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Couture's Championship Profiles: WWE Cruiserweight Champion Nunzio

By James E. Couture
May 10, 2007, 09:43


...

Folks, it's the only man who can believe it's not butter, though I think I may have used that line before, me, James E Couture. This week, folks, I figure I'd Profile a man who's short, Italian, wears goofy red boots, and won a title in Italy. Now, I know what you're thinking, "But Jim, you already DID Santino Morella, Intercontinental Champion!" Well prepare to eat crow because I'm referring to WWE's original wacky short Italian guy, it's Nunzio, Cruiserweight Champion!

In 2005, the Full Blooded Italians and the Mexicools were locked in a battle to see who was a more ridiculous stereotype. The Mexicools had upped the ante with no-fooling lawnmowers, leaving the FBI's thuggery and Nunzio's comically oversized nose in the dust.

"It's-a true. It-a was-a a dark-a day-a in the history of-a Italian-a sterotypes. Shudduppayouface!"
-Mario Andretti, "Tony Stewart's Race 'N' Wrestling", Saturday mornings on the new CW, 2007

The leader of the Mexicools, Juventud Guerrera, was reigning as Cruiserweight Champion, having defeated Nunzi that October. The Juice didn't count on one thing, though: home court adavantage. Sure, Nunzio (full name: Nunzio Damme-Byzness) wasn't born there, nor did he actually live there, but hey, they weren't the Full Blooded Danish, were they?

"Yar, der Ninzioo's nert de Danish, und that really fljorgens my bgorjatt, yah?"
-Dane Cook, "Dane Cook's Danish Cooking", Food Network, 2006

On November 15, 2005, Nunzio had his chance. At a non-televised event in Rome, Italy, a classic war was waged. Sure, maybe the match was like the other times they fought; a dropkick here, a flippichonga con hilo there. But there was more to this than the Juvi Driver, or the dreaded Nunzio Bomb, there was pride. After Bruno Sammartino lost the WWWF Title to a dancing bear at the 1976 World's Fair (source: "Who's What in Wrestling", co-written by Sugar Ray Leonard and Tiger Jeet Singh, 1998), Italians had a rough going in the Ent, with goombah's like Tom Brandi and Johnny "The Bull" Stramboli failing to carry the load for a variety of reasons, mostly sucking. After he beat Hoot-and-Toot Gorilla, Nunzio had finally brought the gold back to Italy.

He would not, however, be bringing the gold back to the United States. Ten days later, while still on a European tour, on SmackDown!, Juvi exercised his rematch and exorcised the gold from Nunzio, in jolly old England. While Nunzio's title reign was only 1/292nd of Bruno's longest reign, he could still hold his head up high, to see over his luggage.

Well, until WWE just starts furnishing its website with full out spoilers for SmackDown! (tune in to see The Boogeyman beat Dave Taylor!), I am, in fact, James E Couture.

And I'll bet Tazz will be fustrated and grab his yam bag when he finds out I did something about Italian stereotypes and didn't include him.


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