Bruno Sammartino

Bruno
Bruno Leopoldo Francesco Sammartino (October 6, 1935 – April 18, 2018) was an Italian-born American professional wrestler, best known for his work with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE).wikipedia
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WWE Hall of Fame

WWF Hall of FameHall of FameHall of Famer
Sammartino became a vocal critic of the drug use and raunchier storylines that became prevalent in the professional wrestling industry after his retirement but he reconciled with WWE in 2013 and headlined their Hall of Fame ceremony that year.

List of WWE Champions

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There, he held the WWF World Heavyweight Championship (WWF Heavyweight Championship during his second reign) for more than 11 years (4,040 days) across two reigns, the first of which is the longest single reign in the promotion's history at 2,803 days.
The champion with the single longest reign is Bruno Sammartino with a reign of 2,803 days while the record for longest combined reign is also held by Sammartino at 4,040.

Toots Mondt

Joseph "Toots" MondtJoseph Raymond "Toots" Mondt
Promoters Toots Mondt and McMahon Sr. cleared up Sammartino's suspension by paying his $500 fine, allowing him to return to wrestling in the United States.
Some of the stars Mondt helped create from the 1920s through the 1960s included Wayne Munn, Jim Londos, Antonino Rocca, Bruno Sammartino, Stu Hart and Cowboy Bill Watts.

Gorilla Monsoon

Robert MarellaGorilla Monsoon (Robert James "Gino" Marella)Robert "Gorilla Monsoon" Marella
Sammartino instead that night had his first match against new number one contender, Gorilla Monsoon.
Monsoon first wrestled Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF World Championship on October 4, 1963, at Roosevelt Stadium, in Jersey City, New Jersey Monsoon qualified by winning a partially televised Ring Wrestling Magazine tournament, where he pinned Killer Buddy Austin in about a minute.

Bob Backlund

Robert BacklundRobert Lee Backlund
His final attempt was in Philadelphia, just a few days before Graham was scheduled to lose the title to Bob Backlund.
Robert Louis Backlund (born August 14, 1949) is an American retired professional wrestler with an in-ring career spanning over 30 years, best known for his tenures in the World Wide Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Federation (WWWF/WWF, later known as World Wrestling Entertainment and currently simply known as WWE), where he is a two-time WWWF/WWF Heavyweight Champion/WWF World Heavyweight Champion (Backlund's first reign is the second-longest reign in the title history, behind Bruno Sammartino's first), as well as being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.

Tony Marino

BattmanThe Battman
On December 8, 1969, he teamed with Tony Marino to win the WWWF International Tag Team Championship by defeating The Rising Suns (Tanaka and Mitsu Arakawa).
Bruno Sammartino, who had purchased the promotional office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, brought Marino into Pittsburgh as "Battman" and installed him as a major wrestler in the territory.

Ivan Koloff

IvanThe Russian Bear" Ivan KoloffOreal Perras
On January 18, 1971, Sammartino lost the championship at Madison Square Garden to Ivan Koloff.
He soon started a rivalry with then-WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino.

Dominic DeNucci

Dominic De Nucci
Later that year, he won the International Tag Team Championship for the second time by teaming with Dominic DeNucci.
Afterwards he teamed with Kowalski and his Italian friend Bruno Sammartino feuding with Toru Tanaka and Mitsu Arakawa.

Madison Square Garden (1925)

Madison Square GardenMSGthird Madison Square Garden
Sammartino's first match in Madison Square Garden in New York City was on January 2, 1960, defeating Bull Curry in five minutes.
On May 17, 1963, Bruno Sammartino defeated "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, via submission, in 48 seconds, to become the second ever WWWF World Heavyweight Champion.

Professor Tanaka

Toru TanakaProfessor Toru TanakaCharles Kalani, Jr.
On December 8, 1969, he teamed with Tony Marino to win the WWWF International Tag Team Championship by defeating The Rising Suns (Tanaka and Mitsu Arakawa).
Tanaka had a long successful run with the WWF in the 1960s, including being #1 contender to champion Bruno Sammartino.

Stan Hansen

HansenStan "The Lariat" HansonStan Hansen (John Hansen Jr.)
During this time, on April 26, 1976, Sammartino suffered a legitimate neck fracture in a match against Stan Hansen at Madison Square Garden, when Hansen improperly executed a move and dropped Sammartino on his head.
In 1976, Hansen made his debut for the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) and only two months after he began competing for the company, he began feuding with the WWF Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino over the title.

Larry Zbyszko

Larry ZbyzskoLarry ZybyskoLawrence Whistler
On January 22, 1980, his former student Larry Zbyszko turned on him at the World Wrestling Federation's Championship Wrestling show.
Lawrence Whistler (born December 5, 1951), better known by the ring name Larry Zbyszko, is an American retired professional wrestler and author perhaps best known for his feud with his mentor, Bruno Sammartino, during the early 1980s.

Stan Stasiak

Stan "The Man" StasiakStan Stasiak (George Stipich)
Eventually, on December 10, 1973, Sammartino regained the WWWF Heavyweight Championship by defeating Stan Stasiak.
According to friend and fellow wrestler Frank Dusek, the company wanted to make Bruno Sammartino its champion again, but did not want Sammartino to defeat then champion Morales in the process, so they needed a heel wrestler to win it.

Abruzzo

AbruzziAbruzzeseAbruzzo Region
Bruno Leopoldo Francesco Sammartino was born in Pizzoferrato, Abruzzo, Italy, to Alfonso and Emilia Sammartino on October 6, 1935.
American artists and celebrities such as: Madonna, Dean Martin, Bradley Cooper, Perry Como, Henry Mancini, Nancy Pelosi, Rocky Marciano, Rocky Mattioli, Bruno Sammartino, Mario Batali, John and Dan Fante, Tommy Lasorda, Dan Marino, Mario Lanza, Garry Marshall, Penny Marshall, Al Martino, Ariana Grande and Canadian Michael Bublé have Abruzzo origins.

List of former WWE television programming

WWF Action ZoneWWF Super AstrosAll-Star Wrestling
Also during this time, Sammartino began serving as color commentator for the WWF's syndicated programs, WWF Championship Wrestling and WWF All-Star Wrestling.
Usually the main events involved WWWF Champion Bruno Sammartino retaining his title.

Professional wrestling championship

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With Whipper Billy Watson, Sammartino won his first professional wrestling championship in September 1962, the local version of the International Tag Team Championship.
Before the 1980s when title matches were rare, some champions could keep their titles even when injured; Bruno Sammartino kept his WWF World Heavyweight Championship from April to June 1976 despite being injured by a botched body slam from Stan Hansen.

Buddy Rogers (wrestler)

Buddy RogersNature Boy" Buddy RogersNature Boy Buddy Rogers
Feeling like he was being held back in the New York territory in favor of National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) star Buddy Rogers, Sammartino gave his notice to Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC) owner Vince McMahon Sr. and planned to go to San Francisco to work for Roy Shire.
Rogers and Barend split briefly and feuded, but they reunited that summer to defeat Bobo Brazil and Bruno Sammartino in a best two out of three falls tag team match.

Pizzoferrato

Bruno Leopoldo Francesco Sammartino was born in Pizzoferrato, Abruzzo, Italy, to Alfonso and Emilia Sammartino on October 6, 1935.
* Bruno Sammartino - Former WWF Champion

Frank Tunney

FrankTunney family
On the advice of wrestler Yukon Eric, Sammartino contacted Toronto promoter Frank Tunney hoping to take advantage of Toronto's large Italian population.
When Bruno Sammartino captured the WWWF Title, he visited Toronto.

Botch (professional wrestling)

botchedbotchbotching
During this time, on April 26, 1976, Sammartino suffered a legitimate neck fracture in a match against Stan Hansen at Madison Square Garden, when Hansen improperly executed a move and dropped Sammartino on his head.
On April 26, 1976, Bruno Sammartino suffered a neck fracture in a match against the relatively inexperienced Stan Hansen at Madison Square Garden, when Hansen improperly executed a body slam.

WWE Hall of Fame (2013)

Class of 201320132013 Hall of Fame class
Sammartino became a vocal critic of the drug use and raunchier storylines that became prevalent in the professional wrestling industry after his retirement but he reconciled with WWE in 2013 and headlined their Hall of Fame ceremony that year.
The final inductee of the evening was Bruno Sammartino who was inducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Lord Alfred Hayes

Alfred HayesAlfred Hayes (wrestler)Al Hayes
He also wrestled and defeated Blackjack Mulligan, Lord Alfred Hayes, Dick Murdoch, Kenji Shibuya, and "Crippler" Ray Stevens.
Hayes also wrestled in brief stints for his future employer the WWWF, battling Bruno Sammartino for the World Heavyweight Championship on occasion.

National Wrestling Alliance

NWANWA MidwestNWA New Jersey
Feeling like he was being held back in the New York territory in favor of National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) star Buddy Rogers, Sammartino gave his notice to Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC) owner Vince McMahon Sr. and planned to go to San Francisco to work for Roy Shire.
The WWWF quietly rejoined the organisation in 1971, after WWWF's biggest draw, Bruno Sammartino left the promotion and in 1979 changed the name from World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) to World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

David Sammartino

Bruno Sammartino Jr.David
At the inaugural WrestleMania at a sold out Madison Square Garden in 1985, Sammartino was in his son David's corner for his match against Brutus Beefcake.
He is the son of former WWWF/WWF World Heavyweight Champion, Bruno Sammartino.

Capitol Wrestling Corporation

Capitol WrestlingCapital Wrestling CorporationCWC
Feeling like he was being held back in the New York territory in favor of National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) star Buddy Rogers, Sammartino gave his notice to Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC) owner Vince McMahon Sr. and planned to go to San Francisco to work for Roy Shire.
He lost the championship to Bruno Sammartino a month later on May 17, 1963, after suffering a heart attack a week before the match.