Big Vito’s Wrestling Academy Opens, More On Kurrgan, 2K14


— As noted earlier today here on the website, the official WWE website has published an article catching up with wrestler-turned-actor Robert Maillet, who appeared as Kurrgan for the company in the late-1990’s.

A few years after leaving WWE, Maillet ventured into the world of acting at the urging of a friend.

“I’d never really thought of it before, even though wrestlers had done it,” said Maillet.

Maillet landed a role in 2007-released flick 300 through Jacques Rougeau, who recommended him to producers looking to cast a super-sized individual as a savage, gigantic berserker named “Über-Immortal.” Maillet reveals that his former WWE persona was the inspiration behind the character.

“I thought I could do Kurrgan, so I went nuts. They were all blown away,” said Maillet, as the director asked him to “scream his head off” while being filmed.

The success of 300 led to Maillet being cast in another huge movie, Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey, Jr. The 7-footer drew media attention during the movie’s filming when he accidentally punched Downey, causing him to be bloodied.

“We didn’t have a lot of time to rehearse the fight,” said Maillet. “The choreography of it changed on set. I really had to aim [the punch] towards his face, I couldn’t fake it.

“He somehow forgot to block it and I hit him on the chin. I knew I hurt him, I felt it.”

While promoting Sherlock Holmes on Late Show with David Letterman, Downey said Maillet was “ten times more upset” about the incident than he was. According to the former WWE Superstar, Downey gave him a champagne bottle with a card saying there were no hard feelings.

“I didn’t want to be known for punching out movie stars,” said Maillet.

Maillet also discussed his past life as a professional wrestler, as well as his role in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. WWE’s article can be accessed here.

Shannon Rose sent along the following:


Grand Opening of Big Vito’s Wrestling Academy

(Clearwater, FL) August 27- The big day has finally come. I am officially opening my Wrestling Academy- Big Vito’s Wrestling Academy. I am very honored and privileged to be doing this. I have learned from the best and been taught by the greats in our sport. The one thing I was taught from day one is pass it on. I understand it. I have helped many very quietly for a long time. Now, I get to help make the next generation of stars. Teach wrestling the one way, the right way. I may be a perfectionist, no nonsense, hard nosed, tough on you guy, but its for your own good.

Plenty of guys always ask me to watch their match, I never told them what they did good, I told them what they need to work on. Some can take it, others complain about it. The ones who took my advice got better, and the others, they are in the same place doing the same thing with the same people.

I have the credentials to teach you how to become a pro. At my academy, I want you to live and see what I have seen, do as I have done. Go from the bottom to the top, feel the excitement of the crowd, become a champion, be the best, have the respect from your peers, know when you walk in the room, you get people’s attention just from your presence. Become the one who people measure up to and say, “I want to be better than him”. My training methods are proven as I have taught people all around the world.

This will become the place to be, a unique place. There are some fine schools out there. This is an academy. You will learn 2 things: Discipline and Wrestling. You will become regimented: Eating habits, training habits, wrestling, mixed martial arts, the business side of things. You will leave there the complete package. You will not leave there without the skill and mindset needed to become a Pro. You will be able to take care of yourself anywhere in the world today. No matter what style there is, you will be able to compete. If you come there with a dream, I will make sure I do all I can to help you live it. Does not matter what you look like in the beginning, in the end, you will look like a pro wrestler.

I tell everyone the same thing: Not Everyone Makes It. It is true. Who is someone else to tell you that you can’t? That is not allowed in my academy, everything is “I Can”. Never let anyone stop you from your dream. It is your life. If you let people dictate to you what you can and can’t do, then you might as well be a puppet. Every challenge in life is something. I have taken all the chances, I am not afraid. I made something of myself. You can do the same at my academy. I am currently doing movies, commercials and still wrestling. The school becomes a part of my everyday life. I am the only trainer at the school. I will train you. No one else. Hands on. If you have heart like Big Vito, you can do anything. I have done everything.

Training sessions can be viewed by parents. I want to make this something good in the community as well. I would like to work with kids also in the afternoons. There will be an afternoon program for them. Or, if you think your son or daughter needs some tough love, bring them in. They will be taught respect, school work is important, clean your room, and be polite to your parents. Another thing you will learn from here is you will be able to stand on your own 2 feet in life, you will be able to handle not just wrestling but life in it self. You can’t put a price tag on that.

There will be giveaways and trivia on August 31, 2013 at 1pm at Spa 24 in Clearwater, Florida. I have many sponsors who have donated different items to make this a fun filled day.

Hope to see you soon!

For more information, visit:

Email Big Vito at: [email protected]

— WWE 2K14 developer Cory Ledesma recently spoke about the hurdles in getting Hulk Hogan in the WWE 2K14 video game. Here is what he had to say along with the full video…

“We wanted to obviously make sure we had the biggest matches, the most iconic matches [for the 30 Years of WrestleMania mode]. The first hurdle we had was Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan’s not currently with the WWE. We knew that if we couldn’t get Hulk Hogan, we weren’t going to have a ’30 Years of WrestleMania’ mode, it’s just not possible. Hogan was involved in so many matches and so many moments, that he was critical to the game. We knew once we could overcome that hurdle, and Hulk Hogan was able to get into the game, we knew that it was going to be kinda downhill from there and we’d be able to secure a lot of the talent that might not be with WWE anymore.”

Trending Stories