Bruno Sammartino Talks His Last Meeting With Vince, MSG, Reaction To His Induction And More
|By Raj Giri||February 25, 2013 | Comments|
Wrestling INC: Obviously, you've had your problems with WWE and you've spoken at length about the problems you've had throughout your career and later on. You finally did go back in, I believe, 2004 and there was discussions about doing a possible DVD on your career. Is that correct?
Bruno: No, if you're talking about the meeting that me and my attorney had, we had a meeting with Vince McMahon and his attorney here in Pittsburgh at the Civic Arena. The lawyers got together, [his attorney] contacted [my attorney], and wanted to see if he could get me to agree to come and meet with Vince.
I was really very reluctant. I, to be honest, was not interested in that. But, [my attorney] was not only a lawyer for me, but a really good friend of mine, a real friend, my best friend. He wanted it and I said, 'OK, I'll go along.'
But, when we went there, hard feelings were still there and it just didn't work out. I excused myself after about 15 minutes and I left the room. Of course, [my lawyer] by himself there couldn't agree to anything without me being there.
So, they were talking about things that they might be able to do. I turned it down because of the state of wrestling at the time in which I just didn't want to be involved. That was basically the reason.
Wrestling INC: It seems like you were ahead of the curve on that issue. After you spoke out about a lot of these things, you started seeing these tragedies happen. Wrestling finally did change for the better and it's a much healthier sport and a much healthier business. When did you realize that changes were being made for the better?
Bruno: Well, I hadn't followed it for many, many years. As you said, I had been very outspoken about all the different things that had been bothersome for me. Then I found out after a good period of time -- probably close to 2 years -- that nobody seemed to care. State Athletic Commissions or any other organization or anyone -- nobody seemed to care to want to take any steps to bring any changes.
So, I finally thought 'I gave it my best shot, it didn't do anything. So, it's time for me to go on for the rest of my life.' So, I was OK with that and I moved on. So, I never followed it anymore and I didn't watch it anymore.
Then, Triple H contacted me and he introduced himself -- not that I didn't know who he was I certainly knew his name because he was one of the superstars in wrestling. But he introduced himself and he seemed very nice on the phone. He started telling me that he more or less wanted to get introduced to me so we could discuss the situation. He said that he understood my feelings in the past, but he wanted to assure me that steps had been taken and changes had been made and they were continuing to make more changes.
It was all sounding good to me but I guess I was still a little skeptical even though he came across very straight-forward and very honest and sincere about everything he was saying.
Then, I started watching it and noticing that these guys were no longer beefed up like they had been. They looked like athletes but they didn't look like the Hulk Hogans, the Billy Grahams, The Ultimate Warriors, the British Bulldogs -- you know, all those guys. There were many, many other but I'm just naming a few. But, there were so many that it was very, very obvious what they were doing.
Besides wrestling, in my younger years, I also competed in Olympic lifting and power lifting. I knew a little bit about training and what it took to transform your body into something impressive looking. It takes a lot of years, a lot of hard work and a lot of discipline. When you see people transform themselves in a matter of months, it's very obvious what's going on.
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