It’s not a well remembered fact that former WWWF Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino was part of two WrestleManias.
That might be hard to believe given how anti-Bruno the WWE is these days (and vice versa for that matter), yet in the early days of Mania, the WWF was smart to play all of its cards, including Sammartino.
At the first WrestleMania in 1985 at Madison Square Garden, Sammartino seconded his son, David, in a match against Brutust Beefcake. This was a couple of years before Beefcake became”The Barber,” instead acting like a very subtle gay character, including being billed from San Fransisco. The match ended in a double disqualification win after Bruno began fighting with Beefcake and his manager, Lucious Johnny Valiant.
Later, on a house show at MSG, the Sammartinos beat Beefcake and Valiant in a tag team match.
Then in 1986, Bruno put the tights on and competed in WrestleMania 2 in a battle royal that Andre the Giant won. The battle royal took place at the Rosemont Horizon outside of Chicago, which is now called the Allstate Arena. I believe Big John Studd dumped Sammartino out of the ring during the match. WrestleMania 2 had the distinction of taking place in three locations on one night: Rosemont, the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, and the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Honestly, Sammartino should appear at another WrestleMania — not in a match, but on the stage with the WWE Hall of Fame recipients. But we know how this story goes, and every year that goes by without Sammartino inducted just makes that black eye on the WWE darker and darker.