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Bruno Sammartino

From Academic Kids

Bruno Laopardo Franceso Sammartino (born October 6, 1935 in Abruzzo, Italy), is a former professional wrestler. As a child he and his family hid in caves from German soldiers during the latter stages of World War II; after the war he came to the United States, settling in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Career

"The Italian Strongman" has often been called the "living legend" of professional wrestling and is considered one of the greatest performers professional wrestling has ever known. Sammartino's actual wrestling ability was somewhat limited compared to "real" pro wrestlers like Lou Thesz, but his brawling style, power moves, and personal charisma, plus the fact that he came acoss as a genuinely nice guy, won him many fans, especially on the East Coast.

Sammartino started wrestling in 1959 and won his first championship in 1963. He held the WWWF Title twice, keeping it first for an incredible seven years and his second title for four years. He was the reigning champion and perhaps the most popular wrestler in the Northeastern United States during the 1960s. He battled the top heels of his time, including Killer Kowalski, Gorilla Monsoon, George "The Animal" Steele and Billy Graham.

After retiring from wrestling full-time, he spent the greater part of his time managing his son David. In recent years he has publicly criticized the direction professional wrestling has taken, making reference to lurid storylines, over-the-top theatrics, and the like. In particular he has been on bad terms with Vince McMahon, saying that McMahon has despoiled the organization that McMahon's father started. As such Sammartino has refused entry into the WWE Hall of Fame; however he is a founding inductee into the unrelated Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Championships/Accomplishments


  • Bruno won several PWI Awards in his career. He won Wrestler of the Year in 1974, Most Inspirational Wrestler in 1976 and the Editor's Award in 1981. He was part of 5 Match of the Year Awards: 1972 (won Battle Royal), 1975 (vs. Spiros Arion), 1976 (vs. Stan Hansen), 1977 (vs. Superstar Billy Graham) and 1980 (vs. Larry Zbysko).


WWE Championship
Preceded by:
Buddy Rogers
First reign Followed by:
Ivan Koloff
Preceded by:
Stan Stasiak
Second reign Followed by:
Billy Graham

Template:WWEchampions

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