When NXT started rolling out introductory videos for Tony D’Angelo, an Italian-American from Chicago whose family has interests in the waste management business, many an eye was rolled. Some probably even exclaimed, “oof, Madon’!”
But when the amateur wrestler from the University of Buffalo debuted with a win over Malik Blade on the Oct. 5 episode, Tony welcomed quite a few people into his fan family.
Tony D’Angelo wrestling in the velour fit? I like this guy.— Malcolm (@Malcolmvelli) October 6, 2021
This Tony D’angelo guy is pretty sweet..I can see myself lifting with him and then we both get pasta after the workout at a nice restaurant while wearing our sweaty muscle tanks and gym shorts that smell like nutsack from the heavy squats we just banged out #WWENXT— Eric Bugenhagen (@rickboogswwe) October 6, 2021
It wasn’t just his co-workers, either. Tony D had folks all over the wrestle web using the pinched fingers emoji.
Some of the appreciation is ironic, I’m sure. Part of it is tied to a wave of Sopranos hype, with people discovering or revisiting the iconic series during the pandemic just before HBO dropped a prequel movie last week.
*Tony D’Angelo does exactly one (1) swinging neck breaker* pic.twitter.com/vvOV67IP8e— Impulse 2: Electric Boogaloo (@PBSImpulse9) October 6, 2021
But D’Angelo has more than one move. Most importantly, he’s fully committed to his gimmick - which always goes a long way with wrestling fans. He worked his character into his match on several different occasions last night, and that’s the kind of thing that will pay off for him after the fun of being a smart ass wears off, and Gen Z finds a new 90s show to binge.
That was the best “get outta here” toss after the pin! I can’t help but stan Tony D’Angelo. Dude’s awesome! https://t.co/GOsptNaYga— ♀️ Rox the Re-Animator ♀️ ️ (@Rox_Al_Ghul_89) October 6, 2021
Next week, it looks like D’Angelo will be getting a chance to show off in a different kind of sports entertainment segment. He’ll be sharing the screen with another 2.0 act, WNBA player-turned-Wendy Williams parody Lash Legend.
What do you think, Cagesiders? Is Tony D’Angelo making an offer you can’t refuse?