Posted July 7th, 2012 by Bill Apter

Message on behalf of Bruno Sammartino:

“We understand that word has broken on the Internet regarding “The Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino being inducted in to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. Since word has broken publicly, I can confirm that we have been contacted. I have been asked by Bruno Sammartino to announce that he will NOT be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.”

“The Big Cheese” Sal Corrente

Dear Bruno:

I received your friend/representative Sal Corrente’s message (above) a few days ago and wanted to take some time and get my thoughts together about this very sensitive topic.

This is not the first time the WWE(F) has approached you to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. I know this for a fact because, and this will probably surprise you and many others. I worked in a freelance capacity for the Hall Of Fame when it was just a formative thought in Vince McMahon’s mind.

I was asked to procure personal memorabilia from the Legends that I was in regular contact with due to my work with the wrestling magazines throughout the years. One of those persons of course was you and when asked you were adamant that you would do anything for me because we had become professional and personal friends. This request however was outside either of those boxes. You were totally polite and professional and said “no.” There was no further discussion.

I respect you for “sticking to your guns” and turning down this recent offer to be inducted in 2013. However your legion of fans — some who are getting way up there in years — do not want to hear anything from you except the word “yes” when it comes to the WWE Hall Of Fame.

Realize, in my estimation, the majority of those fans don’t know about or care about the reasons, they just want to see their idol on the worldwide stage of the WWE Hall Of Fame.

Bruno, they want to reminisce, to applaud, to honor the “Living Legend.” They want to chant, “Bruno, Bruno, Bruno” again and bring back those “goose bump” chills they got when they (over 20,000 strong at Madison Square Garden monthly) cheered you on against your evil opponents.

You are a proud man and do not want to be part of what the world of Pro Wrestling has become. That is totally understandable. But where else can the millions of his fans get to see you honored? The WWE has the long reaching TV universe that can do this and make your fans happy.

In my opinion Bruno perhaps it is time to reconsider. Will people call you a “hypocrite?” The majority won’t and I feel confident of that. Am I saying do it for the fans Bruno? Absolutely. I would want to be right there in the front row and I would be chanting, “Bruno, Bruno, Bruno” along with everyone.

Actually I would probably start the chant!

Keep in mind I know all about your feelings, the politics, and so much more that makes you say “no” as we have discussed this many times. I’ve never really spilled my feelings out though until now.

In 2009 you accepted induction into the World Wide Wrestling Association Hall Of Fame. It was a pleasure to see this happen and I was honored to be there. Take a look back at this video interview (below, with me pictured with WWWA Promoter Dino Sanna) we did just before you went out to accept the award.

Thank you for your years of making the fans happy Bruno and everything I wrote is because I’m a Bruno fan too (and I think you know that)! You were part of my formative years as a fan and and it became my honor to be so closely associated both professionally and personally throughout the years.–Bill

Category: Wrestling.

Tags: .


  1. By Mike Hoffman, posted

    Thank you for your Letter to Bruno.I grew up in Pittsburgh.Watched him at the Civic/Mellon Arena.
    Where he Wrestled in Singles and Tag Matches,teaming up with “Battman,Tony Parisi,Johnny Defazio,Dino Bravo,Dom Denucci and others.He made Vince-people say Hogan and others,but The Wwe would not be where it is today without Bruno Sammartino,selling out Arena’s everywhere.
    I got the Honor of meeting Bruno many times in Pittsburgh,he is a Gentleman through and through to his fans.Have many signed items from Bruno Personally and he should I agree allow his fans to give him the Honor he deserves.If nothing else Bruno yes do it for your fans.I think Bret’s Example would be good to follow.No one else had more reason to hate Vince and The Wwe,than Bret “Hitman” Hart. But Bret for his fans,Entered the Hall of Fame.
    I agree with Bill Apter,Bruno its time,to Bury the Hatchet,let your fans and Peers honor you.Thank you for giving a kid in Pittsburgh a Hero to look up to.Pass this to Bruno Bill.Maybe he should hear from the fans.
    Always Your fan.


  2. By sal "rough cuts" lasardo, posted

    bruno owes nothing to no one in his eyes…we as fans feel cheated knowing the greatest living legend in the world of sports entertainment is not in the hall of fame…thats like saying babe ruth is not in the hall (he is)…or larry bird or wayne gretzky…which they all are…you can not have a hall of fame without the greatest pro wrestler ever…he should do it but does not believe he should…its a catch 22…his people should reach out to him and if nothing else here the chants of bruno one more time…before its too late…

  3. By eddie cheslock, posted

    bruno sammartino is most likely upset at vince for waiting so long in puttin his prized superstar into the wwe hof or could it be hes upset because he cant enter what he made the wwwf hof to this photographer of many years the wwe hof is a complete joke and bruno dosnt want any part of it but you have got to respect bruno for whatever reason he refuses to goin in maybe he shoulda gone in the same year as andre just my thought i repect his decesion and hope some day he will be righfully in his place the wwwf hof

  4. By Peter Lederberg, posted

    Bill, I think you summed up the feelings of so many on this complex issue. I truly appreciate you putting this out there, it’s always good to hear all sides of things, I can’t say I disagree with Bruno (actually respect him even more so than when he was in the ring) but you have presented the fans side of this very well, congrats brother!

  5. By Samuel, posted

    I grew up on Bruno and took my sons to see him a lot of times in Queens at Sunnyside Gardens. I am sad that I can’t see him any more for one maybe last chance to chant bruno! Please go into the hall of fame bruno so we can see you on tv one more time!

  6. By Mark Byrn, posted

    A valiant try Mr Apter but I think Bruno took too many bloody chair shots to the head from Larry Zbyszko back in the day when wrestling was ‘real’ and Bruno’s blading skills were above reproach. We know that Bruno disdains the current state of wrestling and how they spiced up the simulated violence with generous amounts of T&A. Of course it’s now the PG era and that excuse doesn’t really pan out anymore but when you have a chip on your shoulder, don’t let the facts get in the way. I can almost remember the days of old when wrestlers were all god-fearing upstanding men of character and families went to the wresting sanctuaries with their children or watched wrestling on TV right after an uplifting episode of Leave it to Beaver.

    Sarcasm aside, I don’t really mind that Bruno is refusing the WWE Hall of Fame as grinds his axe against Vince but I’d like to know how he’s helping today’s wrestling talent to put them over, and give them the opportunity to make a living in the business that gave him his livelihood? Even a consummate self-promoter like Hulk Hogan is making an effort to put over today’s generation (e.g. Austin Aries in TNA) and Ric Flair has done the same. Maybe he is and I just don’t know it but Bruno strikes me a bitter codger who thinks his era of pro wrestling was ‘real’ when in fact the real era of pro wrestling ended nearly a 100 years ago with the rise of Pro Boxing.

  7. By Freddie Fargo, posted

    I understand exactly where Bill Apter is coming from. I understand exactly where Bruno Sammartino is coming from. I’m soooo confused. Anyway, he’s already in a HOF that actually exists. Bruno, some words from a man much wiser than I: “To thy own self be true.”

  8. By Ray Stevens London, posted

    I say no! Saying no to WWE is what really makes Bruno stand out above the rest.
    as a fan I already have the great memories.

  9. By Solomon Haile-Selassie, posted

    Bruno, I think, is not accepting this invitation because He feels it would be an endorsement of the current product. Its more of an integrity issue than a pride issue. I have seen postings from wwe…claiming to be a “family friendly” product. I have seen nothing that supports that. The wwe is a company that has backed itself in a corner, booking wise and therefore, in order to save the product, now has half naked women, running around, with storylines that almost have absolutely nothing to do with wrestling. And tna is just as guilty. Therefore…I applaud Bruno, for making this decision. For anyone that feels Bruno’s decision was selfish…I should say that, asking Bruno to compromise His beliefs would be a selfish act.

  10. By Bob labocetta, posted

    Bill i’ve been a fan since 1974. I would love to go the wwe hall of fame and se ll the great things it has to offer….. only thing there is no such place! From what I heard THAT is also one of bruno’s points in not wanting to be inducted!

  11. By Archangel, posted

    I totally understand how Bruno’s fan feel but I also totally respect his decision not to accept being place into the WWE’s version of the Hall of Fame. Their hall of fame is a joke with some of the questionable members that they have already put into it and I am not only talking about the non-wrestlers either. What is needed is a hall of fame that is not run by that wrestling organization but for all wrestling organization in the past and future that is credible.

  12. By allen ratza, posted

    mr.sammartino…please please accept the nod to got o the wwe hall of fame..us fans want to see you there..you and andre the giant are the only two original ledgends the company ever had..please bruno

  13. By Dave Purdon, posted

    Thank-you Bill. I would personally love to see The Living Legend accept an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame for two reasons. Firstly, to hear the arena chant for Bruno and his amazing career one more time and secondly to have the longest reigning Heavyweight Champion officially honored. Yes, pro-wrestling has changed a lot but the more we acknowledge history, the more young fans will get a chance to appreciate it.

  14. By John, posted

    I’ve talked to different wrestlers about being inducted into the WWE HOF, and I know they didn’t want any parts of for the simple reason(s)1. They totally disagree with TV Celeberties (non-wrestlers) being inducted into the HOF. 2. They don’t like the way the wrestling business is being ran now. However the WWE can only do their part and offer the WWE HOF, it’s all up to the wrestler(s) to accept or decline. I been following wrestling since 1975 and I can’t believe Brunno Sammartino, Larry Zbyszbo, Ken Patera and many other great wrestlers aren’t in the HOF. I just wish our heros would give in and accept the HOF, cause that’s what I been waiting to see for years now.

  15. By Peter, posted

    Bruno stick to your guns and don’t go within a 100 miles of this SLEAZE BAG called Vince Mc Mahon. This guy is just the bottom of the barrel in human beings as far as I’m concerned and I hope to god his DUMB ASS wife don’t get elected in the SENATE.Some day after this man is dead which can’t come soon enough you will hear about all the people’s lives he ruined and all the despicable things this man has done. Phil Musnick from the N.Y. Post is 100% right about this man.

  16. By Peter, posted

    Hey Bill Apter be honest and tell me your opinion of Vince Mc Mahon not the promoter (which he is one of the best ever) I’m talking about as a human being….. Be honest!!!!!!!!!!

  17. By Peter, posted

    Didn’t think you would have the guts to answer the question on what a sleaze bag this Mc Mahon guy is which you proved me right.

  18. By Peter, posted

    Why would Bruno want to be in a hall of fame that don’t exist? No building , no nothing. This is just to get that sleaze bag ratings. You see people like you are yes man would do but people with class tell sleaze bag to take a walk.

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