WWE legend and Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 82.
WWE announced the news on Twitter.
WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino has passed away at age 82. https://t.co/B8nUabP0oh
— WWE (@WWE) April 18, 2018
Sammartino was WWE’s biggest star in the 1960s and early 70s, winning the WWE championship from Buddy Rogers in May 1963. Sammartino would go on to hold the title for nearly eight years, a record that will never be broken. He lost the title in 1971, but re-gained it in 1973 to become the first two-time WWE champion. His second reign lasted three and a half years.
Along with being a two-time world champion, Sammartino was a two-time tag team champion and a one-time United States Champion. He won Pro Wrestling Illustrated‘s match of the year five times, and was voted the Most Inspirational Wrestler in 1976.
“The Italian Superman” was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 in Madison Square Garden, the arena he sold out 187 times in his wrestling career.
Along with being in the WWE Hall of Fame, “The Living Legend” has been inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum and the International Sports Hall of Fame.
Tributes poured in all over social media for the former WWE champion.
Devastated to hear the passing of a true icon, legend, great, honest and wonderful man…
A true friend…and one of the toughest people I've ever met.
My thoughts are with his entire family. #RIPBrunoSammartino #AmericanDream
— Triple H (@TripleH) April 18, 2018
I will always have an enormous amount of respect & admiration for Bruno Sammartino. I can’t thank him enough for always being kind to me & taking time to have a genuine conversation. Condolences to his family & loved ones.
— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) April 18, 2018
Bruno is indirectly responsible for where I am today. Growing up in Pittsburgh, he was my father’s hero, and sparked my dad’s passion for the business that he passed on to me.
I was lucky enough to spend some time with Bruno, and the man exemplified class. #RIPBruno
— The Woman (@WWEGraves) April 18, 2018
— Rusev (@RusevBUL) April 18, 2018
At Wrestlemania 30 I had the chance to meet Bruno Sammartino. He was the most vibrant and spirited person I met that week, and he shared with me invaluable wisdom about the business and life as a whole. He will be missed. #RIPBruno
— Dean Muhtadi (@MojoRawleyWWE) April 18, 2018
Nothing today can happen without what he did back then. Rest in power and thank you Bruno Sammartino. pic.twitter.com/JEuHPUh3fJ
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) April 18, 2018
Sports Al Dente sends its condolences to the Sammartino family.