ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – It’s the most sought after item in all of professional wrestling.
Bruno Sammartino, known throughout the world as the “Living Legend” for his legendary World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) title run, had possession of one important item before he passed away in 2018. Sammartino’s then World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) title belt, considered the “holy grail” of the industry, is now in the possession of the International Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame (IPWHF).
The IPWHF is the newest hall of fame coming to the upstate New York region, a physical location is currently in the works in a city to be determined. IPWHF President, Seth Turner, along with hall of fame wrestling journalist, Bill Apter, spoke with NBC Elmira to discuss the significance of this rare item in the industry.
Sammartino had a storied run in wrestling, holding the WWWF title for a record of nearly eight-straight years from 1963 to 1971. Bruno, the pride of Pittsburgh, would go on to stardom at the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, where he headlined shows that sold out the venue a record 187 times.
Bruno was also a pop culture phenomenon who influenced the likes of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and singer, Bruno Mars. Sammartino was also a world power lifting champion and considered one of the strongest men in the world. He passed away in 2018 at age 82, but his legacy will certainly remain forever in the eyes of wrestling fans and the IPWHF.
A complete press release is below from the IPWHF on this historic occasion. https://www.ipwhf.org/post/ipwhf-acquires-bruno-sammartino-title-belt-holy-grail-of-pro-wrestling-artifacts
Check out this complete story on NBC Elmira with Andy Malnoske, who is also a contributor for WrestlingInc.com and an ambassador for the International Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.