WWE wrestling superstar Bruno Sammartino passed away at 82

Lynn Cook
April 19, 2018

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.

The charismatic Sammartino, an Italian immigrant who settled in Pittsburgh, certainly drew well in Italian-American communities on the east coast.

Through the late '50s and early '60s, Sammartino competed in a number of federations before winning his first heavyweight championship for the World Wide Wrestling Federation (which eventually became today's WWE) on May 17, 1963 from "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers. Sammartino was one of the biggest wrestling stars of the 1960s and 1970s and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.

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I didn't even know that Sammartino was in poor health, so this is a shock to me. In 2013, after years of feuding with the younger McMahon over pro wrestling's turn to more vulgar story lines and its coddling of drug use by prominent stars, he accepted an invitation into the WWE Hall of Fame, with the ceremony held at a flawless locale.

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

With a reign lasting over eight years, Sammartino is not only the longest reigning champion in WWE - but also in professional wrestling history.

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- AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) April 18, 2018Growing up, my grandfather Stu Hart would ALWAYS talk about Bruno Sammartino and what an incredible wrestler he was. 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. "Everything I learned was from Bruno". 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. "A true friend...and one of the toughest people I've ever met", tweeted Paul Triple H Levesque.

The wrestler is survived by his wife Carol and his sons David, Darryl and Dan Sammartino.

What are your thoughts on some of the WWE Universe's comments regarding Sammartino's passing?

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