The wrestling world says goodbye to one of its biggest stars. WWE announced Wednesday that Bruno Sammartino has died. He was 82.
Sammartino, known as "The Italian Superman," joined his Italian father in Pittsburgh after World War II and began lifting weights after a statement issued by the WWE. Professional wrestling promoter Vincent J. McMahon helped Sammartino become a star in sports entertainment, but his victory over Buddy Rogers at Madison Square Garden in 1963 earned him the WWE Championship. He retained the title for nearly eight years – the longest rule in the history of the organization.
Sammartino was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the 201
"The inclusion in the Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden is the greatest in my life," said Sammartino ESPN. "Every time people feel that you've achieved enough to enter a hall of fame, it's a tremendous thrill for me, of course, because I performed in the garden, I have over 200 there Once there, I won the title and there I collected 630 pounds of Haystack Calhoun. "
Fellow wrestlers flooded Twitter with condolences when he heard of Sammartino's death.
"RIP Bruno," wrote Hulk Hogan. "Thank you for loving and living our business, just love."
"Bruno is indirectly responsible for where I am today, growing up in Pittsburgh, being my father's hero and sparking my father's passion for the business he passed on to me," Corey Graves added. "I was lucky enough to spend some time with Bruno, and the man was the best in class."
In July, musician Bruno Mars shared a photo with his namesake, who wore a replica belt.
"I became nickname Professional Wrestler Bruno Sammartino after that Tonight in Pittsburgh I had the honor to meet him!" The singer subtitled the image.