Bruno Sammartino will be signing autographs at WrestleCon on the morning and early afternoon of WrestleMania 29. Photo via upload.wikimedia.org.
Four week ago, news leaked that Vince McMahon via his son-in-law Triple H had invited WWE legend Bruno Sammartino to be one of the headline inductees at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony prior to WrestleMania 29 on April 7th, 2013 at the Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Once again Sammartino politely declined the overture, even though it would be a chance to be recognised for his pro wrestling achievements in the market he was by far the top babyface in for two decades.
As I explained, for Sammartino accepting the accolade was out of the question, after McMahon emotionally blackmailed him to come out of retirement for the perceived benefit of his son David's career and later turned on him when Bruno became an outspoken critic of the WWF's rampant drug abuse and sexual improprieties when they became a public issue in 1992. Simply put, Sammartino could never look himself in the mirror again if he ever did business again with McMahon, even if it means missing out on a spot in a Hall Of Fame he should be centrepiece in.
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Sammartino will actually be in New York over WrestleMania weekend despite not taking any part in WWE's festivities. Perhaps taking advantage of this controversy, he has been booked for WrestleCon as a vendor guest of WrestleReunion and The Big Cheese Sal Corrente, a non-WWE wrestling convention that will be held on April 5th-7th, 2013 in the Meadowlands Expo Center that will also include wrestling shows by Dragon Gate USA, Evolve, Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) and Shimmer.
The move is shocking, as Sammartino had decided to retire from the convention circuit and only make appearances in his home town of Pittsburgh, but as Corrente explained to f4wonline.com he's decided to change his mind after the kind offers kept flooding in:
I recently announced that after a lot of discussion with Bruno Sammartino he has agreed to start taking appearance requests. We don't expect that Bruno will be making many appearances but we are open to the discussion at this time. This decision was basically made because no matter how many press releases we put out asking for people not to call the calls just kept coming. I have convinced Bruno to entertain offers and if they are worthwhile and make sense for a man at this stage of his life he will make the appearance.
Between The Rock and Brock Lesnar headlining the big event, and Sammartino's appearance for WrestleCon, not to mention Ring Of Honor (ROH) running two major shows too, the WrestleMania 29 weekend is set to be the biggest in wrestling history. So how many of you Cagesiders are planning to attend this monumental festival of wrestling action and nostalgia?