Bruno Sammartino declines WWE Hall of Fame induction invitation

Bruno Sammartino (R), obviously. Photo via upload.wikimedia.org.

Hot on the heels of his 397 votes to 145 votes pounding of Jeff Hardy in the Cageside Tournament, we've got some more Bruno Sammartino news.

Word has come out WWE extended an invitation to Sammartino to the main draw for next year's Hall of Fame ceremony but once again, the legend has declined to be affiliated with the promotion he helped build.

Triple H actually gave him a ring to try and convince Sammartino to accept the invite but even "The Cerebral Assassin" couldn't sway him. There was even a rumor going around the former champion was "not impressed" with Vince McMahon's son-in-law but that has since been debunked by Sammartino's representative.

WWE has wanted their two-time champion into their Hall of Fame for some time now but he has steadfastly declined. He has long been critical of the direction McMahon took the company during the Attitude Era with storylines that included an elderly woman giving birth to a hand, a Japanese stable threatening a penectomy on a male porn star and Triple H mimicking necrophilia.

Yeah, I can see why someone in their 70s might take issue with that.

Regardless, thanks in part to his status as one of the top -- if not the top -- draws in the 1960s and 70s and his record-holding seven-year title reign, WWE has long been interested in bringing him back into their fold.

In 2004, they extended an invitation to produce a DVD chronicling Sammartino's legendary career but couldn't come to an agreement with the former champion.

Since then, it seems the divide has been getting larger and larger.

Before this year's WrestleMania, he went on a radio show and once again detailed why he wouldn't be signing on with WWE. Aside from his opinions on their product -- "I was in the WWWF, not the WWF that [Vince McMahon] had which he transformed into something completely different from the wrestling..." -- he also felt the Hall of Fame was a marketing gimmick.

Without a physical location, he thought it was merely set up to sell DVD and put more money back in McMahon's pocket.

Whether he's correct in that or not -- hint, he is -- it all adds up to one of the promotion's greatest champions not being in the Hall of Fame.

Stubborn or virtuous, Cagesiders? Where does Sammartino fall?

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