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FORMER PROMOTER & ANNOUNCER JOE PEDICINO RECOVERING FROM STROKE

By Mike Johnson on 2019-09-09 03:29:00

Joe Pedicino, who over the course of his career has hosted and produced a number of professional wrestling series and worked as a commentator for World Championship Wrestling, suffered a stroke back in June and is currently bed-ridden while undergoing physical therapy due to the loss of the use of his right leg and has had to learn to speak again.  Pedicino's wife, former WWF announcer Boni Blackstone, made the announcement regarding Pedicino's health over the weekend with a YouTube video she released showing Pedicino's progress as he battles back from his health issues.

Pedicino, 69 years old, is best known for several entries into professional wrestling television, one being the late 1980s syndicated This Week in Pro Wrestling series, which he created and produced as well as co-hosted with Gordon Solie.  The excellent series featured clips from across the world of pro wrestling, including at times specific WWF interviews for the series, and covered breaking wrestling news stories.    Bill Apter and later, Paul Heyman would appear on the series regularly.  The show provided a lot of exposure for smaller, regional and international companies to get their material out across the United States in ways that would not have been possible beyond the wrestling magazines of the era.  That series from January 1987 ran through March 1988 with a storyline ending that Paul Heyman had brought the show and ended it.

Pedicino also produced and hosted a syndicated eight-hour block of professional wrestling content alongside Solie and Blackstone out of Atlanta, where he has been based for decades, running that package from 1986 through 1992.   WATV-TV in Atlanta was the nucleus for the package, which aired on Saturday nights from 8 PM - 3 AM Eastern with new host segments built in as wrap-arounds.  The syndication package was an idea Pedicino brought to the station after having only been working for their sales department for about 6-8 weeks, somewhat inspired by what horror host Elvira was doing with older monster and horror films.   The package would feature material from different NWA member promotions, the WWC in Puerto Rico, Continental Wrestling, Memphis Wrestling and even men's and women's professional wrestling from Japan.   Through the series, Pedicino met his wife, Boni Blackstone, who won a contest to become the co-host of the package.  The tail end of the run saw future WCW announcer Scott Hudson do some of his earliest TV work in the business as well, working with Steven Prazak, who went on to work with ECW and the GWF.  At its height, the package was being seen in 90 markets in the United States.

In the early 1990s, Pedicino helped found the Global Wrestling Federation in Dallas and was the face and lead announcer for the group, which ran out of the former Sportatorium, giving national attention to Sean Waltman (Lightning Kid at the time), Marcus Bagwell (working under a mask as The Handsome Stranger), The Patriot, Jerry Lynn, Scott Levy (at the time, Scotty the Body), Mick Foley and others via the series' afternoon time slot on ESPN.  Allegedly backed by a Nigerian businessman, the group was actually backed by Texas businessman Max Andrews and came out strong with lots of other well known names including Eddie Gilbert and Terry Gordy before becoming populated by local Texas stars.  Pedicino would depart the project within a year as costs were cut across the board.  

Pedicino also did some commentary and news segments for World Championship Wrestling in the late 1980s.   During his time in the business, Pedicino had put together a number of charity events to raise money for different entities and at one point, raised $10,000 doing a Wrestlethon event on local TV, assisting a fan who needed a liver transplant.

Pedicino had moved on from professional wrestling in the 1990s, beyond some online interactions with fans in the early days of the AOL and Prodigy online services.  He focused most of his attention on owning and operating several radio stations in the Georgia area with his company, Legacy Media South Atlanta.   He worked as General Sales Manager for WCNN in Atlanta and 92.5 The Bear in Fayetteville, GA, among other stations and had retired just a year or so ago from working full-time.  I believe his last pro wrestling-related appearace was at a NWA Legends Fanfest in Atlanta promoted by Greg Price back in 2011.

Everyone at PWInsider.com sends our best wishes to Pedicino, his wife Blackstone and their entire family.

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