans) using his old Nunzio name again but without Trinity, who had been released in June.[22][23] After losses to the debuting Johnny Nitro and The Miz, Nunzio disappeared from television for a few months.[24][25] He returned on the September 11 edition of ECW, in a losing effort to Matt Striker.[26] Nunzio was used mainly as a jobber during this period, losing to Tommy Dreamer,[27] Jamie Noble,[28] Kevin Thorn,[29] and Kenny Dykstra.[30]

In 2008, Nunzio returned on January 15, in a losing effort against Shelton Benjamin,[31] and on his next appearance, on April 8, he lost to Elijah Burke.[32] He then engaged in a brief feud with Mark Henry, but came out on the losing end.[33][34] After nearly 2 years, Nunzio finally won a broadcast match on May 5, as he was in a handicap match along with the rest of the ECW roster against Triple H and Mr. Kennedy.[35]

On August 8, 2008, Nunzio was released from his WWE contract.[36]

Independent circuit (2009–present)

Maritato (right) and Big Vito in 2013.

Maritato wrestled for Jersey All Pro Wrestling on September 19.[37] On November 15, he won the JAPW Tag Team Championship with Tracy Smothers. On January 16, 2009, Maritato was inducted into the ECPW Hall of Fame.

In February 2009, it was announced that Maritato would be a trainer for the "Bodyslam U" professional wrestling school in New Jersey, while still competing on the independent circuit.[38] In June Guido returned to Ring of Honor losing to Jay Briscoe at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.[39] In late 2009, Maritato began competing for the National Wrestling Alliance under the name Nunzio. He also performed for the NWA On Fire expansion based out of New England.[40] Maritato reunited again on October 6, 2012 as F.B.I., being defeated by Danny Doring and Roadkill in the House of Hardcore's first show.[41] At House of Hardcore 2, now returning under his Little Guido ringname, faced Vik Dalishus in a losing effort. On June 6, 2014, at House of Hardcore 4, Maritato defeated Matt Striker. Maritato wrestled at House of Hardcore's next event on June 7, 2014, in which he defeated Danny Doring.

At House of Hardcore 7, Maritato teamed up with Team Tremendous (Bil Carr and Dan Barry) to take on Anthony Greene, Ben Ortiz, and Vik Dalishus in a winning effort.[42] He then took part in a ten-man tag team match at House of Hardcore 10, teaming up with Officer Colt Cabana, Bill Carr, Dan Barry, and F.B.I. member Tony Mamaluke, to successfully defeat Afa Jr., Jade, Lance Anoa'i, L.A. Smooth, and Vik Dalishus.[43]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2010)

On August 8, 2010, Maritato took part in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's ECW reunion show, Hardcore Justice, where he, Tony Mamaluke (billed as Tony Luke) and Tracy Smothers defeated Kid Kash, Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger in a six-man tag team match.[44] On the following edition of TNA Impact!, the ECW alumni, known collectively as Extreme, Version 2.0 (EV 2.0), were assaulted by A.J. Styles, Kazarian, Robert Roode, James Storm, Douglas Williams and Matt Morgan of Ric Flair's Fourtune stable, who thought they didn't deserve to be in TNA.[45][46] The following week TNA president Dixie Carter gave each member of EV 2.0 TNA contracts in order for them to settle their score with Fourtune.[47] On the August 26 edition of Impact! Guido and Luke were squashed by Roode and Storm in a tag team match.[48] The match ended F.B.I.'s association with TNA. Maritato was announced as a part of the new Total Nonstop Action India based project Ring Ka King working under the name Tony Broadway teaming with Joey Hollywood.[2] However Ring Ka King only lasted one season and ended the same year.

Return to WWE (2010–2011)

Maritato appeared at a house show for WWE Raw, at Madison Square Garden on December 26, 2010, as a referee when the majority of referees could not make it to the arena due to blizzards and gale force winds; this position expanded to televised events on February 1. On September 29, 2011, Maritato announced that he was no longer working for WWE.[49]

Other media

On March 6, 2006, Maritato was seen supporting his brother on the NBC game show Deal or No Deal in which he won $25,000. In 1996 Mariato competed in a mixed martial arts fight in Texas against Steve Nelson who was also his past opponent in UWFi. The fight appears on Nelson's official mma record as a win. Mariato competed under the name James Stone which he also wrestled under in UWFi in Japan.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments


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