Bruno Sammartino: Legacy
Though this might be a little behind from the actual event, but it really should be put over about how important Bruno was for early years of the WWE. Now even though Buddy Rogers did become the first ever champion he would only hold the title for around three weeks before Bruno became the champion. Bruno's first run with the title lasted for an amazing 2,803 days which was his incredible 8 year run with the title. During this time he helped the territory rise from just another territory to become one of the most profitable & top areas in the country.
Though in reality Bruno wasn't the most spectacular in ring talent, but he did pose a tremendous amount of charisma which helped him carry his career. Sammartino would end up dropping his title in 1971 in the most shocking moment the company had at that point and time when Ivan Koloff defeated Bruno. In modern wrestling this would mean that Bruno would get the win back and defeat Ivan for the title again, but things were very different in this era with title reigns lasting a long time. Ivan did end his title reign after only three weeks it would two years before Bruno would win back his title. Even with this reign lasting four years it is more than likely remembered for Superstar Graham defeating him and became the first heel champion to have a decent run with the gold.
However, the impact that Bruno has left behind on the WWE is that he was the first "face of the franchise" for WWE and the first leader for the brand. In a period where fans seem to find leaders like Roman Reigns, John Cena, and others it is fair to say that without Bruno there would be absolutely no WWE. Bruno was the first leader of the company and handled the load as far as setting the course for the expansion that followed. Now even though Bruno did have a falling out with the company in I believe the late 1980's or sometime in the 1990's they were able to reconcile a few years back with Bruno taking his seat in the Hall of Fame.
Though it might be fair to say that Bruno is a product of his era as a territorial talent and that he likely may not have had the same success in other areas. This doesn't change the fact that Bruno was the first to shoulder the lead of the new company and give them a stable force to build around. His legacy has given fans a number of great memories and moments to look back on in fondness as a number of fans tie their past to Bruno and his career. Thank you for the memories Bruno!! You will be missed and never forgotten as the first banner holder of WWE.
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