WWE Legend Bruno Sammartino Passes Away At Age 82

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"During his childhood in the small Italian mountain town of Abruzzi, Italy, Bruno Sammartino heard stories about how the streets in the United States were paved with gold".

The mayor of Pittsburgh, Pa.

It was during this time that a young Sammartino started lifting weights and soon caught the eye of one of the WWE's forefathers Vincent J. McMahon, who introduced him to Professional Wrestling.

Family friend and former wrestling announcer Christopher Cruise said Sammartino had been hospitalized for two months. Despite his love of wrestling, and all of the history that comes with his 10-plus years as world champion Sammartino might never have taken his rightful, high-visibility place in WWE history had it not been for the efforts of Paul "Triple H" Levesque, who helped bridge the wide gulf that had formed. It was that night that Sammartino headlined and sold out Madison Square Garden for the final time.

"The star power and influence of Sammartino was exemplified by the fact that he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger".

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He began his record title reign after beating Buddy Rogers at Madison Square Garden on May 17, 1963. He held the title until 1971. He held the title for eight years, which is still a record. And now Vince McMahon has made his honest remarks. However, while trying to convince Sammartino to return to WWF for a second lengthy title reign, McMahon Sr. made what was believed to be a rare offer from a wrestling promoter, promising to not only book Sammartino at only the nation's top venues but also pay him a percentage of every gate for events in which he participated.

Sammartino did so while also strongly advocating against any use of performance enhancing drugs, and therefore did not lose an ounce of credibility during any of the numerous PED scandals over the years within the wrestling business. As part of the settlement, he returned as an announcer - and occasional wrestler - but willingly cut ties with the company in 1988 after it fired his son David. His Hall of Fame induction can be seen in the video above.

We at Wrestling Rumors extend our deepest condolences to the entire Sammartino family during this hard time.

Olympic gold medalist and WWE star Kurt Angle, a Pittsburgh native, called Sammartino "a hometown hero".

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