WWE (NYSE:WWE) announced that Bruno Sammartino will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Saturday, April 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Sammartino, nicknamed The Living Legend, is a two-time WWE champion and the longest reigning WWE champion in history, holding the title for more than 11 years combined. His first title reign began on May 17, 1963, where he defeated Nature Boy Buddy Rogers at Madison Square Garden.
After losing the Championship in 1971 to the Russian Bear Ivan Koloff, he regained the title on December 10, 1973, defeating Stan The Man Stasiak at Madison Square Garden, wearing the championship until April 30, 1977.
When he retired from the ring, Sammartino became a color commentator for WWE’s syndicated Superstars program and returned to the ring on special occasions. After his departure in 1988, Sammartino was openly critical of WWE, and for many years declined the offer to be inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame, citing concerns with WWE’s content and culture.
“For my fans around the world, I am pleased to be joining the WWE Hall of Fame, especially at Madison Square Garden,” said Sammartino.
Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO, said: “Having sold out more than 200 shows at Madison Square Garden and being the longest reigning WWE champion in history, Bruno Sammartino is truly The Living Legend. This is an extraordinary and historic moment to have Bruno take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.”
Tickets for the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony are currently available through all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster or by calling 1-800-745-3000. All tickets are subject to service charges and facility fees.
Sammartino joins Bob Backlund, Mick Foley and Trish Stratus in the WWE HOF Class of 2013 with more to be announced. For information on Bruno Sammartino, visit Sammartino.