Bruno Sammartino is coming home! The Living Legend will finally be returning to the WWE after a 25+ year absence to enter the WWE Hall of Fame on WrestleMania 29 weekend.
“Boy oh boy, I have tried to make it very clear to everybody and I wish that people would understand my feelings. I’ve been so against what they’ve done to wrestling and some of the ugly things that have been going on, the drugs and all of that kind of stuff, that I just don’t want my name associated at all with that organization and therefore I’ve been so critical of them that I’d feel like a total hypocrite if then all of the sudden I’d go into their Hall of Fame and accept that because when you’ve been as critical as I have, and my views were so strong against the drugs and the nudity, the profanity, the vulgarity, there’s no way that I would want to be a part of that Hall of Fame. I just don’t want any part of it and I will not go in and I would hope that people would understand my feelings on that.” –Bruno Sammartino on my radio show in 2010
The induction will take place at Madison Square Garden, the same arena that Bruno sold out more than any WWE champion in history. Not only will Bruno be entering the Hall of Fame, but he will also be a part of the WWE family once again. The new deal comes with a DVD that will include interviews with Bruno that will also probably be included in other home videos as well. Bruno is back!
“I love the history of this business,” Triple H said. “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.”
The new relationship is a big change of attitude for Bruno. Bruno has been very outspoken over the years about the WWE, specifically what he felt was their promotion of steroids and other PEDs. Bruno also harbored a longtime grudge with Vince McMahon over many things, specifically the pressures he felt to come out of retirement to help his son decades ago.
Here is what Bruno said when I asked him about comments Mick Foley made on my radio show about the special relationship he had with Vince McMahon.
You can check out several of my interviews with Bruno over at http://prowrestlingradio.com/tag/bruno-sammartino/
It will be a nostalgic night this year at the Hall of Fame as the second biggest drawing card in WWE history Bob Backlund will share the stage with Bruno that night and also be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Regardless of the circumstances I think it is great that this new generation of fans will be educated and introduced to the legacy of one of the biggest draws in pro wrestling. Congratulations to Bruno Sammartino for entering the Hall of Fame.