WWE stars pay tribute to Bruno Sammartino

WWE stars pay tribute to Bruno Sammartino

Sammartino is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carol, three sons, David, Danny and Darryl, and four grandchildren. He wrestled back in the 1950s, challenging such fellow icons like Freddie Blassie, Buddy Rogers, and George "The Animal" Steele, according to TMZ.

Bruno got his start with the WWWF. the promotion started by Vince McMahon Sr. - which eventually led to the WWF and WWE. He wouldn't lose again until Ivan Koloff defeated him on January 18, 1971, according to ESPN. He was one of the first WWE champions, and he held the belt for nearly 3,000 days.

- Corey Graves (@WWEGraves) April 18, 2018I will always have an enormous amount of respect & admiration for Bruno Sammartino.

Once Sammartino switched from power lifting to professional wrestling, he became the biggest star in history.

WWE stars pay tribute to Bruno Sammartino

"A true friend.and one of the toughest people I've ever met. My thoughts are with his entire family", Levesque tweeted.

"Bruno is indirectly responsible for where I am today".

"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". I was a huge fan of this legend as a kid, Bruno was a massive influence and inspiration on my career from a far. During WWII, his family was forced into hiding during the Nazi occupation. He was born in Italy and his family immigrated when he was a child to Pittsburgh, where he learned how to become a pro wrestler. He made his professional wrestling debut in 1959. During his time on top, Sammartino was a major draw, not only headlining the first pro wrestling event at Madison Square Garden, but selling out the Garden 187 times. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 after years of turning down the offer because of his opposition to the company's use of steroids and what he viewed to be vulgar storylines. He was an unbelievable performer, who made his Pittsburgh natives proud. When I was w/him I knew I was w/pure class & greatness. After the WWE offered their condolences, many Superstars posted messages about Sammartino on social media.

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