Bruno Sammartino Among the Many Wrestling
Legends to Appear at Deaf Wrestlefest on April 29
Bushwhacker Luke, Dominic DeNucci and One-Legged Superstar Zach Gowan
also Slated to Appear at Western PA School for the Deaf Fundraiser
EDGEWOOD, Pa. – Professional wrestling has a deep, storied history in Pittsburgh. From Studio
Wrestling battles to showdowns in the Civic Arena, images of an era gone by still live strong in the
memories of local wrestling fans. The championship grapplers from the past remain, in many ways,
Perhaps no wrestler in Pittsburgh history is more symbolic of wrestling’s golden age than “The Living
Legend” Bruno Sammartino. Sammartino will make a rare public appearance on Sunday, April 29,
at Deaf Wrestlefest, the annual live pro wrestling extravaganza that serves as a key fundraiser for the
Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. Sammartino, a Pittsburgh resident, headlined cards all
over the world during his career and is the longest reigning champion in the history of the WWWF (now
known as WWE). Between 1963 and 1977 Sammartino held the world title on two separate occasions
spanning a total of more than 11 years. He is a member of the prestigious Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame
(regarded as wrestling’s “real” hall of fame.”
Another legend of the squared circle appearing at Deaf Wrestlefest is Bushwhacker Luke, who will
be wrestling at the event. Regarded as one of the top tag team grapplers in history, Luke starred in the
WWF, NWA and AWA during the 1980s as a member of Bushwhackers (also widely known as the
Sheepherders). Dominic DeNucci, another Pittsburgh wrestling icon who will be inducted into the Pro
Wrestling Hall of Fame in May, will also be in attendance at Deaf WrestleFest as will former WWF star
Big Bully Busick.
It’s not just the wrestlers of yesteryear who will shine at Deafwrestlefest, however, as the show will also
feature many of the stars of today.
Former WWE star Zach Gowen will make his return to Deaf Wrestlefest to take on Jason Gory in a
rematch of last year’s epic battle. The 29-year-old Gowen lost his left leg to cancer when he was just 8,
yet he displayed remarkable courage and determination as he overcame his physical limitations to become
a standout high school wrestler and, ultimately, a top-flight professional wrestler.
“Zach Gowen and Jason Gory wrestled in ‘the match of the night’ at last year’s Deaf Wrestlefest. It
made perfect sense to get these two great athletes together in the ring gain this year,” said Ken Jugan, the
event’s organizer. “Zach is not only a tremendous wrestler and a great person, he is also a role model for
the students at the school. He is an example to everyone that you can accomplish anything you want, even
with some extra challenges in your life.”
In a similarly inspirational story, Gregory Iron will also be wrestling at the event. Iron is afflicted with
cerebral palsy, yet he, too, has achieved stardom in the squared circle.
Also appearing will be the he wildly-popular Shark Boy – who reached his greatest stardom in TNA
Wrestling – along with an all-star card featuring wrestlers from across the country, including numerous
local “MegaStars” from Lawrenceville-based KSWA.
Deaf Wrestlefest is organized by Jugan (aka Lord Zoltan), a longtime pro wrestler who has competed
in the WWF and promotions across North America; last month, he was inducted into the KSWA
wrestling Hall of Fame. Jugan, who has two deaf sons, created Deaf WrestleFest in 1994. The
family-friendly event has featured some of the biggest names in professional wrestling including
the likes of Superfly Jimmy Snuka, the Honky Tonk Man, Mick Foley and Tony Atlas The
event is sponsored by the WPSD Parent-Staff Organization and is a key fund-raiser for the
“It’s a night of family fun, food and pro wrestling,” said Jugan. “I would encourage anyone to
come enjoy the evening and support an important cause.”
Deaf Wrestlefest will be held in the WPSD gymnasium, located at 300 East Swissvale Ave. in
Edgewood on Sunday, April 29, beginning at 6 p.m.
General Admission tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Limited front row seats are
available for $25. Due to limited seating capacity at the gymnasium, tickets for this historic
night may sell out. To reserve tickets, or for more information, visit deafwrestlefest.vze.com.