WWE refers to Madison Square Garden as “the house that Bruno built.”
Now area pro wrestling fans will get a chance to see Bruno Sammartino receive a VIP look at the Garden being rebuilt.
Sammartino and 13-time WWE champion-turned-executive Triple H will be featured in Part 2 of the five-part MSG series “The Garden Transformed: Year Three” on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. The series will begin Friday night at 11 p.m. for the first of five consecutive nights, in conjunction with the completion of the final phase of the Garden’s $1 billion transformation.
The series will feature notable figures from some of the sports that define the Garden’s history, including the Knicks (Raymond Felton and Tim Hardaway Jr.); Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist); college basketball (coaches Jim Boeheim and Steve Lavin); and boxing (former world champs Larry Holmes and Miguel Cotto, and Long Island’s own Gerry Cooney).
But Sammartino was arguably the Garden’s biggest draw. According to WWE.com he was responsible for selling out the building 187 times during his career, which included runs as champion from 1963-71, and 1973-77.
“Even around the world, this is how they know me,” Sammartino, who along with Triple H donned a hard hat to view the construction, said in a quote released from Saturday’s episode “…In Argentina, in Brazil, I remember going to Australia, all the trips I did in Japan, you know how they’d advertise me? ‘From Madison Square Garden, Bruno Sammartino.’”
The appearance dumps yet another shovel of dirt on the hatchet buried between Sammartino and WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. Sammartino, who wrestled for Vince’s father, Vincent J. McMahon, engaged in a longtime feud with the younger McMahon, largely for content on TV Sammartino felt was inappropriate.
Sammartino returned to the WWE fold this year -- largely thanks to Triple H helping to facilitate a truce -- and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last April 6 at MSG, the night before WrestleMania XXIX at MetLife Stadium.
Friday: Episode 1 – 11:00 p.m. (following Knicks vs. Raptors)
Saturday: Episode 2 – 10:30 p.m. (following Knicks at Raptors)
Sunday: Episode 3 – 10:30 p.m. (following Rangers at Lightning)
Monday: Episode 4 – 10:00 p.m.
Tuesday: Episode 5 – 8:30 p.m. (following Rangers at Panthers)