Bruno Sammartino Has Passed Away

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He had reportedly been battling health issues for the past two months.

Sammartino is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Carol, and three sons, David, Darryl and Danny. He transferred that energy into bulking up physically, eventually breaking a world record for deadlifting before pursuing a career in professional wrestling.

Bruno wrestled as far back as the 50's and went head-to-head with the likes of Freddie Blassie, Buddy Rogers and George "The Animal" Steele. He wouldn't lose again until Ivan Koloff defeated him on January 18, 1971, according to ESPN. He held the title for eight years, the longest reign of any wrestler in any organization ever. According to the WWE, he retired from the ring in 1981 and a few years later he returned as a broadcaster until 1988.

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. "Devastated to hear the passing of a true icon, legend, great, honest and wonderful man..." We'd say "rest in power" to Bruno, but we're sure that's the only way he knows how to do it. Current WWE commentator Corey Graves said that Bruno "is indirectly responsible for where I am today. 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", Corey Graves wrote via Twitter.

"It was the first time in my life I saw weights, and it didn't seem like there were any small enough that I could lift".

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"I grew up watching Bruno".

Sammartino, who was born in Italy, came to the United States in 1950. He made his professional wrestling debut in 1959.

WWE considers NY, particularly Madison Square Garden its home, and Sammartino played an essential part in the sentiment.

The result was Sammartino being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 at a ceremony held at Madison Square Garden, marking the 188th and final time Sammartino headlines a sold-out show at the Garden. He was an fantastic performer, who made his Pittsburgh natives proud.

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.

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