Truly a sad day in the world of wrestling. Bruno Sammartino passed away Wednesday morning. He was 82. The wrestling world is sharing tributes to one of the most important figures in the industry.
Trailblazer, legend, icon
Bruno was a pillar of professional wrestling. The Italian Superman owns an untouchable record in wrestling history. Sammartino held the WWWF Championship for 8 years after winning the strap in 1963. He went on to become the first ever two-time Champion and that reign lasted a mind-boggling three and a half years. The former champ sold out WWE’s home, Madison Square Gardens 187 times. Bruno was even part of the first ever wrestling show there.
Sammartino retired from action in 1981 but would return later that decade. In his second act, he helped launch future WWE icons like “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Roddy Piper, and The Honky Tonk Man.
Bruno was finally inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.
One of the finest men
WWE Superstars took to social media to honour the memory of the pioneer who forever changed the landscape of wrestling:
One of the finest men I knew, in life and in business. Bruno Sammartino proved that hard work can overcome even the most difficult of circumstances. He will be missed. #RIPLivingLegend pic.twitter.com/PNDuQ31Phd
— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) April 18, 2018
Devastated to hear the passing of a true icon, legend, great, honest and wonderful man…
A true friend…and one of the toughest people I've ever met.
My thoughts are with his entire family. #RIPBrunoSammartino #AmericanDream
— Triple H (@TripleH) April 18, 2018
I will always have an enormous amount of respect & admiration for Bruno Sammartino. I can’t thank him enough for always being kind to me & taking time to have a genuine conversation. Condolences to his family & loved ones.
— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) April 18, 2018
— Rusev (@RusevBUL) April 18, 2018
Bruno Sammartino is a wrestling Legend
Honored to have had many conversations with him
When I was w/him I knew I was w/pure class & greatness
Celebrate his life watch 1of his matches today
I was humbled he even knew my name
I'm very sad pic.twitter.com/RfD1XIQYo9
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) April 18, 2018
Growing up, my grandfather Stu Hart would ALWAYS talk about Bruno Sammartino and what an incredible wrestler he was. I’m so grateful I had the chance to meet Bruno and tell him how much he meant to my grandfather and the entire Hart family. We will all miss you, Bruno. 🙏♥️ pic.twitter.com/Dclu5hMGa6
— Nattie (@NatbyNature) April 18, 2018
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UPDATE- (Due to popular demand, I decided to give the amazing episode of #TalkIsJericho w #Bruno an Encore Presentation NOW on @itunes & @applepodcasts! No ads, no rundown, just a great conversation with one of the biggest stars in wrestling history… and a tremendously nice guy!) Sorry to hear of the passing of the legendary #BrunoSammartino. One of my favorite episodes of #TalkIsJericho was chatting with him in his favorite Italian restaurant (at his insistence) in Pittsburgh a year and a half ago. He was a great guest and was in such amazing shape that he looked like he could still kick my ass!! A true gentleman, pioneer and inspiration….THANK YOU BRUNO!
It’s truly sad to say goodbye to one of the most ILLUSTRIOUS performers of all time. Thank you for INSPIRING & MOTIVATING an UNCOUNTABLE number of people with your amazing story & successes, Bruno Sammartino. https://t.co/MFDwTKe9sP
— #WOKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) April 18, 2018