The Mamalukes were formed in late 1999 when Big Vito arrived in WCW and formed a team with Johnny the Bull. They were managed by Tony Mariana. The gimmick was a takeoff of Italian-Americans in the Mafia and they played it up well. Disco Inferno was in debt to their "friends", so they forced him to join them. He became their manager when Mariana left and set them up with twins, Lolli and Pop in a failed attempt to distract them while he got away. His attempt failed and he had to turn on Lash LeRoux.
In April, they joined the New Blood faction and benefited from this when Eric Bischoff won the WCW Hardcore Championship. Bischoff did not want this title and gave it to them jointly. They soon split because they both wanted the title and feuded.