Iconic wrestler, WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino dies at 82
Wrestling icon Bruno Sammartino has passed away at the age of 82, WWE announced Wednesday morning.
Sammartino was the then-World Wide Wrestling Federation's longest-reigning world champion, holding the title for nearly eight consecutive years. He began his record title reign after beating Buddy Rogers at Madison Square Garden in 1963.
He would hold the belt until a loss to Ivan Koloffin 1971.
Sammartino was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.
"Being inducted into the Hall of Fame at Madison Square Gardens is the biggest thing in my life," Sammartino said in an interview with ESPN ahead of his 2013 WWE Hall of Fame induction. "Anytime that people feel that you accomplished enough to enter into a Hall of Fame, of course this is a tremendous, tremendous thrill for me. I had a lot of my success due to appearing at the Garden."
WWE legends and fans are paying tribute to Bruno on social media today:
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
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— NattieByNature (@NatbyNature) April 18, 2018
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