Bruno Sammartino Talks WWE Under HHH, If He'll Meet With Vince Before The HOF, Current Stars

I spoke with 2013 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Bruno Sammartino for an interview last week. In the second part of the interview below, "The Living Legend" discussed upcoming films based in his life, if he'll meet Vince McMahon before the Hall of Fame, WWE under Triple H, current stars he enjoys, appearing on RAW after WrestleMania and much more.


Click here for the first part of the interview, where Bruno discussed the last time he was at Madison Square Garden, winning the WWWF title nearly 50 years ago, his last meeting with Vince McMahon and more. Also, make sure to visit his official website at to get more information about Bruno.

Wrestling INC: Had you dealt with Triple H at all before this?

Bruno Sammartino: Never. I heard from a few people did before I ever spoke to him and they told me that he was a very honorable guy and a sincere guy. I had heard these things, but I only knew him as the wrestler Triple H. I didn't know him personally in any way or much about him.

But, those six or seven months of conversations and different things with him, I remembered what I had had told about him. I was convinced that this guy loves the game, loves wrestling and he wanted it to be family-friendly. I got that very clear from him. I must take my hat off to the guy.


And in all honestly, I've been very critical of Vince McMahon because he was the big man, the big boss behind it all. But, I was also told by Dr. Maroon and others that he, too, was very sincere about changing the product and making the proper changes. I don't know if Paul was the one that convinced him or the two of them together.

I don't know. The point is that I was critical of them during that period but I must praise them today for making the game more family-friendly. I love that. So, everything for me is fine and I'm happily going into this Hall of Fame.

Wrestling INC: You mentioned Vince. Do you think that you'll meet with him before the Hall of Fame?

Bruno: No, my understanding with Vince is that the night at the Garden at the Hall of Fame, that he and I will probably have a private meeting and...see what happens. [Laughs.]

Wrestling INC: You've worked for both Vince and his father and many other promoters. Triple H is likely in line to take over the company when Vince decides to step down. With your dealings with Triple H, how do you see the future of WWE under his direction?

Bruno: Oh, I'm convinced that it'll just keep getting better. I really believe that because all the conversations I've had with him convince me of that. He wants it to be the best that it can possibly be and he wants to do everything in his power to make it the best.


He wants it to be very family-friendly and he wants to bring back some of the old school type of wrestling. Listening to him, I am very convinced that the product will get better and better all the time.

Wrestling INC: I know in the past you've spoken highly of Kurt Angle. Are there any of the other current stars that you're a fan of?

Bruno: Well, I'm not too familiar with too many of these fellows. Kurt Angle, I knew he was from Pittsburgh and I knew his background very well and his amateur days and, of course, going to the Olympics and all that.

When he went into professional wrestling, he was very good at adjusting and displaying a lot of great moves. It was something that the fans could look at a say, hey, that's wrestling. You know what I mean?

Today, I'm watching and I see a lot of these guys and they're very athletic. They work hard and they move well. With the WWE, I'm still trying to learn all the names. There's [John] Cena of course and there's a guy and I wrestled his father and grandfather believe it or not. [Laughs.] I'm talking about Randy Orton.

I've seen this guy [Jack] Swagger and he seemed pretty talented. There's this guy [CM] Punk, even though he's a villain and says these kind of crazy things, but watching him wrestle, he performs well. There's a number of them do these crazy acrobatic things off the top rope which, of course, is not something that I would have ever done or could do. But, we were different and we did more in-ring stuff and wrestling in my day. Also, the size of the individuals that do these triple somersaults and some of the acrobatic things they do. [Laughs.]


In my day, I, myself, in my prime, in the late-'50's-mid-'70's I was about 270-275. After I broke my neck and I was in the hospital for a month or so, I dropped the weight to about 250 and I kept that weight until I retired.

But, we had guys like Don Leo Jonathan; 6'7", 350 pounds. Big Bill Miller; 6'6", 330 pounds. Bobo Brazil; 6'5", 320 pounds. Monsoon; 6'5" 420 pounds. We had a lot of giants in those days. So, the wrestling was quite a bit different than it is now.

Wrestling INC: I know you get this question a lot, but; if you could choose just one name to induct you, who would that be?

Bruno: You know what? I wish I could tell you, that's the bad thing. I'd like Dominic Denucci for one because he and I not only came from the same neck of the woods in the old country but we've been friends for many years. We spent time in Australian together wrestling. Although he was a big star in Australia, we stayed there for a whole year. I used to just go for three weeks at a time. I've been in Japan with Dominic — he's wrestled all over the world.

But, I've known him for all these years, he's been a personal friend, he's a good guy. So, I would certainly be proud to have him. But, there are other people I would accept. But, WWE has asked me in a very nice way to allow them to make some suggestions. They would like someone that's worldly, somebody that's really well known because they say that want to make it a special introduction and all that.


So, I told them, 'Sure, come up with some names and let's kick those names around. Whether it be the ones that you might come up with or somebody that I might come up with.' So, there's plenty of time for it yet and no decision has really been made.

If I couldn't have a Dominic Denucci if it was my choices, I would go with an Ivan Koloff because he's the guy that took the belt from me. He made an impact and I think that might be appropriate. Another guy I made a great impact with was Larry Zbyszko. I mean, what a way to end my career.

We sold out every arena and turned them away by the thousands, including Shea Stadium. He used to be my protégé and I actually helped him get into wrestling. So, he would be in consideration of course.

But, again, I'm going to see what they come up with. Then, we have to get our heads together and see what we can agree with.

Wrestling INC: Looking to the Hall of Fame and being there that night: how do you prepare for something like that? Returning after 25 years to Madison Square Garden, it's going to be crazy...

Bruno: I hope so. [Laughs.] Remember, I wonder how many fans where even born 50 years ago when I first became champion. Maybe their parents and grandparents. I mean, everybody is telling me what you just said. I hope that's true but these are younger people. I don't know what to expect, I honestly don't.


Wrestling INC: You're also be making an appearance at WrestleMania as well, correct?

Bruno: Yes, I will. It's no big deal there, I will just be introduced to that audience and that's it.

Wrestling INC: I've heard you'll also be at Monday Night Raw the following night in New Jersey.

Bruno: Yes, when we agreed to this, we agreed that I would do, of course, the Hall of Fame, then the next night is WrestleMania and the very next night is Monday Night Raw. They asked me to all three of those and I said sure. I'm going to be there anyway, why not? So, I agreed.

Wrestling INC: Do you know what you'll be doing on Monday Night Raw.

Bruno: I have no idea. I think just an appearance but I don't think it's anything special. Unless they'll inform me of exactly what they'll want, they they expect. But, as of now, I'm just going to be making an appearance. That's all I know.

Wrestling INC: Can fans expect to see more of you in WWE going forward after WrestleMania weekend.

Bruno: Well, from my understanding with Paul is that they're interested in doing some DVDs with maybe some of my best matches that they want to put together. Maybe a video game or maybe an interview with me talking about my career and my greatest matches, to talk about different opponents.


I understand they have different ideas, but I don't know about it all. They will discuss them all with me, I'm sure, as time goes on. But, to be specific about all they want to do or going to do, I'm not so sure. But, I know they have plans but of course the stuff has to be agreeable to us both. But, I'd be willing, too.

You know, one thing I run in to all the time? People are always asking me where they can get some of my matches on tapes and DVDs. The people always tell me they see me on Youtube or whatever. So, I thought there was stuff out there. Maybe they want stuff that they can purpose, I don't know. With the coming into WWE, I'm sure they're going to produce a lot of that stuff.

Wrestling INC: One of the things that I'm excited about is this movie that's been talked about of your life. I've heard it starts with your childhood during World War II in Italy and chronicles you coming to America. Is there any update on that? Has a script been completed?

Bruno: Yes. First of all, there's a documentary that has been completed, totally completed. It's been six years in the works and I'm very excited about that. We actually made four trips back to Italy for this documentary. We even went up the mountain where we were hiding from the Nazis.


We even interviewed the people from my town that are still around who went through that period to tell their stories. Some of them are relatives are mine who were hiding in the same place I was. A good portion of it is over there in Italy Then, it tells the story of when I got here and my life after that.

So, that's been completed and we have different distributors who we are actually talking with to see who we feel most comfortable putting it in their hands. Because, we want this thing not only nationwide but overseas as well. We've had a lot of interest shown from other countries.

The movie, yes, the screenwriting has all been complete. The producer is Scott Rosenfelt, I don't know if you know him. He's the guy who did that Home Alone movie but he's done about 38 other films as well. He has this guy, Paul Gay, who is the screenwriter, who did the whole thing.

It's complete and I understand there are a couple of studios now who are looking at the script that are interested. And a couple of independent organizations that are interested in maybe producing it. But, it's at that stage right now but it seems like it's going forward. I don't know how long it'll take but I'm pleased that the documentary is done.


Raj, if I may say, too, if you don't mind: I've seen a lot of misinformation that my attorney, my wife and kids who do know computers because — forget about me, I don't know nothing about that stuff. [Laughs.] But, they show me on the internet so much misinformation. I would just like to tell you and your listeners and readers to visit, that's where they'll get the straight scoop about everything I'm saying and everything I'm doing. Some of the things that have been put out there are kind of disturbing to me.

Wrestling INC: Absolutely, I'll invite all our readers to check that out because rumors do get spread pretty quickly. You mentioned going back to Italy for the documentary and it's an amazing story of your family hiding from German soldiers in the mountains. Was that your first time going back to Italy since your childhood or at least those parts?

Bruno: No, I went back in 1966 the first time back. My wife and I and my son went back up in 1966 but I never went back up the mountain. I swore that I would never do that.

Then, when the documentary started, my good friend Marty Lozarro and the people that were doing all the shooting, a guy named Kenny Brown and a guy named Josh Brit and also Scott Rosenfelt came in from California and made the journey up there. They all wanted to go up that mountain.


So, I didn't want to go, I really didn't. But, they expressed to me how important it was that we went up there and we interviewed up there and we filmed up there. So, I did and I was glad I did because I had nightmares about it. But, after it was all done and as time has gone by, I'm really glad that I did it, to go back and to relive that period. I think it was important.

Wrestling INC: Will the documentary be released this year?

Bruno: From everything that they tell me, the people that put it together and worked on it so hard for six years, they tell me by the latter part of this year, this thing we'll be seen all over. So, I'm just telling you what they tell me.

Wrestling INC: I'm not sure if you can comment on this or not, but has WWE Studios looked to be involved with either project?

Bruno: There's been some conversation about that. As far as the documentary, they can only bid for it to be the distributors for it. But, we have 20 different distributors that are interested. if they are interested, they would just have to be among those.

As far as the film, I did hear and this I was told by Scott Rosenfelt, the producer, he said that the film department of WWE knew about this film and contacted him. They said to him that when the screenwriting is all done, they would like to see it as well because they may be interested in it. That's all I know. How serious are they? I don't know.


Wrestling INC: Final question: if you could pick anyone to play you in the movie, who would you pick?

Bruno: My goodness, I don't have the slightest idea. [Laughs.] I really don't. First of all, there's going to have to be a number of me. You're going to to have that 8-year-old kid who went up that mountain and who got deathly sick. I was up there 14 months and I came down with rheumatic fever.

Then, I came over to this country at 14 years of age as a human skeleton and then I start exercising. So, I think they have to show somebody from that stage until I started developing. Then, when I get up to 270-275, then you have the guy who's gotta portray me for my career.

So I think it's going to take some kind of search. I don't know all the wrestlers that are out there and I've just seen some lately since I've been watching WWE again. I think it's going to take some searching to find somebody that meets the proper criteria. Somebody that's going to be 6 foot tall, 275 pounds and, hopefully, somebody that looks like they trained as hard as I used to train so they fit the part well. I don't know where they're looking at and if anybody is in mind, nobody has told me.

As far as me, so far as I've been watching it, so far, I don't see anyone that could play my part that looks like me. There's a lot of great-looking guys out there, don't get me wrong. I don't know. I'm very curious myself as to who's going to wind up playing that part.


Click here for the first part of the interview, where Bruno discussed the last time he was at Madison Square Garden, winning the WWWF title nearly 50 years ago, his last meeting with Vince McMahon and more. Also, make sure to visit his official website at to get more information about Bruno.