Ring of Honor joins the entire pro wrestling community in mourning the loss of “The Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino, who died yesterday at 82 after battling health issues for the past two months.
“No single wrestler had a greater impact on my love for professional wrestling than Bruno Sammartino,” ROH COO Joe Koff said. “From the time I started watching him on TV to our last meeting in 2012, he was then, and will be forever, the ‘Living Legend.’”
Bruno was synonymous with pro wrestling in the 1960s and ‘70s and transcended the sport to become a household name. The strongman from Abruzzi, Italy held the WWWF Title twice, from 1963-1971 and 1973-1977. He was a headliner for 20 years, consistently selling out arenas in the Northeast, including Madison Square Garden in New York City. One of the most beloved wrestlers ever, Bruno also had a well-deserved reputation for being a gracious gentleman outside the ring.
ROH was privileged to work with Bruno on several occasions, as he made special appearances at Glory by Honor V in New York in 2006 and at All-Star Extravaganza III in Detroit in 2007. In 2012 at an ROH show in Bruno’s adopted hometown of Pittsburgh, he was presented with a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to wrestling by Koff.