STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WWE (NYSE:WWE) announced today that Bruno Sammartino will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at Madison Square Garden.
Sammartino, nicknamed “The Living Legend,” is a two-time WWE Champion and the longest reigning WWE Champion in history, holding the title for a combined 11 years. His first title reign began on May 17, 1963, where he defeated “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers at Madison Square Garden. After losing the Championship in 1971, he regained the title on December 10, 1973, defeating Stan Stasiak at Madison Square Garden, holding the Championship until April 30, 1977. When he retired from the ring, Sammartino became a color commentator for WWE’s syndicated Superstars program and stepped back into the ring on special occasions. After his departure in 1988, Sammartino was openly critical of WWE, and for many years declined the offer to be inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame, citing concerns with WWE’s content and culture.
“For my fans around the world, I am pleased to be joining the WWE Hall of Fame, especially at Madison Square Garden,” said Bruno Sammartino.
“Having sold out more than 200 shows at Madison Square Garden and being the longest reigning WWE champion in history, Bruno Sammartino is truly ‘The Living Legend,’” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO. “This is an extraordinary and historic moment to have Bruno take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.”
Tickets for the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony are currently available through all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. All tickets are subject to service charges and facility fees. For more information on Bruno Sammartino, please visit www.BrunoSammartino.info.
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THE LIVING LEGEND’S LEGACY
- Longest reigning WWE Champion in history, holding the title for a combined 11 years.
- A two-time WWE Champion.
- First WWE Championship came on May 17, 1963 at Madison Square Garden, where he defeated “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers in 48 seconds.
- Second WWE Championship came on December 10, 1973 at Madison Square Garden, where he defeated Stan Stasiak.
- Headlined more than 200 events at Madison Square Garden, the most ever for a WWE Superstar.
- Born in Abbruzzi, Italy as one of seven siblings. Currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA.
- Signature finishing move was the Bearhug.
- Was advised by WWE Hall of Famer “Golden Boy” Arnold Skaaland for nearly 20 years.
- Headlined the first Showdown at Shea Stadium on September 30, 1972, going to a 1 hour, 18 minute draw against Pedro Morales. Would go on to headline three total events at Shea Stadium.
- Headlined the only wrestling event ever held in Fenway Park.
- Participated in two WrestleMania’s. At WrestleMania 1, he was in the corner of his son, David Sammartino, At WrestleMania 2, he participated in a Battle Royal.