Francisco Ciatso, subject of ‘Journeyman’ documentary, passes away at 48

Originally published at Francisco Ciatso, subject of ‘Journeyman’ documentary, passes away at 48

Florida-based independent wrestler Francisco Ciatso, who was the subject of the 2019 documentary ‘Journeyman’, has passed away at the age of 48.

Originally from New York, Ciatso was trained by Adrian Street and the WCW Power Plant, and had been part of the wrestling scene since the mid-1990s.

According to his wife, he passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday night due to a heart condition.

The news of his passing was first broken by Florida promoter Barry Rose. On Facebook, he stated:

We’d like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Francisco Ciatso, who passed away overnight. Frankie was a part of two CWF Legends Fanfests as he proudly presented the movie based on his life, Journeyman. RIP, champ.

Ciatso wrestled under the name ‘Frankie Capone’ in the earliest days of NWA/TNA. He also appeared as an occasional enhancement talent for WWE and Ring of Honor.

The ‘Journeyman’ documentary, directed by Paul Steward, told the story of the hardships and high points of Ciatso and his wife, fellow wrestler Stormie Lee.

Lee also took to Facebook on Saturday to state:

Frankie’s departure was serene, as he passed away peacefully in his sleep due to congestive heart failure. This sudden loss has left us unprepared, and we find ourselves seeking support to arrange a funeral/memorial befitting the remarkable person he was. I am profoundly grateful for the outpouring of sympathy and support from everyone during this challenging time. The wave of love and solidarity from both within and outside the wrestling community is truly overwhelming and something Frankie himself would have been deeply moved by.

With heartfelt thanks,

Stormie Lee

Others in the industry have paid tribute.

Godspeed, Frankie Ciatso. You were always good to me. I have no words. Another brother gone. Rest well, hermano. 🙏

— Adam Pearce (@ScrapDaddyAP) January 20, 2024

RIP @FranciscoCiatso!

— Matt Cardona (@TheMattCardona) January 20, 2024

Frankie Ciatso was a guy I’ve known for many years, a Florida/Georgia staple of Independent wrestling. Worked with him many times, whether it was WWN or for Lariato Pro. Dude was always a guy that would make ya laugh have have fun. Sad to hear about his passing. Godspeed and Rest…

— Referee Brandon Tolle (@RefBrandonTolle) January 20, 2024

I just woke up to this crushing news. Ciatso pulled me aside my first time in Florida and asked me all about my career, my life, talked psychology with me knowing I’m not a wrestler, and gave me as much time as he was willing to give his students at WWN. I’ll never forget…

— Walker Stewart (@VelvetVoiceWS) January 20, 2024