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CSS Pro Wrestling Tournament Match: (5) Bruno Sammartino vs (12) Jeff Hardy

Photo of Sammartino via <a href="" target="new">swiftwj on Flickr</a>. Photo of Hardy via <a href="" target="new">public.charleston.amc</a>.
Photo of Sammartino via swiftwj on Flickr. Photo of Hardy via public.charleston.amc.

The Cageside Seats (CSS) Pro Wrestling Tournament continues today with a first round match-up pitting number five seed Bruno Sammartino against number 12 seed Jeff Hardy.

To this day, Sammartino is a sort of measuring stick. He won the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) championship on May 17, 1963, and didn't lose it until Jan. 18, 1971. That was his first reign, which will likely never be surpassed as the longest in history. His second reign began on Dec. 10, 1973 and lasted until April 30, 1977, when he was defeated by Billy Graham. He was a huge draw and one of the most successful pro wrestlers in history.

Hardy is still an active wrestler today and, while troubled, is one of the business's most popular performers. He's gained the adoration of fans thanks to a certain unexplainable likability. He's charismatic but above all else, there has never been any length he wouldn't go beyond to entertain fans. He played crash test dummy for years in his tag team with his brother, Matt, and they were one of the most successful teams in history. Despite his size, he broke through later to win world titles as a main event talent.

This could be the most fascinating match-up in the first round. Who goes over when the longest reigning champion ever takes on an incredibly popular underdog pro wrestler of today? You decide, Cagesiders.

Cast your vote in this opening round match-up and take a look at the updated bracket after the jump. For the complete round one schedule click here.


Bracket artwork by: June M. Williams

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