Bruno Sammartino Explains Why He Finally Agreed To Join The WWE Hall of Fame
As announced on Monday, Bruno Sammartino will finally be entering the WWE Hall of Fame on April 6th from the site of his most memorable matches, Madison Square Garden. The story was broken by ESPN, which featured some interesting comments from Bruno about why he decided to bury that hatchet with WWE and accept the honor.
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame at Madison Square Gardens is the biggest thing in my life,” Sammartino said in an exclusive interview with ESPN. “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, it’s where I won the title, and it’s where I picked up 630-plus pounds of Haystacks Calhoun.”
The article notes that despite Sammartino’s decades-long feud with Vince McMahon, it was Triple H who stepped in and finally got the deal done.
“In talking to Paul Levesque, I made it clear, I’ve had issues with WWE and wrestling in general, because there were other organizations,” Sammartino said. “I didn’t like the direction they had taken. It was bothersome to me. I’m an old-school guy. I spent 25 years in this business. But after talking to Paul, and him explaining to me the changes they’ve made in their program, and how they’ve 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 company’s 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.
“But as Paul explained to me, WWE made a lot of other changes. There’s no more profanity, there’s 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. There’s no profanity, there’s no vulgarity, and it’s a family-friendly program. That’s what it used to be, and that’s a huge role in the whole factor.”
Sammartino will be joined by Mick Foley, Bob Backlund and Trish Stratus in what’s easily one of the strongest Hall of Fame classes ever.