He had two title reigns that lasted over 11 years combined. But an alleged falling out with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and dislike of the Attitude Era product had kept him from doing business with the company that made him famous, even to accept one of their highest honors by being enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Paul "HHH" Levesque has long been rumored to want to mend fences with the Pittsburgh native who was synonymous with the company during their territory heyday. To induct Sammartino when Wrestlemania will be held so close to Madison Square Gardens, and arena he routinely sold out as champ, made perfect sense.
If only the Vice-President could make it happen.
It now appears that he has, according to ESPN.com's Jon Robinson. Issues that Levesque ironed out with the Italian-American legend apparently include the use of profanity and sex on broadcasts, drug use and concussion safety for workers. A sit-down with McMahon to iron out personal issues is also reportedly in the works.
"Being inducted into the Hall of Fame at Madison Square Gardens is the biggest thing in my life," Sammartino told Robinson.
The ESPN article gives us a little taste of HHH's sales pitch. The Game is quoted as saying:
He’s one of the biggest names there has ever been in the business. So for us to not have him in there...it was a major issue. For me, the more important thing was that nobody deserves to be recognized for being a big star and paving the way for the stars of today more than Bruno. Everything that we have today in the business, Bruno was a cornerstone of that foundation. He truly is a living legend.
We in the internet wrestling community (IWC) often give Trips a hard time for putting himself over, but knowing that he was willing to humble himself and the company he'll one day inherit in order to make this happen says volumes about how he sees himself now as corporate executive Paul Levesque versus his character HHH.
More on this story at Cageside Seats as information is made available. It's unclear if the timing means it will be announced on Raw, but that seems likely.
Sammartino is a huge step toward legitimacy for the WWE Hall of Fame, something that has been questioned in the past by WWE outsiders in the business.
What do you think, Cagesiders? Is this as big a deal to you as it is to HHH?