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Tony Matteo is a semi-retired American professional wrestler, best known by his ring name "Hitman" Tony Stetson, who has competed in Northeastern independent promotions during the late 1980s and 1990s. He is best known for his appearances in the Philadelphia-based Tri-State Wrestling Alliance and Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Early life and career
Born Tony Matteo, he grew up at 11th and Ritner in South Philadelphia and later attended St. John Neumann. A fan of Bruno Sammartino as a teenager, he played semi-pro football before training at Larry Sharpe's Monster Factory in Burlington County. Stetson would eventually debut in 1985 facing fellow Monster Factory alumni Bam Bam Bigelow at a World Wrestling Federation television taping at the Mid-Hudson Arena in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Tri-State Wrestling Alliance
Tony Stetson made a name for himself wrestling in Joel Goodhart's Tri-State Wrestling Alliance as well as other promotions in Pennsylvania and New Jersey from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s. He employed a hardcore wrestling style and was an early contributor to the Philadelphia wrestling scene, including his feud with Johnny Hotbody. Stetson and Hotbody traded wins in a variety of matches, including a Taped Fist First Blood match on March 31, 1990. On March 2, 1991, the two resumed their feud when Stetson won a Barbed wire match. When Stetson first started in the Business, he had a manager who went by the name of "The Godfather". The Godfather, was later known as "The Equalizer" and then ended his career as "Gianni Corleone" while working with Stetson toward the end of his career in the CWC.
Eastern/Extreme Championship Wrestling
Stetson was among the first stars of ECW, along with Rockin' Rebel, JT Smith, Glen Osbourne, The Sandman, Max Thrasher, and Jimmy Jannetty. On April 1, 1993, Tony Stetson and Larry Winters won the ECW World Tag Team Championship. They were the second team ever to hold the titles, after defeating The Super Destroyers in Pennsylvania. However, they lost the titles one night later on April 2 to The Suicide Blondes (Chris Candido and Johnny Hotbody). On June 8, Stetson turned on Winters during a 16-man battle royal. On June 19, Stetson defeated Winters in a First Blood match.
After feuding with Winters, Stetson defeated Tommy Cairo on September 14 to win the ECW Pennsylvania Championship. He was one of only two men to ever hold the title before it was disbanded. Later, Stetson began to team with Johnny Hotbody. The two won the ECW Tag titles on September 17, 1993 from Eddie Gilbert and The Dark Patriot. They held the belts for two months before losing them to the team of Tommy Dreamer and Johnny Gunn on November 12. They later joined Raven's ECW incarnation of the Raven's Nest.
In 1995, Stetson returned to the newly renamed Extreme Championship Wrestling, competing in both singles and tag team competition. By July, he began performing under the ring name Broad Street Bully. However, he returned to using his birth name in 1996.
Going into semi-retirement by the mid-1990s, Stetson worked corordinating supply distribution for Methodist Hospital for several years before joining promoter Lisa Constantino's Central Wrestling Coalition based in South Philadelphia in 1999. Teaming up with his old Manager Gianni Corleone (also known as "The Godfather" and The Equalizer early in his career), he would feud with Breaker Morant over the CWC Heavyweight Championship during the next two years in the promotion. Corleone worked both as a manager with Stetson and also in Public Relations with many wrestling promotions until his retirement with the CWC.
- Tag teams and stables
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- TWA Bar Wars Champion (1 time)
- WWA Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)