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Former WWE and ECW Wrestler Salvatore Bellomo Dead at 67

Salvatore Bellomo, the Belgian-Italian wrestler who worked for the World Wrestling Federation and Eastern Championship Wrestling, died on Saturday after losing a battle with cancer. He was 67.

The news of Bellomo's death broke via a family member's Twitter account.

WWE released a statement on Bellomo's passing on Sunday.

"WWE is saddened to learn that Salvatore Bellomo has passed away at age 67," the company wrote. "Bellomo competed in WWE in the 1980s, sharing the ring with everyone from Bob Backlund to Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. WWE extends its condolences to Bellomo's family, friends and fans."

Bellomo made is wrestling debut in 1974 and (according to Cagematch.com) appeared in both CMLL and the NWA before joining the World Wrestling Federation in 1982. His most prolific match during his six-year stint with the company was as a jobber to Bob Backlund in Philadelphia in August 1984, which turned out to be the former world champion's final match for the company until the 1990s.

After leaving the WWF Bellomo eventually made his way to NWA's Eastern Championship Wrestling prior to the promotion being rebranded as Extreme Championship Wrestling under Paul Heyman. While he did not win a single championship during his time in ECW, he did manage to make it to the finals of the inaguaral ECW World Heavyweight Championship tournament before losing to its first champion, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka.

ECW icon Tommy Dreamer posted a tribute to Bellomo on Twitter on Sunday.

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"I heard the news of Salvatore Bellomo passing," Dreamer wrote. "He was my age in #ECW when I met him,always very nice. He would throw stuffed animals to the fans & they would throw them back at him. He couldn't believe it. LOL #onlyinPhilly"

Bellomo continued to wrestle in small American promotions and European promotions after leaving ECW. His final in-ring appearance was in October 2018 where he competed in an eight-man tag match for the German promotion Power of Wrestling.