Gorilla Monsoon

American professional wrestler (1937-1999)

Robert James "Bob"/"Gino" Marella (June 4, 1937 – October 6, 1999) was an American professional wrestler, play-by-play commentator, and booker. He was better known by his ring name Gorilla Monsoon. He is known for his professional wrestling run as a super-heavyweight main eventer. He is also known for being the voice of the World Wrestling Federation as a commentator and backstage manager during the 1980s and 1990s. He also served as the on-screen WWF President.

Gorilla Monsoon
Gorilla Monsoon (1977)
Born(1937-06-04)June 4, 1937
New York, New York
DiedOctober 6, 1999(1999-10-06) (aged 62)
Willingboro Township, New Jersey
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Gino Marella
Gorilla Monsoon
Billed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Billed fromManchuria
Willingboro, New Jersey
Trained byStu Hart

In honor of Monsoon, the staging area behind the entrance curtain at an event, a position which Monsoon established and where he could often be found during WWF shows late in his career, is named the Gorilla Position. On June 9, 1994, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Jim Ross.[1]


On October 6, 1999, Monsoon died of heart failure brought on by complications of diabetes at his Willingboro Township, New Jersey home. In a tribute which aired on WWF television after his death, McMahon described Marella as "one of the greatest men I have ever known." Monsoon's death was acknowledged by WCW commentator Tony Schiavone (at Bobby Heenan's request) on the October 11, 1999 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, even though Monsoon had never worked for WCW. Heenan said: "Gorilla will be sadly missed. Now he was one big tough man. He was a decent honest man. And we're all gonna miss him very much. And you know the pearly gates in heaven? It's now gonna be called 'the Gorilla position.' Goodbye, my friend."[2] He was interred next to his son, Joey Marella, at Lakeview Memorial Park in Cinnaminson, New Jersey.[3]

In wrestlingEdit


  • George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
    • Class of 2011[5]
  • World Championship Wrestling (Australia)
    • IWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[7]
  • World Wrestling Association (Los Angeles)
    • WWA World Tag Team Championship (2 times) (with Luke Graham (1) and El Mongol (1))[9]
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • Worst Television Announcer (1985, 1991–1995)[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Gorilla Monsoon: 1994 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee". WWE. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  2. "Youtube - WCW "Monday Nitro": Bobby "The Brain" Heenan Says Goodbye to Gorilla Monsoon". YouTube. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  3. "Robert "Gorilla Monsoon" Marella". Find a Grave. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  4. "List of CAC Award Winners". Cauliflower Alley Club. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  5. "Dan Gable's Hall of Fame Inductee". National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  6. "Gorilla Monsoon". Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on October 3, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  7. "IWA World Heavyweight Title (Australia) history". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  8. "United States Tag Team Title (Capitol/WWWF) history". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  9. "WWA World Tag Team Title (California) history". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  10. "WWC North American Heavyweight Title (Puerto Rico) history". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  11. Meltzer, Dave (January 26, 2011). "Biggest issue of the year: The 2011 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards Issue". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, CA: 1–40. ISSN 1083-9593.

Other websitesEdit