Hall of fame pro wrestler and promoter Angelo Savoldi passed away Friday at the age of 99. He wrestled many of the legends of his era such as Stu Hart, Dory Funk Sr., Antonio Rocca, Verne Gagne, Pampero Firpo, "Irish" Mike Clancy and Danny Hodge. During his thirty-five year career in the squared circle, Savoldi would hold the N.W.A. (National Wrestling Alliance) World Junior Heavyweight title three times. After his in-ring career ended, Angelo would work behind the scenes in the W.W.W.F. promotion (World Wide Wrestling Federation) as a minority partner, trainer and would fill in for wrestlers who would either no show events or were injured at the last second. During the mid-eighties, Savoldi would form his own independent regional promotion I.C.W. (International Championship Wrestling) with his sons and they would run shows primarily in the northeast region.
Angelo Savoldi was on born on April 21, 1914. He was born Mario Forini and grew up in the Jersey area and turned pro at the age of 23. After bouncing around local promotions for a few years he met regional promoter Jack Pfefer who suggested that he changed his name to Angelo Savoldi. He often wrestled as a heel and was pitted against up and coming rising stars and was used to "put over" local talents and star wrestlers. Savoldi found a home in the N.W.A. Tri-State promotions. During his tenure in the region, he won the N.W.A. World Jr, Heavyweight title three times against such foes as Ivan the Terrible, Mike Clancy and Dory Funk Sr.
After touring the N.W.A. circuit and other regional promotions for thirty-five years, Savoldi decided to head back to the Jersey tri-state area and work for the rising east coast promotion the W.W.W.F. as a minority partner, trainer and occasional wrestler. After working for the company for a decade, Savoldi and his sons started their own promotion (I.C.W.) and held their shows in the New England area. They operated as I.C.W. until they "merged" with the Dallas promotion W.C.C.W. and in 1991 they were known as the I.W.C.C.W. (International World Class Championship Wrestling). Despite having a cable t.v. deal with Sports Channel America and a lot of veteran talent from the W.W.F. and W.C.W., the promotion's audience dwindled in numbers until the shut down in 1995.
Savoldi went into permanent retirement and talked about writing an autobiography about his life in wrestling and made a few public appearances over the years. In 2003, he was honored by the Cauliflower Alley by being awarded the Art Abrams Lifetime Achievement Award and in the following year he was inducted into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. Savoldi was honored by the New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame by being inducted in their "Class of 2010" and the following year he was part of the N.W.A.'s Class of 2011 Hall of Fame inductees.
Angelo Savoldi was a pioneering pro wrestler who epitomized the importance of the lunch pail worker. He was a class act who always brought his A game into the ring and always made his opponents looked good. He will be missed.