On last night's episode of Table For 3. WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino revealed why his record-setting WWWF title reign ended.
He said that the grueling schedule was taking its toll on him and he couldn't keep up the pace of it.
“Close to working that schedule for eight years, I told Vince McMahon Sr., you better get somebody. My body is broke. Man, I was hurting from head to toe. And, eventually he did," said Sammartino.
However, Sammartino knew that whoever defeated him and ended his almost 6-year title reign would become Public Enemy Number 1 with the fans, reviled everywhere he went for the rest of his career. Bruno wouldn't have wished that on anyone, so he felt guilty when the unpopular duty fell to a man he liked and respected. "I felt bad because he got a guy that I respected very much as a performer. It was Ivan Koloff. I suggested to Vince, I thought Ivan Koloff would be great, because we had done great business all over. Vince said to me, ‘What do you think?’ I said, I think Ivan, I don’t know for how long, Koloff had done so well. I told Vince, I think this guy could carry it.”
Koloff defeated Sammartino at Madison Square Garden on January 18, 1971. He passed away this past February.
The full episode of Table for 3 can be viewed on the WWE Network by subscribers at this link.