Eventually, promoters Toots Mondt and McMahon Sr. cleared up Sammartino's suspension by paying his $500 fine, allowing him to return to wrestling in the United States. After many weeks of phone calls from McMahon trying to lure him back, Sammartino agreed if he received a title match against "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, the-then WWWF World Heavyweight Champion. Sammartino won the title on May 17, 1963, defeating Rogers in 48 seconds. Sammartino and Rogers faced each other two months later at Madison Square Garden in a tag team match, with Rogers and Handsome Johnny Barend defeating Sammartino and Bobo Brazil by 2 falls to 1. Rogers pinned Sammartino for the third and deciding fall. Rogers retired prior to their scheduled title rematch on October 4, 1963, in Jersey City, New Jersey's Roosevelt Stadium. Sammartino instead that night had his first match against new number one contender, Gorilla Monsoon. Monsoon won the match but since it was by disqualification which under such a set of circumstances a title is not transferable, Sammartino retained the his belt.