Wrestling By The Numbers: Bruno Sammartino
World Wrestling Entertainment has announced it’s 4th inductee into the Class of 2013 WWE Hall Of Fame will be ‘The Living Legend’ Bruno Sammartino. The 77-year-old Pizzofererra Italy native agreed to be inducted this year at Madison Square Garden in New York City after a series of meetings and negotiations with WWE Executive Vice President Of Talent & Live Events Paul ‘Triple H.’ Levesque. Sammartino has announced in multiple interviews since that he is satisfied with both the WWE’s current wellness program and change in recent years to PG programming. Sammartino had turned down the WWE’s Hall Of Fame offer for years and had been critical of the company and Vince McMahon over wrestler drug abuse problems and the WWE’s programming and edgy and controversial creative writing during the company’s attitude era.
Bruno Sammartino wrestled for 24-years after first debuting in 1959 after having been trained by Ace Freeman and Rex Perry. He started his career competing for Spectator Sports in his hometown of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and also worked for the NWA Montreal and Chicago territories in the early 1960’s. He joined the World Wide Wrestling Federation first in 1963 and his impressive power moves, brawling style and personal charisma quickly made him a top draw. In the 1960’s and 1970’s Bruno Sammartino was the biggest draw in the sport and had become an icon in New York City. During the peak of his popularity he was even an invited guest of the Pope in a private audience at the Vatican.
Bruno Sammartino became a former 2-Time WWWF Champion during his first run with the company lasting 18-years from 1963 to 1981. Sammartino holds the record for having the longest WWE Championship reign in history lasting a total of 4040 days which is just over 11-years during his 2-stints with the title. In 1980 Sammartino had one of the best feuds of the year with rival Larry Zybszko and the next year announced his first retirement from the sport in 1981 due to neck and back issues. He returned to the WWF in 1984 and spent another 5-years in the organization this time as a part-time wrestler, commentator and manager with the organization. He left the WWF in 1989 and made a few appearances with Jim Crockett Promotions / World Championship Wrestling, the Universal Wrestling Federation as a commentator and also done work with both TNA Wrestling and Ring Of Honor Wrestling.
In addition to Bruno Sammartino’s in-ring wrestling career he also had ownership during different time periods with the Spectator Sports promotion he wrestled for in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Sammartino was the company’s owner from 1966-1970 and from 1973 until the organization’s closure in 1975. During his run as the WWWF’s top draw in the 1960’s and 1970’s Sammartino also represented the company and worked various shows for the American Wrestling Association, NWA Championship Wrestling From Florida, Stampede Wrestling, the Japan Wrestling Association, NWA Detroit, NWA St. Louis, the World Wrestling Association, the World Wrestling Council and All Japan Pro Wrestling. Bruno Sammartino joins Mick Foley, Bob Backlund and Trish Stratus as announced inductees into the 2013 WWE Hall Of Fame Class.
Below we look at the professional wrestling career of ‘The Living Legend’ Bruno Sammartino by the numbers…
World Wide Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment:
* 1 Match on WWE Pay-Per-View.
* 1 Match Managed on WWE Pay-Per-View.
* 22 Matches on WWWF / WWF On MSG Network.
* 9 Main Event Matches on WWWF / WWF On MSG Network.
* 11 Matches on WWWF / WWF On PRISM Network.
* 4 Main Event Matches on WWWF / WWF On PRISM Network.
* 17 Matches on WWWF World Wide Wrestling Federation.
* 14 Main Event Matches on WWWF World Wide Wrestling Federation.
* 6 Matches on WWF Prime Time Wrestling.
* 3 Main Event Matches on WWF Prime Time Wrestling.
* 2 Matches on WWF Championship Wrestling.
* 1 Main Event Match on WWF Championship Wrestling.
* 1 Match on WWF Wrestling Challenge.
* 1 Main Event Match on WWF Wrestling Challenge.
* 1 Match on WWWF On HBO.
* 7 Matches on WWF On NESN.
* 3 Main Event Matches on WWF On NESN.
* 1 Match on WWWF On WOR-Tv.
* 1 Main Event Match on WWWF On WOR-Tv.
All Japan Pro Wrestling:
* 2 Matches on AJPW Giant Series On NipponTv.
* 1 Main Event Match on AJPW Giant Series on NipponTv.
* 1 Match on Spectator Sports Studio Wrestling.
* 1 Main Event Match on Spectator Sports Studio Wrestling.