Mario Milano a hero in black and white

Mario Milano a hero in black and white - 13th December 2016

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Wrestler Mario Milano after a victory

by Ray Gatt

As kids in the 1960s and 70s, many a Saturday was spent trying to imitate the Atomic Drop.

Much to the horror of parents, the move involved picking up an opponent, turning him upside down then dropping him on his head.

They were the days when the likes of Mario Milano, Mark Lewin, Spiros Arion, Skull Murphy, King Curtis and Brute Bernard were heroes of the living room as Australians tuned into the black and white screenings of World Championship Wrestling.

For many the blood, the sleeper hold, the claw hold and the brain buster were real. And one of the men who made it look so convincing was Milano, who died last Friday at the age of 81.

The Italian was a popular figure, a classic “goodie” although there was a time
when he went over to the dark side.

Tall and heavily built, Milano, real name Mario Bulfone, was also popular with Italian Australians.

Along with the Golden Greek, Arion, they were heroes to the large migrant communities of the times.

Milano was born in Trieste, Italy, before moving to Venezuela, where he grew up and where he started his wrestling career before moving to the US in 1962.

He was convinced to move to Australia in 1967 and once he arrived, he never went back.

Milano wrestled into the late 1970s before retiring.

He had three children from his first marriage and two children from his second marriage.

(The Australian)