At the risk of sounding really old wrestling was different when I was growing up. It was still scripted (AKA fake – alegedly), but it was less “steroidial,” fewer sweaty stares, no maniacal rants, and weird in a good way. I grew up with Studio Wrestling and athletes named The Iron Sheik (a bad guy from the Middle East would cause CAIR to file a lawsuit today), Jumping Johnny DeFazio, Bobby “Hurricane” Hunt, Chief White Owl, Larry Zbyszko, George “the Animal” Steel, Baron Mikel Scicluna, Ivan Putski, Killer Kowalski, and Pittsburgh’s own Bruno Sammartino. Bruno Sammartino was the ultimate good guy in professional wrestling and being from our home town, we all loved him and rooted for him and hated his many enemies on the canvas.
Our local paper recently featured a story on Mr. Sammartino that chronicled much of his life. Here was another inspirational story about a local athlete who overcame mighty obstacles to achieve success. Even though I had watched him as a youth, I “grew out” of professional wrestling and never knew Sammartino’s real story. It never ceases to amaze me when I read about the backgrounds of famous athletes. Sammartino’s family merely had to avoid Nazi soldiers taking their home forcing a rough life in the mountains for months. The story will interest even those of you skeptics. Mr. Sammartino does answer the question about whether professional wresting is fake in one of these videos.