News on Bruno Sammartino, Jerry Lawler, Ted DiBiase, and more
Feb 3, 2011 - by Steve Gerweck
– From Devin Cutting: Jerry “The King” Lawler, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase, Scotty 2 Hotty, The Hurricane, Bushwhacker Luke and Robbie McAllister from The Highlanders will be appearing at the Ultimate Championship Wrestling event in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on April 28th, 2011. Go to http://ucwonline.ca for info about UCW and http://wherewrestlinghappens.tk or http://prowrestlingevents.webs.com for info about upcoming wrestling shows worldwide.
– Bruno Sammartino spoke to a group of Pittsburgh Shriners at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Moon Township on 1/29. Globe reader Max writes: Bruno spoke about his early days as a sickly youth in Italy and how his fellow village members would have to live atop a mountain outside of his village. When they needed food, his mother would sneak down to their home, which was occupied by Nazis, on a 24-hour trip to do this. It was
dangerous, and one time, she was shot in the shoulder as she was making her way back up the mountain. But she survived. Bruno’s father, who was working in America at the time, sent for his family in 1947, but Bruno was so sickly that he could not pass the physical to allow the family to go until 1950 (age 15). When they came over, he was 83 pounds at that age, but he and his brother, who worked cutting grass, were able to join the YMHA in Pittsburgh, where he got into weight lifting. In three years, he had gone from 83 pounds to 275, mostly because his appetite had come back from where it was when he had been ill, and the weight
lifting. Bruno had a chance to play football for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but found that they would make about $6,000 for the season, so he remained an apprentice carpenter, building the Pittsburgh Hilton
Hotel. Eventually, he was “discovered” by Rudy Miller, of Washington, D.C. and his wrestling career began. Bruno did not go much into that career, but did tell us that when he was in New York, he had become a
legend for his strength, and he was asked, on a radio show, if he could slam Haystacks Calhoun, who had been weighed, at that time, at 640 pounds on scales used at that facility to weigh farm animals. Bruno told
us that Haystacks was so large, that he could not put his arms around him to lift him, and he could not grab him by the crotch area to leverage him up because of Calhoun’s sheer size. Finally, Haystacks had Bruno in a side headlock, and he was able to grab onto the leg and hoist him up. Bruno knew he could do that, because at that time, he was squatting over 700 pounds. With Haystacks on his shoulders, Bruno showed
off a bit and walked around the ring with him. When he finally slammed him, the ring broke! Bruno also told us that neither he nor Buddy Rodgers liked each other, and when they wrestled for the title, Bruno charged him, put him up on his shoulders, and told Buddy that if he didn’t submit, he’d break his back. Buddy Rodgers submitted in 47 seconds, and a new championship reign was started. Overall, he was very well received, the room of about 385 Shriners was quiet as could be, and Bruno received several standing ovations. For 75 years old, he looks great, sounds like he always did, and was very, very generous with his
time, taking pictures with some of the attendees, and signing a lot of autographs.
(information from the Wrestling Globe Newsletter was used in this report)