Throwback Thursday: Ivan Koloff Beats Bruno Sammartino

World Wide Wrestling Federation, 1971 – Bruno Sammartino was amidst what remains to be the longest WWE World Championship reign in history, and was legitimately one fo the highest paid athletes in sports. The then WWWF was enjoying a record number of sellout crowds at the legendary Madison Square Garden as fans piled in to see the Italian legend defeat villain after villain.

On January 21st, it all changed.

On that night, “The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff defeated Sammartino for the WWWF Championship cleanly in the middle of the ring. It was one of the most shocking events in pro wrestling history that literally left the audience in silence.

Relive the moment below. It was the first and only pinfall loos Bruno suffered in Madison Square Garden during his entire career. It makes Koloff’s victory all the more impressive

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