Bruno Sammartino: A Hero Long Before WWE Wrestling

Sep 20, 2017 667


Facing George “the animal” Steele, Gorilla Monsoon, Bobo Brazil or being the last one standing in the 22 Man Battle Royale in Los Angeles are pre WWE wrestling instances that all amount to just  another day in the life of Bruno Sammartino. On the other hand, fleeing to the Italian mountainsfrom the Nazi’s during WWII made everything that followed seem like child’s play. But it still may be fair to ask, as the bombs were falling and his village being leveled, how much sense could a boy of nine actually make of this.

Including four of his siblings, “people were dying,” he says, “you’re damn right it made sense.” Afterwards, the family emigrated to America and Bruno certainly looked the part of the tragedy. “You heard of the 97 pound weakling,” he says. “I was 80 pounds.” Otherwise, learning how he rose to win his first fall knocks everything else off the map. “We were occupied by the SS and literally had to run for our lives. That’s where we spent the next 14 months, and it was hell because there was no food, no nothing,” he says.

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