PWInsider.com reported that WWE has parted ways with Steve Lombardi, otherwise known as the Brooklyn Brawler, after 30 years of being in the company’s employ. Lombardi was quietly released by the company last week as WWE, in the midst of what has been labeled as “Spring Cleaning”, regarding ten wrestlers and backstage interviewers who have recently been released.
Longtime wrestling fans will remember watching the titans of the squared circle quickly dispatch of virtually nameless faces or “job guys” on WWF’s weekend television programming. This is the role that Lombardi is known most for.
I started watching wrestling right around the time when the Brooklyn Brawler was brought on as a member of the Heenan Family during Bobby Heenan’s feud with the Red Rooster, which culminated at WrestleMania 5.
A month or so later, the Brawler wrestled the returning Jimmy Snuka on an episode of Wrestling Challenge.At that point, actual superstars squaring off with one another only occurred at house shows and pay-per-views.
Boy, I thought I was in for a real treat.
This time, however, there was no Heenan in the Brawler’s corner and he was introduced in the ring like, “those guys who never win.” The bell rang and Snuka beat him with quickness and ease, which was the start of what I thought was the new norm for the Brawler until I learned of his tenure years later.
Over the years, Lombardi donned a number of gimmicks including disgruntled baseball player Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz and Kamala’s handler, Kim Chee. Behind the scenes, Lombardi did it all from road agent, producer, and promo coach, to wrestlers who were trying to get hired.
Lombardi will be able to make a lot of money on the independents and the convention circuit. There are those who will be arrogant enough to stick their nose up at Lombardi because he was a “jobber.”
Losing as often as the Washington Generals is a role Lombardi played on television. It’s not an indictment of his talent and worth as a professional within the industry. He knows better than most what WWE is looking for in a wrestler and his knowledge would be invaluable to those willing to reach out, open their ears, and listen.