Joseph "Joey" Anthony Marella (February 28, 1963 – July 4, 1994) was an American professional wrestling referee for the World Wrestling Federation and the son of former wrestler and then WWF announcer Gorilla Monsoon (Robert Marella) from Willingboro Township, New Jersey.
World Wrestling Federation (1983 - 1994)
Joey Marella joined the World Wrestling Federation beginning in 1983 and was often assigned many feature promotion matches. In 1987 he served as the referee for the much-hyped match between Hulk Hogan and André the Giant at WrestleMania III, as well as the 1992 SummerSlam main event of Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith. He was also part of the controversy at the 1994 Royal Rumble match in which he and former WWF referee Earl Hebner couldn't decide who between Lex Luger and Bret Hart had won the match.
Marella also appeared in the 1989 movie No Holds Barred as a referee during a wrestling match.
He died on July 4, 1994, after he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed while driving home on Beverly-Rancocas Road in Willingboro after a night of refereeing WWF matches in Ocean City, Maryland. Bruno Lauer, better known by his ring name Harvey Wippleman, was with him at the time and was slightly injured. Lauer though was wearing a seatbelt while Marella was not.
Marella is interred next to his father Gorilla Monsoon (1937-1999) at Lakeview Memorial Park in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. Images of a baseball player and a golfer were placed on his headstone due to his love of the two sports.
As a tribute, WWE ring announcer Tony Chimel named one of his sons after Marella. Marella's sister Valerie also named a son after her brother.
Championships and accomplishments
- 2002 Wrestling Informer Referee Hall of Fame inductee