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Bert Assirati (1908 - 1990)


Real NameBartolomeo Esserati
Lifespan7/?/1908 - 8/31/1990
5'6" 240 lbs. - Islington, Greater London, England

Athletic BackgroundWrestling, Gymnastics, Acrobatics

Teacher(s)[Ashdown Wrestling Club]; William Bankier; [Wigan Gyms]

Professional Background - n/a

Aliases - none

Peak Years - `46-`55

  
Place in HistoryBert Assirati is one of the great mythic characters of pro-wrestling history.  Sadly, his legacy, mainly being a British one, has been largely lost over time, while men he publicly called out in his day, Lou Thesz and Big Daddy (Shirley Crabtree), have been immortalized.  An amazing athlete, Bert Assirati worked as an acrobat in his youth and is said to have been able to do an Iron Cross (a move using the rings, where one holds their body up so as it forms a cross with their arms stretched horizontally).  He developed his wrestling skills and after spending some time in Wigan gained a reputation as a very dangerous hooker due to his freakish strength and agility.  In the early 1930s, Assirati made a tour of America, which was not noteworthy, except in its happening.  Once back in England, Assirati quickly built a reputation for himself in the pre-War years.  In the years after the War, Bert Assirati became the top heavyweight wrestler in England, if not all of Europe.  In 1948, Assirati battled the legendary French Angel before a crowd of 12,000 in London, which proves his credibility as a drawing card.  He held a number of heavyweight titles and toured around as many of his countrymen did in that era.  Assirati gained a reputation as someone who loved hurting others, grew angry with those who did not work snug enough and would double-cross others when it was in his interest.  Not surprisingly, promoters did not trust him and in his later years he mainly worked independents.  Working into his late 50s, Assirati was eventually a man who was past his prime and working a gone-by style.  The man known as the “Islington Hercules” is certainly one of the most feared wrestlers of his era, but perhaps gaining that reputation prevented him from gaining a greater one.

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