David Sammartino

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David Sammartino
Birth nameDavid Lugogo Sammartino
Born (1960-09-29) September 29, 1960 (age 59)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
FamilyBruno Sammartino (father)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Bruno Sammartino, Jr.[1]
David Lugogo
David Sammartino
Dave Sammartino
David Bruno Sammartino
Billed height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[1]
Billed weight252 lb (114 kg)[1]
Billed fromPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Trained byBruno Sammartino

David Lugogo Sammartino (born September 29, 1960) is an American personal trainer and semi-retired professional wrestler. He is the son of former WWWF/WWF World Heavyweight Champion, Bruno Sammartino.[1]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Bruno was against David going into professional wrestling, as he did not want him to experience the various horrors he went through when he started. He wanted David to get a college education and pursue a different career. Not taking his father's advice, David headed south and began training and wrestling with a few smaller independent wrestling companies, making his debut as a 20-year-old in 1980. Throughout 1981, Sammartino picked up where his father left off the year before, feuding with Bruno's former protégé, Larry Zbyszko, on the independent circuit.

World Wrestling Federation (1984–1985)[edit]

Sammartino joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in September 1984, with his father as his manager.[2] He received a big push while teaming with his father, he was also pushed in singles matches. He appeared at the inaugural WrestleMania event in Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York on March 31, 1985. Accompanied by Bruno, Sammartino wrestled Brutus Beefcake in the fourth match of the night. The match ended in a double disqualification after Sammartino was thrown out of the ring by Beefcake and slammed by Beefcake's manager Johnny Valiant, prompting Bruno Sammartino to assault Valiant.[2] This led to a series of tag team matches that brought Bruno out of retirement in an effort to get David's career advanced.[2] When Bruno was involved, David was often in the main event or in a high-profile match; when Bruno wasn't involved David would be wrestling preliminary matches.[2]

In one of his final WWF appearances, Sammartino was involved in a controversial finish at the Philadelphia Spectrum on November 22, 1985, quickly submitting to a bear hug by jobber Ron Shaw in a match that Sammartino was booked to win.[3]

Various promotions[edit]

In 1986, Sammartino left the WWF and joined the American Wrestling Association (AWA).[4] He had three championship matches against AWA World Champion Stan Hansen. On February 4, 1986 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Sammartino unsuccessfully challenged Hansen for the championship.

Sammartino left the AWA after just a few months and returned to the WWF, where he was once again used as a preliminary wrestler.[2] Sammartino's second run ended in 1988 when he was fired from the WWF after he was arrested for punching a fan, who spat at him in New York.[2]

In 1990, Sammartino began wrestling for Herb Abrams Universal Wrestling Federation in California. David also competed for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) in 1988,[5] before leaving the company in 1990. Sammartino, occasionally teamed with Joe Malenko in AJPW.

Sammartino returned to wrestling in 1995 and competed for NWA New Jersey, where he unsuccessfully challenged Tommy Cairo for the NWA North American Championship twice. Sammartino left the promotion shortly thereafter.[6]

Sammartino re-emerged in 1996 in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), competing in the promotion's cruiserweight division.[7] Sammartino was only used in two matches in WCW.[7] On the December 16, 1996 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, Sammartino challenged Dean Malenko for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship, but was defeated.[7] The other match was a dark match, defeating preliminary wrestler, Rex King.[7]

In 2000, Sammartino defeated Jimmy Cicero to win the New York State Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship in New Rochelle, New York.

In 2010, Sammartino appeared at an International Wrestling Cartel event called "IWC Night of legends" defeating former rival Larry Zbyszko.[8] In June 2010, Sammartino teamed with Zbyzsko, against Frank Stalletto, and Lou Marconi at Deaf Wrestlefest 2010 in a winning effort.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Sammartino is currently semi-retired and has worked as a personal trainer since 1996. He sometimes appears in "Legends" events, where he wrestles along with other veteran wrestlers. He had a strained relationship with his father, Bruno.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • New York State Wrestling Federation
    • NYSWF Heavyweight Championship (15 time)
  • North American Wrestling
    • NAW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[9]
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
  • Southern Championship Wrestling
    • SCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[9]


  1. ^ a b c d Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 1: WWF 1963 - 1989. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1492825972.
  3. ^ "1985 ring results". The History of WWE. Retrieved September 21, 2007.
  4. ^ "Matches « David Sammartino « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  5. ^ "Matches « David Sammartino « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  6. ^ "Matches « David Sammartino « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  7. ^ a b c d Cawthon, Graham (2015). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 5: World Championship Wrestling 1995-2001. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1499656343.
  8. ^ a b "Matches « David Sammartino « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  9. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  10. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 of the PWI Years: 480 David Sammartino". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States: Sports and Entertainment publications LLC. May 21, 2003. p. 60. June 2003.

External links[edit]