Originally written on Wrestlechat.net  |  Last updated 11/18/14
2013 WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino spoke with Donald Wood of Ring Rust Radio. Here are some highlights from the interview. Why it took so long to accept being inducted: “After I retired, I spent a quarter of a century in the business, and when I retired and a new regime took over, Vince McMahon Jr. and that, and in the beginning I went back to help out. I color commentated with him, but then I started to see things that were disturbing to me. I saw the steroid use in wrestling that became kind of rampant and I saw the changes in wrestling itself with some nudity and some vulgarity going on with different things that they were doing. And the profanity was so much. That bothered the heck out of me, and it bothered me so much that I became very outspoken about it. I hated to see the business that I spent 25 years in take that direction. That’s what really started it all. “When it came to the Hall of Fame, I’ve been very critical of the direction they’ve taken and I’d feel like a hypocrite if I just accepted this Hall of Fame while I’m so against what they’re doing. So all these years have gone by and I have refused every time, but now what happened is that I found out doctor Joseph Maroon, whom I happen to know personally, he’s a world-renowned neurosurgeon—in fact, he’s operated on me three times—but his reputation is awesome. When I found out he took on that challenge to clean up the drug situation there was over there, that made me feel good. “Time went by, and I was contacted by the WWE, which was Paul Levesque — better known as Triple H — when he contacted me, I was curious, wasn’t convinced, but after awhile he started telling me about not only about the drug program and how strict they were, but he started talking about how they were making it more family friendly by doing away with the nudity and vulgarity and the profanity and all that. “About six or seven weeks ago, I started watching it because I had my doubts, to be honest. Meanwhile, Paul kept calling me and talking to me more and more about the whole business and the direction they wanted to go in and so forth, and after watching it and having a meeting with Dr. Maroon who explained time and again what they were doing, as I told some previous people, they said, ‘you’d never go in the Hall of Fame because you’d feel like a hypocrite, but what if they change? What if the whole thing changed? Would you reconsider?’ I would absolutely. If they change, absolutely I would reconsider. “Well they’ve convinced me that they have changed and they convinced me — Paul Levesque has — that they want to be family friendly and the plans to go ahead is to do even more so, and I liked everything he had to say. Putting everything together is what made me want to go in.” On his interactions with Vince McMahon and his relationship with him: “Well, first of all, I have not talked to Vince McMahon at all. In the past six months that I have been speaking with Paul Levesque, I have never once talked to Vince McMahon. Now, yes, as you said he is the boss, so I feel that from my conversations with Paul Levesque and the agreements we’ve come to and so forth, I do believe he had to speak to Vince, and Vince of course had to agree. “But as far as myself, I will see him for the first time at Madison Square Garden at the Hall of Fame. But I have not talked to him, and as far as I know, there aren’t any plans for us to talk until we meet in person at that time. So when that time comes, we shall meet in person and if he wants to bury the hatchet as the old saying goes, I commend him for the changes that he made. I criticized him before, and I will give him credit because these changes could not have taken place without his approval. So, you know, I have to be fair too here. “So, when I meet him I will shake his hand and I will tell him, ‘Hey, I’m willing to bury the hatchet, I didn’t like what you did before, but I like a lot of what you have done since, so I’m willing to put our past behind us.’” Who he select choose to induct him: “There is a number of people I’d probably select, but to be perfectly honest and fair, I told Paul that if I have my choice and they want me to pick someone that I would, but if they had somebody in mind because the business has changed—from what I understand, they’re like in 126 countries around the world—so I thought maybe they’d want that they feel is known through all of their markets that would be more appropriate, I don’t know. I don’t want to force the issue. “If it were me, there would be a number of names I’d want; that I think would be fitting I should say. It could be [Larry] Zbyszko as you mentioned, could be a [Ivan] Koloff because he’s the one I lost the title to the first time, could be Bill Watts because I certainly have a history with him in this business as well, it could be a good friend of mine that I like very much—we come from the same neck of the woods—and that would be Dominic DeNucci, You know, but if they choose someone that they feel is more appropriate because of their 126 markets around the world and they think they might be more important, then I wouldn’t argue with them. I’d be fine with that too. “As of right now, it has not been determined on who it’s going to be.”
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ronda Rousey on having kids: 'I'm an ovarian goldmine'

Pedro Martinez: Rose should be allowed in Hall of Fame

Pablo Sandoval 'cut things off at the root' with Giants

Scott Boras taking shots at Cubs' history over Kris Bryant

Kingdome debt finally paid off 15 years after demolition

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

49ers waive Jonathan Martin

Former MLBer Curt Ford assaulted, told to ‘go back to Ferguson’

Russell Westbrook was very ‘confused’ by media after loss

NCAA 'concerned' over Indiana's 'religious freedom' bill

Report: James frustrated with Love’s inability to fit in

Shane Victorino rips radio hosts for twisting Hamels trade talk

Bucs admit they’ve been getting calls about Mike Glennon

The last Expo standing

NHL ships nets which have room for cameras inside posts

Toronto Raptors limping into the playoffs

Best picks ever at every spot in first round of NFL Draft

Alonzo Mourning confirms “Who wants to sex Mutombo?”

CC Sabathia attempting to get healthier by getting … fatter?

You can bid on Andrew McCutchen’s recently cut locks

Is Chuck Pagano receiving the Jim Harbaugh treatment?

Wideouts wearing out their welcome

Dean Smith willed $200 to each of his former players

10 best coaches who have never been to the Final Four

WWE News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The last Expo standing

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

MLB teams that could disappoint

25 years ago, the best Sweet 16 of all time was pure madness

The 2015 bad quarterback carousel

17 facts to know before the Sweet 16

Agent: Sam was horrible at veteran combine

Keeping judo ‘pure’ in Europe means keeping MMA out

The Sweet 16 should be seen as success

On the Browns, Hard Knocks, questions and narratives

Sweet 16 West Region preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.