Wrestling icon Bruno Sammartino passes away at 82

19 April, 2018, 06:29 | Author: Stuart Potter
  • Bruno Sammartino has died aged 82 the WWE has confirmed

Bruno Sammartino, WWE Hall of Famer and record-holder for longest championship reign, passed away this week at the age of 82.

CBS Pittsburgh is reporting that Sammartino passed with his wife and kids at his side; he's said to have been battling illness for months. He and his mother hid in the mountains of Valla Rocca before eventually escaping to the United States to join his father in 1950.

Sammartino held the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship title for over 11 years across just two separate reigns.

Sammartino was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger.

As recalled by the Sporting News, Bruno Sammartino left the then-WWF on a sour note, as he was upset with the new focus on "sports entertainment", the drug use that was then rampant in the company, and the increasing prevalence of edgy, controversial storylines.

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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.

Wrestlers of the past and present paid tribute to Sammartino's passing and offered messages of condolence on social media.

Sammartino is a legendary figure in the world of pro-wrestling, and his death is a reminder that wrestling would not be where it is today without the talent of Sammartino, "the Italian Superman". The years after Sammartino transitioned into a broadcasting role.

Sammartino is one of the most iconic figures in professional wrestling history. The heated grudge match broke box-office records for wrestling events, and Bruno retired from the ring the following year.

"Devastated to hear the passing of a true icon, legend, great, honest and wonderful man". RIP Bruno. My thoughts and prayers are with his family today. "A true friend.and one of the toughest people I've ever met", Levesque tweeted. He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Carol, and his three children.

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