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Chuck Palumbo's debut reflects Superstar's passion
DALLAS -- The shiny black and chrome chopper roared to ringside as Chuck Palumbo made his SmackDown debut Friday night.
For the 10-year ring veteran, it was the most comfortable he's ever been. The Superstar has built a successful side career constructing custom choppers, and has a passion for the American motorcycle lifestyle.
"It's not a gimmick. I ride every day," Palumbo told WWE.com. "My week consists of working on bikes two or three days a week, then I go back on the road. In the meantime, I'm riding on trips to Sturgis, to Vegas and so on."
Our fans might wonder where the 6-foot-7 Superstar has been as of late. Palumbo is a three-time WCW Tag Team Champion and won the WWE World Tag Team Championship in 2002.
He's been a part of memorable teams over the years, including the Full Blooded Italians (F.B.I.) and teaming with Billy Gunn as the controversial team of "Billy and Chuck." Palumbo left WWE in 2004 and competed in Japan, Mexico and Italy before returning to WWE in 2006. In his spare time, he rode and worked on choppers.
"Wrestling has been my life-long passion. I love wrestling," Palumbo said. "But motorcycles are something else. When I need to get my mind off the business, I'll grab a wrench or light a torch and get a weld going."
Not only is Palumbo looking to make his mark in the WWE ring, he's also hoping to make an impression in the motorcycle industry as well. In April's edition of American Iron Magazine, a Palumbo-made chopper was featured on the cover.
He finds similarities in both of his chosen careers. "Wrestling is an art form, building motorcycles is an art form. You have to have a vision of what the end product is going to look like, then craft it with your hands," Palumbo said.
The Superstar owns four choppers, and has built four others so far, each taking six to 12 weeks to build. But he hopes he builds up his following in WWE as he competes on SmackDown, chasing championship gold while having fun at the same time.
"Most guys say I'm really reserved. But when I get on the bike, it kicks in an adrenaline rush and then I become a different person," Palumbo said. "I always tell all the guys I'm doing two of the greatest things I can do: I get to wrestle and ride motorcycles all in the same night."