The WWE Hall of Fame is often criticized for who is in and who has not been inducted into the shrine. Many have said that without this one icon, the Hall is meaningless. Vince McMahon would like to change that in 2013.
Dave Meltzer casually broke a fairly big news story during his FWOnline.com podcast over the weekend. Meltzer reported that the WWE invited one of the biggest stars in pro wrestling history into the Hall of Fame next year. That man is the Living Legend, Bruno Sammartino.
According to Meltzer, Triple H called Bruno to make the official invite. Meltzer reported that Hunter tried appealing to Bruno’s ego which if you know Bruno, is the worst tact to take. This is not the first time Triple H has talked to Bruno about the Hall and probably won’t be the last.
[adinserter block=”2″]Unfortunately for the WWE, Bruno has been very outspoken about going into the Hall of Fame. Bruno has a variety of reasons for not going into the Hall, bitterness not being one of them. It would take a whole lot to bring Bruno back into the WWE family which could be why they are working on it almost a whole year early.
Bruno was a regular guest on my old Pro Wrestling Radio show over the course of ten years and I had the chance to know him well on and off the air. Bruno has been consistent since I met him in that he wants nothing to do with the Hall of Fame for personal reasons. The idea that the WWE thinks they can get him now either shows they haven’t been paying attention or they are signing a different tune.
This isn’t the first time that Bruno has been approached about going into the Hall. Back in 2005 the WWE made an attempt to induct Bruno. Here is what he said about it on my show when I asked him where things stood with the WWE.
“Not good, I don’t want to have anything to do with that organization or him (Vince McMahon) and I’ll tell you what, I appreciate some of the fans that have talked to me and they said, “Don’t you belong into the WWE Hall of Fame,” they’d like to see me in the Hall of Fame, but I wish that they would understand my side of it. If you go far back enough, I’ve been appalled by a lot of the stuff that McMahon has been doing for many, many years. For example, I was very appalled when I saw the widespread of drugs and I’m not talking about just steroids I’m talking about drugs and a lot of steroids! I was very appalled by that and I was very outspoken on that. If you remember I went one on one with him (Vince McMahon) on the Donahue Show, on the Larry King Show, Geraldo Rivera, and then we started bringing in the girls, beautiful ladies but always with a g-string or something with access where a breast would pop out, and the kids twelve, thirteen years old were going to come to the arena to see a strip-show is what it amounted to, and then all of the vulgarity came in. Well, the point is that I was so outspoken about all of this stuff, so outspoken about it, what kind of a hypocrite would I be now if I went into their Hall of Fame? That is to say that everything that I was talking about, everything I knocked about and resented about what he (McMahon, JR.) had done to the business, now because I have an opportunity to get into the Hall of Fame, it’s OK, everything is fine now, it’s just that I am in the Hall of Fame. By refusing it, it keeps me, I believe in my heart, my stance stays straight that I am appalled with everything that he did and I want no part of any of it including his Hall of Fame which is part of it.”
He talked more about itin a later interview on my show. (BTW – I have plenty of Bruno interviews up on my sister site which you can find here http://prowrestlingradio.com/tag/bruno-sammartino/)
“Today I get a lot of mail that comes here. I would say that maybe two out of twenty letters that I get, they tell me stuff like, “You know Bruno you are being stubborn, you aren’t being fair to the fans who supported you, you should go into the WWE Hall of Fame regardless of your feelings towards Vince McMahon because you owe it to the fans to go to the Hall of Fame and by not going you are being disrespectful to the fans.” But then I get the majority of letters I kid you not the others say, “Bruno, we respect you for standing by what you believe and we’re behind you,” very, very supportive. The people that feel that I am doing an injustice to the fans, in a way I feel bad that they think that way, but if they only thought about it, in all honesty what is the WWE Hall of Fame? Is there a building that they can go and take their kids or whatever to the Hall of Fame to show them this or that? You know what I’m saying? All it is, is that when they have their WrestleMania the Hall of Fame is the day before and they make DVDs and McMahon sells them. I’m not knocking them for this it’s business, and then he sells those DVDs all over the world and they make a lot of money from it but that’s what it is. How do you get picked for the Hall of Fame? Well they decide. They say, “Well who do we want this year? Let’s pick so and so and so and so.” Look at some of the people in it. Refrigerator Perry and than you have Pete Rose, he’s in the Hall of Fame. I mean if people thought about it, what kind of a Hall of Fame is that?”
[adinserter block=”1″]Bruno makes some great points, most which haven’t changed since we last talked a few years ago. He has already released a statement saying he will not be going into the Hall, which isn’t surprising to anyone who has heard him speak on it. I was always under the impression that the WWE would just wait until he passes away and induct him later, without having to work directly with him. I have spoken to Bruno about this before and he readily admits that he thinks they could do that, against his better wishes.
The WWE is running out of iconic Hall of Fame inductees. Bruno, Randy Savage, and probably the Ultimate Warrior are about it, although some would put Sting into that category (I wouldn’t). Doing business with Bruno is probably not something that excites Vince McMahon but it is nice to see him putting those differences aside to make an effort. Unfortunately it probably won’t happen next year or any time soon.
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