Donald Muraco (born September 10, 1949) is a retired American Professional Wrestler from Sunset Beach, Hawaiʻi who competed from the 1970s into the 21st Century. He debuted in 1970 and worked in various territories, particularly Florida, Los Angeles, Portland and Vancouver before first catching on in the AWA. He left the AWA for San Francisco and would also compete in Texas and Georgia before going back to San Francisco. While he had been a Face for the first years of his career, he started working Heel in San Francisco. He alternated among San Francisco, Florida and Hawaii for a while.
He debuted in WWE in 1981, year in which The Wrestling Observer Newsletter named him "Best Heel.". He would hold the WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship twice and had significant feuds here and there. He eventually turned face in late 1987 and left in 1988. He would go on to work for various promotions, including ECW, where he was a 2x NWA ECW Heavyweight Champion. He retired in 2003.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
"The Magnificent Tropes":
- A Lady on Each Arm: Back in his heel days in WWE, he cut a promo on Hulk Hogan where he was on a beach with a woman in a bikini hanging off of each of his arms.
- Arch-Enemy: Barry Windham, Bob Backlund, Pedro Morales, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, Tony Atlas, Rocky Johnson, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and Dino Bravo.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
- Bald of Evil: After he was unmasked.
- Berserk Button: He did NOT like it when the fans chanted "Beach bum! Beach bum!"
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": He did not care for being called "Don". It's "Magnificent Muraco" to you!
- Expy: Of Jack Brisco, his likeness was uncanny to say the least when Don started to work in Florida.
- Finishing Move: Tombstone Piledriver and "Asiatic Spike" (Thumb Chokehold) where he would thrust his thumb into his opponent's neck to knock him out.
- Heel–Face Turn: When he got into an argument with then-tag team partner "Cowboy" Bob Orton after a match on national television (following a loss to Tito Santana and Hillbilly Jim). The tag team's split had been teased for weeks on the WWF's programs during the summer of 1987 before a frustrated Orton shoving Muraco over when he thought he was showing him up while attempting to do Orton's suplex on Santana. Muraco was made the face and got the upper hand in matches against Orton, but his turn was not solidified until early that fall, when he saved "Superstar" Billy Graham from a 3-on-1 attack by Slick, the One Man Gang and "The Natural" Butch Reed.
- Irony: His symbol was a lighting bolt, but his working rate was very, very slow. His average match would end up clocking over the thirty minutes mark.
- Jerkass: As a Heel.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: As "The Magnificent M" in Florida.
- Power Stable:
- (in Florida): Sonny King's Army and The House of Humperdink
- (in ECW): Hot Stuff International/The Dangerous Alliance
- (in WWF):
- (as heel) with "Adorable" Adrian Adonis and Cowboy Bob
- (as face) Survivor Series '87: with The Hulkster, "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, Ken Patera and Bam Bam Bigelow. Managed by Sir Oliver Humperdink.
- Red Baron: First "The Magnificent" then "The Rock" (no, not him)
- Redemption Demotion: Muraco was long successful as a bad guy, after his Heel–Face Turn, not so much. It didn't help that he became even worse in the ring thanks to upping his steroid use.
- Signature Move: Some Facelock, chop and stomp variants.
- He's also credited for being who brought to continental U.S. the Rolling neck whiplash later popularized by Curt Hennig.
- Smug Snake: He once wrestled a Squash while taking pauses to eat a meatball sub sandwich his manager had at ringside.
- Start My Own: Hawaii Championship Wrestling, which ran from 2003 to 2008.
- The Stoner: Was this apparently. Bobby "The Brain" Heenan described him in a shoot interview:Bobby Heenan: "Good man...good weed!"
- Tag Team:
- (in Florida): with Dusty Rhodes
- (in Portland): with Ivan Koloff
- (in AWA): with Larry "The Axe" Hennig
- (in Mid-Atlantic): with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper
- (in WWF): with "The Natural" Butch Reed (as heel), and Ultimate Warrior (as face).
- (in WCW): with Dick Murdoch and Superfly.
- Underwear of Power: A literal case, his was emblazoned with a lightning bolt on his right hip.
- Ur-Example: The first winner of the King of the Ring.
- Wrestling Family: His son Joe.