WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino dies at 82

WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino dies at 82

The wrestling world lost a true icon on Wednesday with the passing of Bruno Sammartino, and his death resonated with many current wrestlers who realize the role Sammartino had in blazing a path for them. He passed away peacefully with his wife wife and two kids by his side this afternoon.

He was originally from Italy, after being born in Pizzoferrato, Abruzzo, in 1935, but moved to the United States and settled in Pittsburgh.

In 1963, he defeated Buddy "Natural Guy" Rogers in just 48 seconds to become the second-ever World Wrestling Entertainment champion in front of almost 20,000 fans at the old Madison Square Garden in New York City. Bruno's first reign remains the longest single reign for a champion in WWE history at an astonishing 2,803 days, for a grand total of 4,040.

Sammartino, who sold out Madison Square Garden in NY 187 times, became a color commentator for WWE in the 1980s and was inducted into the company's Hall of Fame in 2013.

VAVEL would like to extend its condolences to the family of Bruno Sammartino as well as the friends and fans who mourn in his passing.

Sammartino was unabashedly proud of his Italian heritage and knew that many of his fellow Italians had to deal with instances of ignorance and racism, so it came as no surprise when this was incorporated into a 1985 feud with the always-controversial Roddy Piper.

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At his time, Sammartino was the most transcendent figure the business had ever seen, and he quickly became one of professional wrestling's most accomplished performers.

WWE Bruno Sammartino died at the age 82, he was battling with health issues for several months.

During his first reign, Sammartino headlined the first wrestling card at the then-new MSG.

Bruno retired from the ring in 1981, though returned to do commentary a few years later.

- ShinigamE (@WWEBigE) April 18, 2018Bruno is indirectly responsible for where I am today. Of course in those days, the pro-wrestling promotion was not called "WWE", but it's the same company - just with a very different look and reach.

My thoughts are with his entire family.

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