On November 5th of the same year, Bruno got another shot at Buddy Rogers' title in his home town of Pittsburgh. Rogers wrestled a defensive match all the way through, and was lucky to hold on to his title with the match ending in a draw. It was quite evident to all that were in attendance that night, that Bruno not only had youth and strength on his side, but was also the superior wrestler. Fifteen days later, Bruno got another rematch. Once again, Rogers continued to run away from him and the match ended in another draw.
On January 24, 1963, in Toronto, Lou Thesz defeated buddy Rogers to win the National Wrestling Alliance title. At this point, the World Wide Wrestling Federation was formed, for two reasons. First of all, there was quite a bit of doubt in the minds of many promoters whether Lou Thesz really deserved the title. The title bout itself was a one fall affair-which at the time was extremely unusual. Secondly, on January 16th in Amarillo, Texas, Thesz had been soundly defeated by Dory Funk Sr.. It was obvious to many promoters that Thesz by no stretch of the imagination had earned a title bout. Many promoters felt that the once great Rogers was carefully choosing his opponents in order to avoid his number one contender, Bruno Sammartino.
On April 18, 1963, Bruno finally cornered Buddy Rogers in Washington, D.C. In a wild and woolly match which found both men being disqualified, Rogers once again held onto his title.
Some have claimed that the World Wide Wrestling Federation and it's champion apparently are content to stay in the Northeast territory of the United States, and are not interested in universal recognition. To anybody who pays any serious attention to results, it is quite evident that this reasoning is way off. Bruno not only defended his title throughout the United States and Canada, but also made trips to Japan and Australia, and successfully defended his laurels there.
It is not too surprising that Bruno did not accept a match with Verne Gagne in his home town of Minneapolis. The AWA and Verne Gagne do have a claim to the title, and a showdown match would settle quite a bit. It would have been stupid for Bruno to wrestle Gagne in his home town of Minneapolis. He not only would have had to contend with unfriendly fans, but also most likely a biased referee.
In reality, Bruno has done more than any other champ to clear up the title picture. At one time Fred Blassie was recognized as world champ around Los Angeles. Bruno engaged in a series of wild and woolly matches with Blassie, finally ending the Californian's claim to the title.
Also, for a while Ray Stevens of San Francisco fame laid claim to the title. Throwing caution to the wind, Bruno ventured to the golden Gate city and successfully defended his title against the blond bomber.
On January 18, 1971, Bruno's long reign as champion came to an end in Madison Square Garden when strong man Ivan Koloff pulled an upset and defeated him. Three weeks later to the day, Puerto Rican sensation Pedro Morales avenged his friend by defeating the Russian strong man and winning the title.
Morales has already proven to be a very fine champion, turning back all of his top contenders. Mr. Morales has expressed his willingness to this author and the press in general to meet any of the other so-called champions and end the confused title situation. The twenty-eight-year-old drop kick wizard requests only that the match be held in a neutral city and with an unbiased referee.
Article provided by Mike Rogers
This web site exists to provide the information on professional wrestling and is neither affiliated nor endorsed by any pro-wrestling organization. Logos are registered trademarks of respective organizations. Credits for information on this site are given to these sites/people.
Site hosted by Arisu Communications.