John Castaldi, better known as “Little Dynamite” Tony Casta, died today following a battle with cancer. He was 80 years old.
Casta was the promoter of wrestling at the South Broadway Athletic Club, officially the Executive Director of MMWA Professional Wrestling since 1985.
“Little Dynamite” debuted as a wrestler in 1975. After competing at the SBAC since around 1980, Tony propositioned the venue to replace house wrestling promoter Tim Keirns with Casta himself.
“I thought the wrestling that (Tim) was putting on wasn’t very good, and I told them I could do it better,” Tony said years later.
In an era of big men, Tony Casta topped out at 185 lbs. That may have been why the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association (as it was then known) activated a Junior Heavyweight title. Casta was the first champion.
He retired from the ring in 1992, before returning for a one-off tag team match in 2009.
Tony was honored in 2018 as an inductee into both the Independent St. Louis and Midwest Independent Wrestling Halls of Fame.
Tony’s longtime co-promoter Herb Simmons shared a tribute video.
Wrestlers and personnel spanning generations will miss “Little Dynamite” Tony Casta.
Visitation is from 4-8 on May 7 at Heiligtag-Lang-Fendler Funeral Home in Arnold.