Disco Inferno (wrestler)

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Disco Inferno
GlenGilberti.jpg
Ring name(s) Disco Inferno
Disqo[1]
Glenn Gilbertti[1]
La Cucharacha[2]
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[3]
Billed weight 238 lb (108 kg)[3]
Born (1968-11-12) November 12, 1968 (age 45)[1][3]
Brooklyn[1][3]
Resides Las Vegas[1]
Billed from Brooklyn
Trained by Steve Lawler[1]
Debut 1991[1]

Glenn Gilbertti (born November 12, 1968) is an American professional wrestler, best known for his appearances with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as Disco Inferno (later changed to Disqo).[1][4] He is also a former road agent for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

During his six-year tenure with WCW, Gilbertti became a one-time Cruiserweight Champion,[5] a two-time Television Champion[6] and a one-time World Tag Team Champion[7] with Alex Wright, as part of the tag team Boogie Knights.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Gilbertti started wrestling in 1991 wrestling his first match on November 20, 1991.[1] He wrestled on the Georgia independent circuit, where he was best known for his time with Great Championship Wrestling (GCW) where he won several titles. He also had short stints with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) in 1992.[3]

World Championship Wrestling (1995–2001)[edit]

Mid-card (1995–1996)[edit]

Gilbertti made his name in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as Disco Inferno, named after The Trammps' song and inspired by John Travolta's character Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever. He annoyed the audience with his disco dancer character, which included dancing on the way to the ring and during his matches, the punchline being that fans would chant "Disco sucks!".

Gilbertti signed a contract with WCW in 1995 and debuted later that same year. He gradually rose to mid-card status as a tweener, with his gimmick being that he would forget how to apply his finishing hold, a standing figure four leglock. Often, he would bring a cheat sheet with a diagram on how to apply the hold to the ring. He mostly competed in WCW's mid-card division shows including Saturday Night, Main Event and WorldWide.[3] Inferno wrestled on many editions of Main Event before pay-per-view events against superstars such as Joey Maggs and Eddie Guerrero.[8][9] He also competed on January 23, 1996 edition of Clash of the Champions in a losing effort to Kevin Sullivan.[10] Inferno made his pay-per-view debut at Slamboree 1996: Lord of the Ring in a tag team contest where he teamed up with Alex Wright against Dick Slater and Earl Robert Eaton.[11]

Face push (1996–1997)[edit]

Inferno started making a push in the cruiserweight division by the mid-1996. He began a feud with Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko and unsuccessfully challenged him for the title at Bash at the Beach.[12] At World War 3, he participated in the three ring, 60 man battle royal with the winner receiving a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship.[13] Inferno was injured in early 1997 and he took some time off before returning in September. His injury was mentioned after Disco refused to lose to Jacquelyn because she was a woman.[14]

He then feuded with Alex Wright, who began dancing before his entrance to mock Disco. The two became arch-dancing-rivals. Disco was booked to win the World Television Championship from Wright on September 22 edition of Nitro.[1][3][6][15] He lost to Jacqueline at Halloween Havoc.[16] He engaged in a feud with Perry Saturn after losing the Television title to Saturn on November 3 episode of Nitro.[17] Disco lost to Saturn in a rematch at World War 3,[18] before finally regaining the title from Saturn in a rematch on December 8 episode of Nitro for his second Television title.[1][3][6][19] Four weeks later, he dropped the title to Booker T.[1][3][20]

Heel turn (1998–2001)[edit]

The Dancing Fools[edit]

After having two reigns as Television Champion, Disco once again became a jobber and a mid-carder in the cruiserweight division.[3] He defeated La Parka at SuperBrawl VIII.[21] He patched up things with former rival Alex Wright, thus turning into a villain in the process and the duo formed a tag team of dancers known as Dancing Fools. The team was used for comedy relief and often danced before their entrance. They were also joined by fellow dancer Tokyo Magnum.[3] At Bash at the Beach, Inferno lost a match to Konnan.[22] Inferno and Wright feuded with teams such as The Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock),[23] and The British Bulldog and Jim Neidhart.[24]

nWo Wolfpac associate member[edit]

After not getting any success, Inferno and Wright split and began focusing on their singles careers again. Inferno started a feud with Juventud Guerrera and defeated him at Halloween Havoc to become the number one contender to the Cruiserweight Championship.[3][25] He earned his title shot later that night against champion Billy Kidman but lost the match.[25] At World War 3, he participated in the three ring, 60-man battle royal with the winner getting a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship at Starrcade, but the battle royal was won by Kevin Nash.[26] Inferno became allied with, and eventually joined the nWo Wolfpac.[1][3] Around that time, Disco feuded with the likes of Booker T,[27] Konnan,[28] Buff Bagwell[29] and Ernest Miller.[3][30]

The Mamalukes enforcer[edit]
Gilbertti as Disco Inferno in 1998 with 2 fans.

Inferno won the Cruiserweight Championship from Psychosis on October 4, 1999 edition of Nitro.[3][31][32] He entered a program with Lash LeRoux and had a successful title defense against LeRoux at Halloween Havoc.[3][33] He was joined by a new ally Tony Marinara. Inferno dropped the Cruiserweight title to Evan Karagias at Mayhem after Inferno accidentally attacked Marinara.[3][34] Marinara joined The Mamalukes, while Disco was joined by LeRoux. At Starrcade, Disco and LeRoux lost to Mamalukes after Disco accidentally attacked LeRoux.[3][35] Disco aligned with Mamalukes and became an enforcer for the duo.[3]

The Filthy Animals, heel incarnation[edit]

In spring 2000, Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo "rebooted" WCW and the New Blood was formed. The Mamalukes became members of New Blood and Disco signed with The Mamalukes. He left the group, however, and joined the Filthy Animals,[3] renaming himself Disqo (a pun on R&B singer Sisqó, whose single "Thong Song" was a major hit at the time). The Filthy Animals feuded with Misfits in Action and Disqo unsuccessfully challenged Lieutenant Loco for the Cruiserweight Championship at The Great American Bash.[3][36] At New Blood Rising, Disqo refereed a fatal four-way match for the World Tag Team Championship, which KroniK won.[3][37] At Fall Brawl 2000, Filthy Animals fought Natural Born Thrillers to a no contest in an elimination match.[3][38] During the match, Disco turned on Konnan by hitting him with a Chart Buster and began feuding with both the Animals and the Thrillers.[3]

The Boogie Knights[edit]

Disco reunited with both former rival and tag team partner, Alex Wright as The Boogie Knights. At Halloween Havoc, they challenged for the World Tag Team Championship in a triangle match but ended up losing the match.[3][39] They were scheduled to win the World Tag Team Championship at Millennium Final on November 16, but Disqo was legitimately injured. General Rection substituted for Disqo and then won the tag titles for Disqo and Wright.[7][40] They dropped the title afterward. Disco remained with the company until it was purchased by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in March 2001. Uninterested in Gilbertti, the WWF neglected to acquire his contract.

World Wrestling All-Stars[edit]

In the late 1990s into the early 2000s, he also appeared on WCW Announcer Mark Madden's sports radio talk show on ESPN Radio 1250 in Pittsburgh as "Mr. Friday Afternoon". Around this time he was also a commentator and wrestler (still using the Disco Inferno name) for World Wrestling All-Stars (WWA).[3] At Inception, he participated in a battle royal which was won by Buff Bagwell. It was a quarter-final match of the tournament for the vacant WWA World Heavyweight Championship.[1][41] He was eliminated by the 'Fruits in Suits', Australian children's TV performers, in a WCW style joke story line. He later threw of the fruits off the top of the steel cage before the main event. During his time with the WWA Disco continued his humorous gimmick both in and out of the ring. Following the Inception PPV he toured the UK with the WWA. He faced Brian Christopher most nights on the tour, mostly ending in defeat. During these shows he introduced a new finishing move, the Village People's Elbow. This was a mock of the Rock's people's elbow and involved Disco wearing a hardhat and doing the YMCA dance before dropping the elbow. Also at these shows he joined Jeremy Borash on commentary in the second half of the shows, claiming that he was there as the crowd had not shown him respect earlier in the show.

In 2002 Disco continued with the WWA, appearing at the Revolution pay-per-view in February. During this show he issued an open challenge for anyone to face him, as he had no opponent to face. He sat at ringside commentating in his usual style until he was beaten down by the returning Scott Steiner. The next PPV, Eruption, saw Disco commentating on the full event and not competing. He tried to intervene on a celebration dance off by Brian Christopher and Ernest Miller.

Later in the year he toured further with the WWA in the UK in December. During this tour, which included the Retribution PPV, he mostly worked on commentary and ring announcing duties. He also credited as being the script writer/creative consultant for this tour. In 2003, he returned to WWA under his "Disco Inferno" gimmick. On May 23 in a house show in Australia, Disco faced WWA World Heavyweight Champion Sting for the title but lost the match.[1][42] He returned to commentary duties for the WWA final PPV, the Reckoning.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2002–2004)[edit]

Jive Talkin' (2002)[edit]

Gilbertti then went on to join Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), changing his alias to his real name.[1] His name was often spelled incorrectly using "Glen Gilberti" or "Glenn Gilberti". On the July 31, 2002, weekly TNA pay-per-view, Disco Inferno debuted his weekly talk segment entitled Jive Talkin'[43] after announcing that he would be hosting a talk show the previous week.[44] The talk segment lasted three weeks ending on August 14, 2002 with the weekly guests being Goldy Locks, The Dupps, and "Dean Baldwin".[45]

Sports Entertainment Xtreme (2003)[edit]

Gilbertti became a member of Sports Entertainment Xtreme (SEX) and even became their leader near the end of that angle.[1][46] On May 7, 2003 pay-per-view, he won an Anarchy Battle Royal to become the number one contender to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.[1][47] The next month, he earned his title shot against the champion Jeff Jarrett but lost the match after Vince Russo hit him with a baseball bat.[1][48]

New York Connection (2003–2004)[edit]

After SEX disbanded, Gilbertti managed the tag team Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger prior to forming the New York Connection (NYC) which consisted of Vito, Simon Diamond, David Young, Johnny Swinger and Trinity.[1] On the November 26 pay-per-view, Gilbertti teamed up with Diamond and Swinger in a 6-man tag team match to face 3Live Kru (Konnan, Ron Killings and B.G. James) for the vacant NWA World Tag Team Championship.[1][49] When their stable fell apart, Gilbertti began teaming with Young while Diamond and Swinger formed a separate team. In late 2004, Gilbertti reunited with Swinger and the duo teamed up together at Turning Point in a losing effort to Pat Kenney (formerly Simon Diamond) and Johnny B. Badd.[1][7] Gilbertti left TNA and returned to independent circuit.

Independent circuit[edit]

In 2005, Gilbertti went back to working the independent circuit in Georgia and Minnesota. He also wrestled for the Southern Wrestling Alliance and Vince Russo's Ring of Glory.[3]

On April 19, 2008, Gilbertti attended an Armageddon Convention in Wellington, New Zealand in which he won the Impact Pro Wrestling New Zealand Armageddon Cup. Gilbertti appeared at the Christchurch convention where he lost the cup on April 26, 2008. He also wrestled a tag team match on April 27, 2008 at the same convention. His partner was IPW Champion "The Deal" Dal Knox. As of 2009–2010 he has been working for Future Stars of Wrestling in Las Vegas.

He has also appeared in Traditional Championship Wrestling, against the likes of "King" Shane Williams.

Return to TNA (2007–2008, 2011)[edit]

On October 18, 2007 edition of Impact!, Gilbertti appeared in a taped interview segment with Mike Tenay as Disco Inferno. He returned later in the show, losing in a squash match to Abyss.[1][50]

In late 2007, Gilbertti worked for TNA as a road agent. He also attended TNA's Lockdown fan interaction in Lowell, Massachusetts on April 12, 2008 and later appeared as a guest on the October 8, 2008 edition of Spin Cycle, TNA's online-exclusive show. On November 2, 2008, Gilbertti was released from his contract with TNA, with them citing budgetary cuts as the reason. On the May 26, 2011 edition of Impact Wrestling, Disco Inferno made an appearance on Mr. Anderson's Scorpion Sitdown interview segment, where he was asked by Anderson to bury Sting. He refused and got beat down by Anderson until Sting came to his aid.[51]

Booking career[edit]

In June 2000, Gilbertti assisted in the booking of the WCW shows.[52] During that time, the booking committee consisted of Gilbertti, Vince Russo, Bill Banks, Ed Ferrara, and Terry Taylor.[53] Post-WCW, during interviews and columns he had written, Gilbertti had been known to be very vocal about his preference of the entertainment aspect over the athletic component of professional wrestling.[54][55]

Personal life[edit]

In 2007, Gilbertti was arrested in connection with a poker game run in the basement of a house on Nesbit Bridge Road in Roswell, Georgia.[4] During late 2007 to mid-2009, Gilbertti wrote columns and did audio features on Wrestlezone.com. In 2009, Gilbertti started working as a host at the Sapphire Gentlemen's Club, a strip club in Las Vegas.[56]

On April 8th, 2014, WWE Countdown ranked the Disco Inferno character portrayed by Gilbertti as the 6th "most infamous" gimmick in wrestling history. Many of his peers from WCW--now working for WWE--such as William Regal, Bill DeMott, and Scott Armstrong, did defend Gilbertti, stating that he fully embraced the gimmick and was successfully able to get it over with fans.[57]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Great Championship Wrestling
    • GCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[1][65]
    • GCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Johnny Swinger[1][66]
    • GCW Television Championship (3 times)[1][67]
    • GCW United States Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[1][68]
  • North Georgia Wrestling Association
    • NGWA Tag Championship (1 time) – with Ashley Clark[1]
  • Palmetto Pride Championship Wrestling
    • PPCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Swiss Wrestling Federation
    • SWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[69]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj "Glen Gilberti". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  2. ^ World Championship Wrestling TNT (1999-03-21). "La Parka, Damien, Lizmark, Jr. & Super Calo vs. Silver King, El Dandy, Psychosis & La Cucharacha (Disco Inferno)". WCW Monday Nitro.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa "Glenn Gillbertti Bio". Accelerator's Wrestling Rollercoaster. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  4. ^ a b Reyes, Elaine (2007-04-12). "Second Gambling Bust Nets Judge". WXIA-TV Atlanta; 11Alive.com. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
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  51. ^ Bishop, Matt (2011-05-27). "Impact: Angle meets RVD in main event". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
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  57. ^ WWE Countdown "Infamous Gimmicks"
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  62. ^ a b c d e f World Championship Wrestling (1999-11-21). "Evan Karagias /w Madusa Vs Disco Inferno (c) /w Tony Marinara". WCW Mayhem.
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External links[edit]