Robert Marella


Robert Marella, a.k.a. "Gorilla Monsoon", was a professional wrestler born in Rochester on June 4, 1937. He played 3 sports (wrestling, track and field, and football) for Thomas Jefferson High School.

In college, he set school records in both the shot and the discus for [ithaca]Ithaca_College. He still holds the school record for fastest pin, at 18 seconds. He came in second place in the NCAA heavyweight tournament in 1959, but was beat out for the 1960 Olympic team.

Marella made his professional wrestling debut in 1959 at the Rochester War Memorial. He spent most of his career with the WWF, and held the tag titles twice, once with [wikipedia]Bill Watts, and once with [wikipedia]Killer Kowalski. His most famous moment in the WWF was an angle that was shot with Muhammed Ali in the mid 70's.

As one of the few educated men in wrestling back then, he held a variety of backstage jobs, including becoming part owner of the WWF until he sold his share of the company to Vince McMahon.

After retiring, Gorilla became an announcer for the WWF (now [WWW]WWE). He died in 1999.

[wikipedia]Monsoon's Wikipedia page