By day, he’s a soft-spoken Community Liaison Police Officer for the 61st Precinct in Brooklyn. By night, he’s the ferocious Brooklyn Bulldog who takes on all challengers in the ring for the East Coast Wrestling Conference.
He’s Anthony Passaro, alias Tony Biella, a Brooklyn boy who is determined to give back to the community all the success he has received from it.
A product of Catholic education in Brooklyn – Regina Pacis, Xaverian H.S., and St. Francis College – Passaro, and former pro wrestler Gino Caruso, put a lot of time into organizing professional wrestling matches to benefit Catholic schools in the diocese.
Last Saturday evening, he appeared at Our Lady of Guadalupe Gymnasium in Dyker Heights with proceeds going to the OLG Academy. The Bulldog successfully defended his Five-Borough Heavyweight title in a Battle Royale with six contenders.
After he disposed of the Great White Buffalo, who was the last man standing, the card broke for intermission and a tribute to public servants with a special honor to the local auxiliary police.
The show at Guadalupe was billed as the Police Officer Joseph Pritchard Memorial Show. The first Valor Award was presented to the auxiliary police.
“It’s all about giving back to the community,” said Passaro as he donned his heavyweight title belt and readied for last weekend’s bout.
“We’ve been on this mission for almost 10 years now, using professional wrestling, family entertainment, to establish new and strengthen existing relationships between communities across the five boroughs and Catholic churches, youth groups, youth sports programs and most importantly schools – Catholic schools – all while raising funds to keep them open and active for many generations to come.”
In addition to appearing in the ring, Passaro and some of his colleagues do appearances at which they speak to the students about the importance of getting an education and living a value-filled life.
“I mention to them names like Derek Jeter or John Cena and explain to them that they have to do something when their careers are finished,” says Passaro. “You have to have an education.”
Formerly a member of the anti-terrorism unit in Times Square, the champ sees his personal interests as a continuation of his police work, where he’s involved on a day-to-day basis with bringing community members together.
While Passaro and his local band of wrestlers donate their time, the show does pay a token fee to wrestling stars from the ECW and WWE to make occasional appearances. On last week’s card was the Sandman, Justin Credible and New Jack W, all from the ECW.
Greg “the Hammer” Valentine and The Honky Tonk Man will be featured at the group’s next show at Sacred Heart School on Staten Island on Saturday evening, April 22.
“If somehow we help just one kid, it’s all worth it,” says Passaro, the father of two young children, and a hero both inside and outside the ring.