Published: Thu, April 19, 2018
Medical | By Vernon Walton

Wrestling Legend Bruno Sammartino Dead at 82

Wrestling Legend Bruno Sammartino Dead at 82

The news was first revealed by Pittsburgh journalist Ron Cook, who described him as "one of Pittsburgh's all-time great sportsmen and great people".

He was professional wrestling's ultimate good guy. Three years later, he won the WWWF belt in NY with a 48-second defeat of Buddy Rogers.

Sammartino remained a fan favorite into the 1980s before becoming a broadcaster and mentor for his son David.

"Nobody deserves to be recognized for being a big star and paving the way for the stars of today more than Bruno", said WWE executive Paul "Triple H" Levesque, at the time of Sammartino's induction.

- Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) April 18, 2018At Wrestlemania 30 I had the chance to meet Bruno Sammartino.

"Bruno Sammartino was a legend. He will be missed". WWE extended its condolences to Sammartino's family in a statement Wednesday.

WWE uses "legend" to describe all of their notable, older Superstars, but Bruno Sammartino is the legend.

Sammartino's Italian heritage, brute strength and good-guy charisma helped make him an instant star in the northeast. He began his record title reign after beating Buddy Rogers at Madison Square Garden in 1963.

Zbyszko, a WWE Hall of Famer, was billed as Sammartino's protege until he turned on him during a famous televised match. Sammartino was respected and loved by his fans and others in the locker room.

"I was getting my auto smashed, I had to hide in trunks", Zbyszko said. Sammartino escaped the cage a victor. "But as an arm to a quarterback, looking at the series, I'm hoping that in the future-when they may go ahead and start shooting one, two, or three of them-they do it sequentially, utilizing the same Jason and similarities between the directors and the writers, so the scripts have some continuity". "He was my mentor".

The WWE and its entertainers and legends tweeted their thoughts on Sammartino. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. He was inducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sammartino caught the eye of Vincent J McMahon, and moved into the world of wrestling when he set a world record in 1959 by bench-pressing a mammoth 565 pounds.

Sammartino's family fled a Nazi invasion of his village in Italy and he hid with his mother in a mountain during the German occupation. "Growing up in Pittsburgh, he was my father's hero, and sparked my dad's passion for the business that he passed on to me", Corey Graves wrote via Twitter.

"Killer Kowalski would be at the top of the list", Sammartino said.

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