Bruno Sammartino dies age 82

19 April, 2018, 02:14 | Author: Christina Harvey
  • Bruno Sammartino

WWE chairman Vince McMahon has led tributes to its longest reigning champion of all time, Bruno Sammartino, who has died aged 82.

He went on to hold the title for what was an incredible eight years, a record which will likely never be broken.

He will be remembered as one of the greatest champions in wrestling history, with a combined title reign of over 11 years and more than 180 sold out shows at Madison Square Garden.

WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino has died.

"We can do this the easy way, or the hard way", Sammartino said. He was the face of the World Wide Wrestling Federation when it was promoted by Vincent J. McMahon.

Bruno Leopoldo Francesco Sammartino was born in Italy in Pizzoferrato. He was famously bullied in school for being frail and foreign with no command of the English language.

The City of Pittsburgh, where Sammartino lived during his adult life, took to Twitter to honor the legend: "We lost another legend today".

During his title reign, Sammartino defended his strap against names such as Killer Kowalski, Gorilla Monsoon and George "The Animal" Steele. He was one of the greatest, most marketable draws in professional wrestling history, selling out Madison Square Garden on numerous occasions. In 2013, after years of feuding with the younger McMahon over pro wrestling's turn to more vulgar story lines and its coddling of drug use by prominent stars, he accepted an invitation into the WWE Hall of Fame, with the ceremony held at a flawless locale. The years after Sammartino transitioned into a broadcasting role.

Sammartino would be champion off and on again until leaving WWF for good in 1988.

"Rest in power and thank you Bruno Sammartino". But in a story often told in wrestling circles, Sammartino broke the bad news to him in the ring.

But Sammartino soon grew exhausted of promoter Vince McMahon's outlandish storylines that became more focused on sports entertainment than good wrestling and was outraged over the drug culture he said had permeated the industry. Despite being in his 50s, Sammartino remained in excellent physical shape and grappled with some of the company's new stars, including "Macho Man" Randy Savage and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

Bruno's death was mourned by many wrestlers like Triple H, Hulk Hogan, etc.



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