Wrestlers Mourn the Death of Bruno Sammartino

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The charismatic Sammartino, an Italian immigrant who settled in Pittsburgh, certainly drew well in Italian-American communities on the east coast. After becoming the second-ever WWE Champion by defeating Buddy Rodgers in 48 seconds back in 1963 from Madison Square Garden, Sammartino was able to hold onto the strap for over 2,000 days. He became the longest-reigning world champion, and held the belt for eight years before losing it to Ivan Koloff on January 18, 1971, ESPN says.

As the man who inducted Bruno Sammartino into WWE's Hall of Fame in 2013, Arnold Schwarzenegger clearly had a close relationship with the Italian Superman.

"Rest in power and thank you Bruno Sammartino".

- Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) April 18, 2018At Wrestlemania 30 I had the chance to meet Bruno Sammartino.

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"The important thing is to play with a great intensity and fight from the beginning until the end". I was very disappointed but we must be pleased by the second half.

Sammartino is considered one of the most influential wrestlers of all time and would easily be placed on WWE's Mount Rushmore.

Sammartino did so while also strongly advocating against any use of performance enhancing drugs, and therefore did not lose an ounce of credibility during any of the numerous PED scandals over the years within the wrestling business. He was 82 years old. Piper's invectives continued once Sammartino entered the ring, but Sammartino didn't decide to come out of retirement until Piper got so angry that he used a derogatory epithet to insult Bruno.

"I was nicknamed after this professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino".

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

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Sammartino became a broadcaster on WWE's weekend morning shows before his frustration over the company's direction into campier storylines and an outrage over the drug culture he said had permeated the industry led to a bitter, two-decade split with McMahon. They eventually joined Bruno's father in Pittsburgh in 1950.

Tributes to the wrestling star have already started pouring in, with Triple H describing Sanmmartino as a "true icon" and admitting to being devastated by his passing.

Scroll down below to see other stars react to Sammartino's passing.

My thoughts are with his entire family.

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