WWE icon Bruno Sammartino, longest reigning champion dies at 82

Bruno Sammartino revolutionised wrestling

Sammartino and WWE had a bitter falling out in the late 1980s that lasted until the company's greatest star accepted his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2013. The outlet says he He died "peacefully" after recently battling health issues. He's also notable for selling out Madison Square Garden a massive 188 times, including one final time when Arnold Schwarzenegger inducted him into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.

Share your Bruno Sammartino memories in the comment section below.

"My thoughts are with his entire family". The impressive feat reportedly made wrestling promoter Vincent J. McMahon take notice, leading Sammartino to a career in sports entertainment. "WWE extends its condolences to Sammartino's family, friends and fans", the company wrote via their website. "If we went 10 minutes or even over 20 minutes, you can bet there would always be action in the ring".

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- Nattie (@NatbyNature) April 18, 2018This photo is from the first mention of Bruno Sammartino I can find in our archives, from a 1958 story in the Pittsburgh Press titled "Pittsburgh Hercules".

Not long after his departure from the WWF, Sammartino and McMahon became foes, with Sammartino heavily criticizing McMahon and eventually working rare dates for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

Sammartino became the second ever WWE Champion and held the title for a sum total of eight years in a single reign, a record that has never been broken since then.

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Corey Graves kept the tributes coming, tweeting: "Bruno is indirectly responsible for where I am today". Bruno got into wrestling after being discovered while performing strongman stunts around Pittsburgh.

"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".

After leaving Italy with his family following World War II, Sammartino settled in Pittsburgh.

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