Bob Marella (aka Gorilla Monsoon)
To Be Inducted Into Wrestling Hall of Fame
Waterloo, Iowa – Bob Marella, a 1959 Ithaca graduate
who rose to fame in professional wrestling as Gorilla Monsoon, will be
inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Marella will enter the hall of fame, which is located at the National Wrestling
Hall of Fame and Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, July 23.
Marella, a member of Ithaca's Hall of Fame, was the wrestling program's first all-American, placing second at the 1959 NCAA Championships. Wrestling in the heavyweight class (which was then called the unlimited weight class), Marella upset the second and third seeds (from Northern Colorado and Iowa State, respectively), before dopping a 2-0 overtime decision to a wrestler from Oklahoma State in the title bout. Marella, who was nicknamed "Tiny" during his collegiate career, also starred in track & field as a Bomber.
Induction into the professional wrestling hall of fame includes a substantial impact on professional wrestling, general respect within the profession, and a strong amateur background.
“Bob helped raise money for the first mat that I bought at Ithaca,” said John Murray, Ithaca's head wrestling coach from 1980 to 1995. “He was probably the alumnus who had the greatest impact on our program through money he raised and the awareness he brought to the program.”
Monsoon had a distinguished professional wrestling career that included many titles, including the WWWF (now WWE) United States Tag Team title. He was also known for his successful career as a commentator for the WWE. Monsoon died on Oct. 6, 1999.