I love professional wrestling, especially its long and storied connection to American history. Did you know George Washington was once a Collar-and-Elbow wrestling champion? Or that Abraham Lincoln was a renowned Catch-as-Catch-Can wrestler?
Last night, the WWE announced that Bruno Sammartino would be inducted into its Hall of Fame. He joins a stacked class including Mick Foley, Trish Stratus, and Bob Backlund. For years, the WWE Hall of Fame has been a bit of a joke really, thanks to celebrity inductions like Pete Rose and Drew Carey as well as that of thankless jobber Koko B. Ware. Glaring omissions like Sammartino and Backlund only made things worse. With this year’s class, the WWE appears to be shooting for a little legitimacy. Here’s more on Bruno Sammartino’s induction from Donald Wood at Bleacher Report:
Bruno Sammartino is the greatest professional wrestler in the history of the business, and the fact that he is going into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the 2013 class at Madison Square Garden is one of the biggest coups in the long existence of the company.
For those too young to know exactly who this man is or what he did, Sammartino was wrestling’s original face champion. Before there was Hulk Hogan or John Cena, there was Sammartino and his unbelievably long title reigns.
CM Punk has been heralded as a star for holding the WWE title for 434 days, but in the ’60s and ’70s, Sammartino held the title twice for a total of 4040 days (2803 and 1237 respectively.)
That’s over 11 years total as champion…
(See the rest at Bleacher Report)