Sammartino WWE 2013 Hall of Fame: Wrestling Observer
Hall of Fame Wrestling
than 25 years after Bruno Sammartino left his announcing
position with WWF, mad at what pro wrestling had become,
he signed a deal on 2/1 to return for induction into
the companys Hall of Fame on 4/6 in Madison
77, who had been a staunch critic of the Hall of Fame,
between the people selected for it, the lack of an
actual physical structure, and the process of how
people were put in, was approached months ago by HHH
and asked about going in. He was negative about it,
but described the conversation with HHH as pleasant.
was persistent for months and listened as Sammartino
explained his issues, both personally and professionally,
to him. The issues were deep seated, dating back to
1976, when he never got any of his promised 3% cut
of the closed circuit revenue in the Northeast for
his Stan Hansen cage match at Madison Square Garden
when he came out of the hospital with a broken neck
to do the bout (Vince McMahon Sr. after the fact told
him that Bob Arum, who was co-promoting the event,
headlined by Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki from Tokyo,
had decided against it), to issues with merchandising
over the years.
is some irony in this because in the 80s, after Sammartino
retired, he filed suit against Vince Sr., claiming
that he found out he wasnt really getting his
contracted 6% of the gate and 5% at Madison Square
Garden. At the time, the suit was settled by Vince
McMahon Jr., who gave Sammartino a job as a television
announcer, making a six-figure salary working roughly
every third week of tapings.
before that, McMahon Sr. had him blacklisted and nearly
forced out of the business after he got a big initial
push as the Italian Strong Boy, one of the strongest
men in the world when he first got into pro wrestling.
But after establishing himself as a draw for promoter
Frank Tunney, McMahon Sr. wanted to build the promotion
around him. Originally earmarked as an Italian ethnic
star, he became almost a mythical figure due to his
longevity at the top and that, in the end, he vanquished
every heel foe that he was put against.
30 years later, after problems between Sammartino
and the current Vince McMahon, which peaked in the
early 90s with Sammartino an outspoken critic of steroid
issues, it was the next generation heir apparent who
smoothed things over and working out a deal.
approached this as a purely business decision, giving
HHH a price that he thought would be turned down.
In a number of conversations, he spoke of the deal
as something he didnt expect to happen. There
was a long period before there was any answer from
WWE, with him figuring that Vince McMahon likely nixed
the deal due to price. The WWE could obviously afford
the price, in line with what one of the companys
top stars would earn for a WrestleMania payoff. Really,
it was a question of ego and precedence more than
anything. There has been bitterness for decades on
both sides between Sammartino and McMahon, but McMahons
history is always to work harder and do what it takes
to make deals with those who are the most outspoken
against him. There has always been the complaints
of people who worked for rival groups but refused
to ever say anything bad about McMahon, who would
see people who would lambast him be brought back with
more fanfare and with deals that some big names who
never said anything bad could never get a whiff of.
Its simply one of the unique things about McMahon.
only question in the end was would he see the price
as setting a bad precedent for the Hall of Fame, although
there is no living omission left who from a credibility
standpoint would make close to the difference in how
it was viewed. The other question would be if he would
view meeting the price as somehow, after all these
decades, that he had to meet the terms of one of his
most high-profile critics. But the situation years
back with Bret Hart established McMahon has little
problem with that.
everyone else who had entered the Hall of Fame, nobody
had ever asked a deal anywhere near that level. At
that point, the ball was in McMahons court,
even though HHH was the point man. They decided it
was worth it to them as a business decision, and ultimately,
thats what this is, with those close to the
situation saying it was a win/win. Sammartino got
a significant deal, and WWE will be rewriting its
rewritten version of history, portraying him as something
of the Babe Ruth of the business, a role they had
previously decreed for Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and even
Shawn Michaels all in the last ten years. The WWE
gets whatever goodwill there is from an older age
group that has fond memories of Sammartino. They get
to present a moment where the Madison Square Garden
crowd will go crazy, and ultimately, they take a step
in their Hall of Fame no longer being considered a
joke by most serious historians.
and Sammartino have not spoken, with HHH as the intermediary
in the deal. HHH said that he is hoping to get the
two of them together to mend fences in April.
were around a few weeks ago that the deal was done
and I actually expected an announcement on the 1/21
Raw. But lawyers on both sides were struggling over
different points and it wasnt signed until this
past Friday, and WWE released the information through
ESPN Monday afternoon, before Raw.
a public perspective, Sammartino claimed his issues
with the WWE were that he didnt want to have
any part of the company that had taken wrestling into
the gutter with vulgarity and the scantily clad women,
along with the drug issues that led to a terrible
from the start had told him they had cleaned up the
product, that in his viewpoint when he got more power,
he wanted to make the product similar to the product
Sammartino headlined. HHH portrayed himself as a student
and fan of Sammartinos era, noting his own trainer
being Killer Kowalski. Kowalski was arguably Sammartinos
leading long-term career opponent and someone who
always spoke of Sammartino in positive terms.
this was a business deal, a major breakthrough was
also the sheer coincidence that Pittsburgh neurosurgeon
Dr. Joseph Maroon, who Sammartino credits with keeping
him out of a life in a wheelchair due to successful
back surgery several years ago, was later hired as
the head of the new WWE medical team. In doing wonders
for his own quality of life, Sammartino viewed Maroon
in high regard when he spoke of changes that had been
made when it came to health of performers and drug
is not without controversy. While a first-class surgeon,
he has many critics when it comes to his role when
it comes to the heavily political field of concussion
research. Maroon created the Impact testing after
a concussion used by the WWE as well as the NFL to
establish whether athletes are healed enough to go
back in the game. The WWE adheres strictly to Maroons
policies, but in that field, there are a number of
political factions who debunk the work of the so-called
experts in different factions. But Maroon and HHH
impressed Sammartino on the drug testing, the overall
Wellness policy, and the PG guidelines of the product.
is no question the WWE has, after decades of tragedies
and deaths, enacted the most all-encompassing health
program ever in the profession. They have a drug testing
program. From all accounts, the company is cleaner
when it comes to drug usage, both recreational and
performance enhancing, than probably any period in
modern history. But to say its clean is naive.
In 2007, one drug bust of Signature Pharmacy netted
a solid percentage of the roster as clients during
a period when the drug testing program was, with a
few minor modifications, identical to what it is today.
The bodies are not like they were in the late 80s
WWF, or late 90s WCW, when use was rampant. At the
same time, one would have to be incredibly naive to
believe the roster is clean, particularly when even
those on the roster in recent weeks have made comments
about several of the biggest stars and physical changes
before their eyes or freakish physiques that people
are very skeptical about as being natural. But the
nature of the talk is also different from 15 or 25
years ago, when it was acknowledged the vast majority
were obviously using, as opposed to skepticism regarding
company doesnt test for Growth Hormone or doing
any blood testing, and thats not a knock, because
Im not convinced the current Growth Hormone
testing is nearly what its cracked up to be
since it has caught so few in others sports where
use is rampant. In the major sports where testing
is as extensive or even more extensive than WWE, revelations
of star athletes using PEDs while being heavily tested
and beating tests come out regularly. The fact that
certain steroid monster types of the past for the
most part dont exist also has to do with more
emphasis on performance than in the past, when emphasis
was on look first. The huge bulky and massive physiques
that could only do slow moving matches arent
looked favorably upon as in the past. Thats
not necessarily an indication things are cleaner because
you dont see a roster of 280 pound jacked up
guys, as much as guys are lighter, for performance,
but being 235 and staying lean and hard while on the
road doesnt lead to any less temptation, just
different eating, training and methods that have to
allow you to avoid the drugs that make one pop dirty.
with the current program in place, a significant percentage
of talent were shown in records from raids to be using
not just Growth Hormones that the current testing
wouldnt catch, but other PEDs that it should,
but somehow didnt.
had said during the negotiations that if the deal
didnt come through this year, that he was not
open to it any time in the future. He had told his
sons that if something was to happen to him, that
it was his wish not to be inducted after his death
and they had agreed to respect those wishes.
deal that ended up being structured was for Sammartino
to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and also being
a part of their promotion in some form going forward.
In particular, he was asked to be a part of DVDs involving
his era, including a 50th anniversary History of WWE
release scheduled for late this year. He would also
do voice overs of some of his matches. There would
likely be a Sammartino DVD release. He will also appear
at times on the WWE Legends Round Table show on 24/7
Classics on Demand.
deal in the end was a major coup for HHH, because
he put together a deal that most in the company had
long given up on when previous attempts to mend fences
went nowhere. In all media publicity, this was not
portrayed as a WWE deal as much as HHH putting together
a deal, publicly positioning him for his eventual
role running things.
privately portraying it as a business deal, publicly,
in an ESPN interview, he said, Being inducted
into the Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden is
the biggest thing in my life. Anytime that people
feel that you accomplished enough to enter a Hall
of Fame, of course, this is a tremendous thrill for
me. I had a lot of my success due to appearing at
the Garden. I wrestled there over 200 times. Its
where I won the title, and its where I picked
up 630-plus pound Haystacks Calhoun.
companys willingness to meet his price was in
a sense an attempt to buy legitimacy for their Hall
of Fame, as well as create a special aura for this
years ceremony. While in reality, of the truly
biggest top-tier historical names in history, a large
percentage are not in. Names like Lou Thesz, Frank
Gotch, Strangler Lewis and Jim Londos, all of who
should be in the inaugural class of any American pro
wrestling Hall of Fame, are never spoken of, but all
are from a far more distant era.
was also the Sammartino and Randy Savage omissions
that were the most mentioned as to why the WWE version
had no credibility.
Sammartino was the most important star in company
history depends upon your framework. But he was the
biggest star in the company starting when he won the
newly-created WWWF title from Buddy Rogers on May
17, 1963, in Madison Square Garden with an over the
shoulder backbreaker in 47 seconds. Even though he
lost the title in 1971, by his own choice, in most
of the cities on the circuit, with the exception of
New York, where Pedro Morales drew great numbers 1971-73,
he remained by far the biggest star for his occasional
appearances. He was asked back for a second run, which
was agreed on to be one year, but ended up being three-and-a-half
until he made it clear he was done as a full-timer.
But in reality, he was the most popular wrestler in
the Northeast from that first win over Rogers until
his retirement in 1981. He was undeniably the wrestler
was most associated with Madison Square Garden, the
site of the ceremony, headlining it nearly double
as many times as anyone else in history.
noted to us that he was shocked at the reaction, the
standing ovation, from the crowd in Atlanta after
the video announcing his induction was played, noting
that virtually nobody in that crowd would have ever
even seen him wrestle live and he rarely had appeared
in the city.
was a big week for Sammartino because the city of
Pittsburgh decided to build a life-size statue of
Sammartino on the site of what was the old Pittsburgh
Civic Arena, since he headlined so many shows there
in the 60s and 70s. The city has erected statues of
several of its sports heroes, notably Roberto Clemente,
Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski, Mario Lemieux and
addition, Sammartino was named to a second Hall of
Fame this week, as he will be inducted into the International
Sports Hall of Fame as part of the Arnold Fitness
Expo on 3/2 in Columbus, OH in an exclusive ceremony
where only the media and maybe a few dozen VIPs
will be allowed to attend. Among those attending will
be Arnold Schwarzenegger, who Sammartino had trained
with and judged bodybuilding contests with in the
will be inducted with former Ohio State football star
Archie Griffin, NBA legend Earl The Pearl
Monroe, former Mr. Olympia winning bodybuilder Franco
Columbu and former world gymnastics champion Blaine
documentary on his life that is just about completed,
as they are waiting for final release forms to be
signed, has five or six outlets showing interest,
including CBS and HBO. The much talked about movie
which has not been filmed, does have the script completed.
Paul Guay, a lifelong wrestling fan from California
who wrote the movie, Liar, Liar, and later
was on the WWE creative team, finished it and there
are two studios that have shown some interest. WWE
has also talked about producing the movie as part
of the WWE Films division, but that is all very preliminary
Sammartino and Triple H comment on WWE 2013 Hall of
Man Int and Wrestling
News Media continue to bring Australian and international
pro wrestling fans the hottest news on the planet...
afternoon, WWE's website released comments from Bruno
Sammartino and Triple H on how Bruno's 2013 WWE Hall
of Fame induction was finally agreed upon.
H contacted me and started telling me all the things
that had changed and everything that was going on
with WWE," Bruno said. "I started watching
it after talking to him and when I saw it, I was very,
said, "I love the history of this business. Without
the history, there is no tomorrow. To look back on
the history of WWE, one of the most important figures
in the long story of where this all came from wasn't
recognized. And that was Bruno."
pro wrestling fans know that Bruno Sammartino is to
professional wrestling what Babe Ruth is to baseball.
legendary pro wrestling icon is the longest reigning
WWE (then-WWF) champion of all time, with two title
reigns spanning an eye-popping 11-plus years. And
his legacy of headlining Madison Square Garden more
than 200 times is what turned the Italian-born grappler
into a worldwide sensation.
its only fitting that Sammartino will be the
main attraction at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony on
April 6 at MSG.
Sammartino is being named to the WWE's Hall after
decades of spirited feuding with WWE top brass Vince
inducted into the Hall of Fame at Madison Square Gardens
is the biggest thing in my life, Sammartino
said in an exclusive interview for ESPN Playbook.
Anytime that people feel that you accomplished
enough to enter into a Hall of Fame, of course this
is a tremendous, tremendous thrill for me. I had a
lot of my success due to appearing at the Garden.
I wrestled there over 200 times, its where I
won the title, and its where I picked up 630-plus
pounds of Haystacks Calhoun.
while Sammartino had turned down the WWEs previous
offers of inducting him into its Hall of Fame due
to a well-documented feud with the wrestling organizations
CEO and chairman Vince McMahon over a wide range of
issues -- from Sammartino not liking the vulgar direction
the product took during the Attitude Era to Sammartinos
criticism of drug abuse by members of the roster back
in the '80s - it was WWE executive Paul Levesque (aka
Triple H) who stepped in and finally changed the legends
talking to Paul Levesque, I made it clear, Ive
had issues with WWE and wrestling in general, because
there were other organizations, Sammartino said.
I didnt like the direction they had taken.
It was bothersome to me. Im an old-school guy.
I spent 25 years in this business. But after talking
to Paul, and him explaining to me the changes theyve
made in their program, and how theyve hired
a doctor like Dr. Maroon, who is a world-renowned
neurosurgeon, who also operated on me, and now that
he has been put in charge of the companys wellness
program and their drug testing, that impressed me.
I know what kind of a man he is, and he is a giant
in that field, so I take my hat off to WWE because
they took such huge steps to make things better for
the wrestlers themselves and making sure they are
healthy to perform. That was very, very important.
as Paul explained to me, WWE made a lot of other changes.
Theres no more profanity, theres no vulgarity
in the current product, and that stuff had bothered
me as well. When Paul first spoke to me and told me
all the changes, I started watching it again, and
I was very convinced that they are doing amazing things.
I see the wrestlers and all the changes they made.
Theres no profanity, theres no vulgarity,
and its a family-friendly program. Thats
what it used to be, and thats a huge role in
the whole factor.
finally inking the deal with Sammartino, WWE sees
this as an opportunity to not only celebrate everything
he has done for the business but also add legitimacy
to its Hall of Fame.
a legitimacy standpoint, its important for us
to get Bruno in, Levesque said. Hes
one of the biggest names there has ever been in the
business. So for us to not have him in there, for
the legitimacy of the whole thing, it was a major
issue. For me, the more important thing was that nobody
deserves to be recognized for being a big star and
paving the way for the stars of today more than Bruno.
Everything that we have today in the business, Bruno
was a cornerstone of that foundation. He truly is
a living legend.
take my hat off to WWE because they took such huge
steps to make things better for the wrestlers themselves
and making sure they are healthy to perform. That
was very, very important" Sammartino said.
we started getting into Hall of Fame season, its
almost like this storyline wrote itself. To have Bruno
Sammartino brought into the Hall of Fame in Madison
Square Garden, a building he sold out more than anybody
in the world, thats a remarkable achievement.
It was an opportunity to honor Bruno, but it was also
an opportunity for our fans.
has been this bad blood between Bruno and the WWE
for years, and were not trying to hide any of
it, but I just felt like we are at a point where a
lot of it can be resolved. Our wellness program and
the way our programming is now, a lot of people are
unaware of it, so I felt like if I could get Bruno
on the phone and I could run down a list of those
things that he didnt like, I could show him
how we changed. Were PG, family-friendly entertainment
with a wellness program that is truly based on the
wellness of our performers. We want them to be healthy
and live long, productive lives. So I just felt that
if Bruno knew about those things, he might feel differently,
and eventually, thats what came to be.
Bruno has accepted the WWEs offer to make an
appearance at the Hall of Fame, he still hasnt
had the chance to speak to Vince McMahon, as Levesque
is organizing a sit-down so the two can resolve any
lingering issues face-to-face.
Vince knew about this right from the get-go, and when
I said I wanted to reach out to Bruno, Vince was probably
thinking, Well, good luck with that,
Levesque said. So Bruno and I established this
relationship, and as we came to an understanding on
all of this, Vince asked me, Hey, do you think
I should call Bruno? Id like to talk to him.
At the same time, Bruno said, Do you think I
should have a conversation with Vince? And I
said no to both of them. I didnt think it was
right to do over the phone. They had bad blood for
a long time, and weve all kind of buried the
hatchet here, and its a new beginning and a
fresh start and everybody is in a great place with
this. But going back to what Bruno said about being
old-school, I think we should all get in the same
room together and the two of them should look each
other in the eyes and shake hands. This should be
in person. I dont think its right to do
over the phone. They both agreed to do that, and while
it hasnt happened yet, Hall of Fame is probably
where well make that happen. Vince and Bruno
will see each other for the first time in years and
officially, in person, look each other in the eyes
and bury that hatchet.
for trying to keep the announcement a secret, its
not Mission Impossible or anything like
that, Levesque says, laughing. But to
me, Bruno getting into the Hall of Fame in Madison
Square Garden is the biggest induction weve
ever done, and rightfully so. He deserves that. So
to just have it leak out there, that wouldve
been wrong. This is a huge moment in time, and a massive
moment for our fans, for Bruno and for WWE. This is
the history of our business. Without Bruno Sammartino,
we arent where we are today.
Media Man agency would like to thank all parties for
helping make the Bruno Sammartino induction possible.
Very well done to Triple H and Sammartino for talking
through the issues that existed, and resolving them.
fans, both hardcores and casual fans are rejoicing,
and this massive news will make this years WWE Hall
of Fame off the charts and WrestleMania week will
be like nothing seen ever before.
history is now almost complete. Join with us... Bruno,
Bruno Bruno... Triple H, Triple H, Triple H.
a great time to be a "sports entertainment"
fan, which many of still prefer to call it on its
foundation "professional wrestling".
PENNSYLVANIA - February 4th, 2013
BRUNO SAMMARTINO TO ENTER WWE HALL OF FAME AT A PERFECT
TIME AND PLACE
Reigning Champ Back After Twenty-Five Year Break From
fifty years ago, Bruno Sammartino became the WWWF
Champion for then promoter Vincent McMahon Sr. Thereafter,
in two separate stints covering more than 11 years,
Bruno held the coveted Championship Belt for what
is now the WWE. Today, the WWE announced that Bruno
Sammartino will be inducted into in the WWE Hall of
Fame at a ceremony on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at Madison
a quarter of a century ago, Mr. Sammartino disassociated
with WWE over the direction it was taking as "sports
entertainment" instead of an arena-based professional
wrestling product. The vocal former Champ also spoke
out on steroid use in professional wrestling by appearing
on many high profile shows like The Geraldo Rivera
Show, The Donahue Show and The Larry King Show.
years, Sammartino rejected the Hall of Fame invitation
for the many publicized reasons. However, since that
time, through relationships with both Dr. Joseph Maroon
and Paul Levesque, Bruno has learned that WWE has
evolved and is impressed with WWEs Talent Wellness
Program and its family-friendly content.
2009, the WWE hired world-renowned Neurosurgeon Joseph
Maroon as Medical Director, to head their Talent Wellness
Program. Maroon additionally, hand-picked a team of
Concussion, Orthopedic, Cardiology and Internal Medicine
doctors from UPMC in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, from
the hometown healthcare system that Sammartino is
a patient of. Unbeknownst to the WWE at the time,
Dr. Maroon had previously successfully performed an
extensive invasive surgical procedure on Bruno to
relieve extensive spinal cord compression that had
left the Champ immobilized and unable to walk. After
the surgery and without the aid of any pain medications,
Bruno devised his own physical rehabilitation program
and regained the ability to walk seven miles daily.
to say, Bruno became a fan of Dr. Maroons and
even agreed to be part of a book authored by Dr. Maroon
titled "The Longevity Factor". Bruno followed
the famous surgeons wellness advice provided
in the book, and began to take fish oil on a daily
basis. Knowing the effects of taking hundreds of hits
to the head (many with metal chairs), Bruno was further
impressed by Dr. Maroons co-invention of the
worldwide baseline IMPACT concussion testing, which
was developed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Dr.
Maroon serves as a concussion specialist to the NFL
and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
was not hard for the WWE to establish credibility
thereafter with Bruno when they began taking major
steps to test its talent for concussions, as well
as use of performance-enhancing drugs, disease, heart
problems, and overall wellness. Bruno was contacted
numerous times by Triple H, but he still declined
to discuss the Hall of Fame. Bruno ultimately conceded
because Killer Kowalski (Brunos most long time respected
opponet) trained Triple H, which enabled Bruno and
Triple H to develop their own old school
final factor that convinced Sammartino that the time
was right to enter the WWE Hall of Fame was when his
fans all over the world overload Sammartino with letters
asking him to reconsider for the fans sake.
The 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is being
held in New Yorks Madison Square Garden, where
Bruno appeared an unprecedented 211 times, picked-up
the 625-pound wrestler, Haystacks Calhoun, and won
the title on May 17, 1963, nearly 50 years ago.
walked 6 miles this morning after eating a bowl of
oatmeal. He has never used steroids, performance enhancement
drugs, HGT injections or transfusions. With a big
smile on his face, Bruno said "my mother will
be proud that I will not need to have Lance Armstrong
or Hulk Hogan help with my speech. Good conquers evil
- it just takes a lifetime to see the final score.
remains the childhood hero of many world leaders,
movie and sporting superstars and a whole lot of people
who are just inspired by seeing a weakling become
a physical success and role model. The Champ was bullied
as a kid, but later in life beat adversity, sickness,
war, Japanese Giants, a bear, an orangutan, all challengers
and all evil, all due to a mothers love.
a documentary on Brunos personal life is being
bid on by distributors, and a feature film is being
evaluated by a major studio. A life-sized statue of
the Champ is planned for 2013 in Pittsburgh PA.
Sammartino, "The Living Legend" to Enter
WWE Hall of Fame
4, 2013 STAMFORD, Conn., February 4, 2013 WWE
(NYSE:WWE) announced today that Bruno Sammartino will
be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at a ceremony
on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at Madison Square Garden.
nicknamed The Living Legend, is a two-time
WWE Champion and the longest reigning WWE Champion
in history, holding the title for a combined 11 years.
His first title reign began on May 17, 1963, where
he defeated Nature Boy Buddy Rogers at
Madison Square Garden. After losing the Championship
in 1971, he regained the title on December 10, 1973,
defeating Stan Stasiak at Madison Square Garden, holding
the Championship until April 30, 1977. When he retired
from the ring, Sammartino became a color commentator
for WWEs syndicated Superstars program and stepped
back into the ring on special occasions. After his
departure in 1988, Sammartino was openly critical
of WWE, and for many years declined the offer to be
inducted into WWEs Hall of Fame, citing concerns
with WWEs content and culture.
my fans around the world, I am pleased to be joining
the WWE Hall of Fame, especially at Madison Square
Garden, said Bruno Sammartino.
sold out more than 200 shows at Madison Square Garden
and being the longest reigning WWE champion in history,
Bruno Sammartino is truly The Living Legend,
said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO. This
is an extraordinary and historic moment to have Bruno
take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.
for the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony are
currently available through all Ticketmaster outlets,
www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
All tickets are subject to service charges and facility
fees. For more information on Bruno Sammartino, please
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Hall Of Fame Discussions Begin, Would Bruno Sammartino
Hall of Fame discussions have started. According to
a source, Bruno Sammartino remains at the top of the
list. Others that key officials have discussed include
Mick Foley, Triple H, The Freebirds, Regis Philbin
(in the celebrity wing), Bob Backlund, Larry Zbyszko,
Sid Vicious, Earthquake John Tenta and Paul Heyman.
The feeling is the timing isn't right for Heyman,
since he is penciled in to be a major part of one
of the marquee WrestleMania 29 matches and as a heel,
it would create an awkward atmosphere.
McMahon has not commented on the suggested entries,
but should be deciding who is going in within the
next several weeks.
to a source close to Bruno, he has not closed the
door to a possible induction. He apparently would
agree to be inducted ONLY if the money is right, which
be believes is about respect and to rectify "past
financial injustices." Bruno feels that WWE has
not been fair with him in the past with royalties
related to the marketing of his merchandise and action
figures, and that the situation must be addressed
before he would consider being inducted.
is also adamant that any deal that he makes to enter
the WWE Hall of Fame is made independent of any financing
or distribution deal for the potential theatrical
film to be made of his life. He would like for that
movie to be made, but is financially "very comfortable"
and would not be heartbroken if it is not.
is said to be open to talking to Triple H at any time,
and has always been open to take his calls. The source
also noted that Bruno has never told Triple H not
to call him and never will.