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   July 24, 2014



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Nunzio

REAL NAME: James Maritato
HOMETOWN: Sicily, Italy
HEIGHT: 5'7"
WEIGHT: 187 lbs.
TURNED PRO: 1991
FORMER IDENTITIES: Little Guido (ECW), James Stone (Independents) and Damien Stone (ECW)
CHAMPIONSHIPS HELD: ECW World Tag Team Championships (with Tracey Smothers as the F.B.I.), WWE Cruiserweight title

James Maritato is very proud of his Italian heritage, so much so that his being Italian has always been a major part of the character he has portrayed in the ring. And while Maritato has never been a World Champion, he has found success in both the tag team and the cruiserweight ranks. Despite his small stature, Maritato, now known as Nunzio, is a very accomplished wrestler who has made a big name for himself in ECW and the WWE.

Nunzio's Italian gimmick is not a work, as he, by all accounts, really was born in Sicily, Italy. He broke into the business with the UWFI (Union of Wrestling Force International), training with such legends as Billy Robinson, Lou Thesz and Danny Hodge.

Contacted by ECW head Paul Heyman, Nunzio joined J.T. Smith as the Full Blooded Italians. He wrestled for a short while as Damien Stone, then James Maritato before finally being dubbed Little Guido Maritato.

The Full Blooded Italians (or F.B.I.) would include Tony Mamaluke, Tracey Smothers, and "The Godfather" Tommy Rich, and would be actively involved in ECW's tag team scene, feuding extensively with the Dudley Boys, and Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten. The FBI also had a long, memorable rivalry with SuperNova and the Blue Meanie.

By 1999, Little Guido was also part of the Cruiserweight action, battling Super Crazy and Tajiri in exciting three-way dances. But just because he was battling the other cruiserweights didn't mean he had given up tag action with the FBI. On August 26, 2000, he teamed with Tony Mamaluke to defeat Tajiri and Mikey Whipwreck to win the ECW Tag Team titles, a championship they retained until December 3, 2000, when they lost the belts to Danny Doring and Roadkill. After losing the belts later that year, the duo were never able to reclaim the gold.

After the demise of ECW, Little Guido spent some time in Assault Championship Wrestling, and did shows for Ring of Honor and USA Pro Wrestling, as was given a couple of tryout matches with WWE. In December 2002, he appeared as Nunzio (Jamie Noble's cousin) on Smackdown. In March 2003, Chuck Palumbo and Johnny Stamboli appeared on Nunzio's side. The Full Blooded Italians or F.B.I. had returned.

With the F.B.I., Nunzio worked in both tag matches and in cruiserweight matches, regularly challenging the champions (such as Chavo Guerrero and Spike Dudley) for the Cruiserweight Championship. While his appearances on pay-per-views and even major matches on Smackdown were few and far between, Nunzio remained a part of the roster.

In June 2005, Nunzio returned to his roots as Little Guido for the One Night Stand PPV, a reunion of ECW veterans. The show's success led to a reformed ECW in WWE, and after pairing with Big Vito for a while still as Nunzio, he jumped to the off-shoot promotion under Little Guido. It's a bit of a blur from there, as under either name, he never really got a big push, and was released from WWE in August 2008.

He found work on the indy scene, and even for a short while in TNA and Ring of Honor. As well, Maritato served as a trainer for the Bodyslam U wrestling school in New Jersey.

After a brief return to WWE, where he was primarly used as a referee, Maritato resurfaced in the TNA Ring Ka King promotion as Tony Broadway.

NUNZIO / LITTLE GUIDO STORIES

  • April 27, 2012: Little Guido returns to the Extreme
  • June 15, 2009: Doors continue to open for Nunzio
  • Mar. 10, 2009: Fans ask, Nunzio answers
  • Feb. 25, 2009: Nunzio turns his attention to training
  • Aug. 9, 2008: More WWE cuts confirmed
  • Sep. 20, 2001: Guido toughing it out on indies
  • Nov. 1, 2000: Little Guido - ECW's mini-mite
  • Oct. 2, 2000: Guido was pumped for Anarchy Rulz