Spring Premier Auction 2020

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/2/2020

Before Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan or Randy Savage, there was Bruno Sammartino. The Italian-born American weightlifter set a world record with a 565-lb. bench press in 1959. He was “The World’s Strongest Man” well before it became an international competition. That same year at age 24, he made his professional wrestling debut. Thus, began the career of the greatest and most influential wrestler of all time. After defeating “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers in 1963 for the World Wide Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship, Sammartino held the belt until 1971 (2,803 straight days) – the longest WWF reign ever. He added a second title stretch from 1973 to ’77. Given many nicknames early on, by the time he retired in 1987, Bruno was simply “The Living Legend.” The man never cheated the sport, refusing to take steroids despite the fact it was encouraged throughout much of his career. To this day, he is considered "The Godfather" of Pro Wrestling whose influence led to an entertainment phenomenon for the masses, paving the way for contemporary superstars like The Rock and John Cena. The 5’10” 265-pounder was known for his “bearhug” finishing move and larger-than-life persona. He sold out Madison Square Garden a record 188 times, more than any other celebrity ever!

In 2013, Sammartino was finally enshrined into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame. The honor was long overdue and it was no secret why the WWE (changed name from WWF in 2002) made the greatest pro wrestler in history wait so long. After Bruno retired he continued to be a vocal proponent of clean competition, speaking out vehemently against performance-enhancing drugs and the vulgar storylines so encouraged by Vince McMahon Jr. when he took over the WWF from his father in the late '80s. At the induction ceremony, it was Bruno's idol Arnold Schwarzenegger – a fellow European immigrant that also made it big – who introduced him. Alas, the Italian legend received this striking 10-karat gold Hall of Fame induction ring.

The WWE logo adorns the face in gold on a black stone background. Both shanks are identical with "HALL OF FAME 2013" and the WWE logo between palm branches in raised relief. "BRUNO SAMMARTINO" is engraved inside the band along with a "10K" hallmark. The maker is unmarked. The size 10 ring weighs 26 grams and shows very little wear. Records indicate this is just the second known WWE Hall of Fame ring to hit the auction block, the other being Yokozuna's 2012 induction ring which sold for $12,000 in 2013. The Living Legend passed away in 2018 and this very significant ring comes directly from his family. Includes letter of provenance from his son.

Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $3,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $12,438
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
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