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RIP Bruno Sammartino

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I know this runs the risk of "now-is-not-the-time"-ism, but it is kind of amazing that the period where Bruno was incredibly bitter at Vince has been completely wiped from history. Him and Billy Graham were always the go to's for anyone in mainstream media who wanted a voice to speak about the evil WWF and their drug fueled monsters. Time heals all wounds and bridges were seemingly repaired in recent years, but there's always going to be a part of me that sees him as an angry father lashing out at mean old Vince for (in his mind) ruining his relationship with his son.

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I was stunned to hear about his passing this morning when I first logged in. Arguably one of the greatest wrestling champions of all-time.

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Definitely shocking when I read about his passing today. He always seemed like a guy that would live to a 100 as he was always in great shape at any age. Loved hearing him tell his amazing story. The epitome of the American dream and a man that will be truly missed.

 

RIP Bruno.

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As one would expect, it's been a big story here in Pittsburgh. All the sports teams/news stations/goverment leaders have been making statements regarding his passing. It's like part of the culture here that everyone's parents/grandparents were huge fans of Bruno even if they stopped watching after he retired.

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My two co-hosts had literally never seen a Bruno match in their lives and after me showing them the whole Bruno Larry feud, had no problem considering him the greatest babyface of all time.

A man of dignity, class and the epitome of the American Dream indeed.

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Here's a quick one that pretty much encapsulates Bruno's connection with the fans

 

This is Bruno Sammartino kicking the shit out of a Nazi. It's what I thought about during Charlottesville, and should be an inspiration in this country right now.

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This was a gut punch. I said on twitter that there will never be another Bruno. It isn't really a hot take on this board, but he is a criminally underrated in ring performer, someone who really knew how to make he most of what he could do, and an absolutely larger than life persona. Bruno was as pro wrestling as it gets, man. We lost a true legend.

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You guys need to watch some of the 79 All-Star Wrestling on the Network that I've come to love almost entirely because of the Vince/Bruno commentary team. They're shockingly awesome together, they can take the most boring squash match and break it down into something interesting, it's actually made me have even more respect for Vince as a wrestling guy to know he does have this totally old-school part of him that he tries to hide with the sports entertainment stuff and verbiage.
Watch the 7/14/79 episode, it's actually a really good one. Patterson does a miracle carry job with SD Jones and there's also a Dibiase-Jimmy Valiant match.

 

 

Bruno's commentary was also one of the very few upsides to Herb Abraham's UWF.

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I know this runs the risk of "now-is-not-the-time"-ism, but it is kind of amazing that the period where Bruno was incredibly bitter at Vince has been completely wiped from history. Him and Billy Graham were always the go to's for anyone in mainstream media who wanted a voice to speak about the evil WWF and their drug fueled monsters. Time heals all wounds and bridges were seemingly repaired in recent years, but there's always going to be a part of me that sees him as an angry father lashing out at mean old Vince for (in his mind) ruining his relationship with his son.

To be fair, the big public issues he had raised were offensive storylines (this was back in about 1999) and steroid use, both of which are far better than they were. I have no doubt that there is still steroid use in wrestling, but I also have no doubt that whatever use there is is far less common, and far less condoned by promoters than it was back when Bruno fell out with the company.

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I know this runs the risk of "now-is-not-the-time"-ism, but it is kind of amazing that the period where Bruno was incredibly bitter at Vince has been completely wiped from history. Him and Billy Graham were always the go to's for anyone in mainstream media who wanted a voice to speak about the evil WWF and their drug fueled monsters. Time heals all wounds and bridges were seemingly repaired in recent years, but there's always going to be a part of me that sees him as an angry father lashing out at mean old Vince for (in his mind) ruining his relationship with his son.

To be fair, the big public issues he had raised were offensive storylines (this was back in about 1999) and steroid use, both of which are far better than they were. I have no doubt that there is still steroid use in wrestling, but I also have no doubt that whatever use there is is far less common, and far less condoned by promoters than it was back when Bruno fell out with the company.

 

 

I think what made Bruno look like a hypocrite the most is that he claimed to be so anti-steroids when he left the WWF, but he never called out the very folks he made money with like Graham that did the very same thing, and then had no problem putting over WCW and even working for the UWF which also had plenty of steroids around. He'd simply claim that those were "real wrestling" companies and not a cartoon, but suddenly the drug issues weren't a problem for him. As long a he was benefiting from them financially, even if he never used them himself, then it was all good. It was a crusade simply against Vince because Vince had no problem replacing Bruno, making the WWF bigger than Bruno ever could have, and this made Bruno just a footnote in history. I'm glad they reconciled in recent years just like Warrior did though before passing.

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You guys need to watch some of the 79 All-Star Wrestling on the Network that I've come to love almost entirely because of the Vince/Bruno commentary team. They're shockingly awesome together, they can take the most boring squash match and break it down into something interesting, it's actually made me have even more respect for Vince as a wrestling guy to know he does have this totally old-school part of him that he tries to hide with the sports entertainment stuff and verbiage.
Watch the 7/14/79 episode, it's actually a really good one. Patterson does a miracle carry job with SD Jones and there's also a Dibiase-Jimmy Valiant match.

 

 

I always loved the Piper feud he had.

 

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I know this runs the risk of "now-is-not-the-time"-ism, but it is kind of amazing that the period where Bruno was incredibly bitter at Vince has been completely wiped from history. Him and Billy Graham were always the go to's for anyone in mainstream media who wanted a voice to speak about the evil WWF and their drug fueled monsters. Time heals all wounds and bridges were seemingly repaired in recent years, but there's always going to be a part of me that sees him as an angry father lashing out at mean old Vince for (in his mind) ruining his relationship with his son.

To be fair, the big public issues he had raised were offensive storylines (this was back in about 1999) and steroid use, both of which are far better than they were. I have no doubt that there is still steroid use in wrestling, but I also have no doubt that whatever use there is is far less common, and far less condoned by promoters than it was back when Bruno fell out with the company.

 

 

I think what made Bruno look like a hypocrite the most is that he claimed to be so anti-steroids when he left the WWF, but he never called out the very folks he made money with like Graham that did the very same thing, and then had no problem putting over WCW and even working for the UWF which also had plenty of steroids around. He'd simply claim that those were "real wrestling" companies and not a cartoon, but suddenly the drug issues weren't a problem for him. As long a he was benefiting from them financially, even if he never used them himself, then it was all good. It was a crusade simply against Vince because Vince had no problem replacing Bruno, making the WWF bigger than Bruno ever could have, and this made Bruno just a footnote in history. I'm glad they reconciled in recent years just like Warrior did though before passing.

 

You are getting your history from WWE.

 

Ego did not have anything to do with it. If it was about ego he would have kept wrestling full time past 1982. He was a big enough name and in good enough shape, that he could have went into the 90's wrestling and been a big draw.

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I mean, ego probably did play a part in the sense that he didn't want to be seen as a broken down has been past his prime. He obviously could have worked longer, but as Dave mentioned in the WON obit Bruno had a memory of seeing the crowds react to a past-prime Gorgeous George and decided he never wanted to be seen like that.

 

The funny part is when he arguably was in that position in his mid 80s comeback run, the crowds still loved him just as much as his prime.

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I love all his comeback matches. That is what makes me think he could have kept going. In some ways he reminds me of Steve Austin. Austin could have worked a safer half assed style for years, but he had pride enough in his work to retire.

Did Bruno and David ever reconcile? I got the impression a lot of his problems with Vince were rooted in David having a drug problem and Bruno projecting it on to Vince.

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Did Bruno and David ever reconcile? I got the impression a lot of his problems with Vince were rooted in David having a drug problem and Bruno projecting it on to Vince.

According to the Meltzer obit no, though Meltzer mentioned that he did not speak to Bruno "in some time" (like in a year or two), so maybe they made up within the last months (apparently Bruno was in hospital for the last two months).

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