In an announcement that the wrestling world never thought would happen, the official announcement was made on last night’s RAW that the longest reigning WWE Champion of all-time, Bruno Sammartino, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 6 in the house that he help build, “The World’s Most Famous Arena” Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. For years, Sammartino has refused, time and time again, to be involved with the WWE in any shape or form, stemming from his extreme dislike of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. Bruno worked under Vince’s father and, after Bruno retired from active competition, Sammartino began publicly criticizing the direction of the company, feeling that Vince, Jr. was a detriment to the company that Vince, Sr. created.
One man who can certainly be credited for finally convincing “The Living Legend” to finally take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame is Triple H, who, as previously reported, has had many conversations with Bruno Sammartino in recent months with Bruno and Triple H forging a bit of a friendship with Bruno actually stating that he has a great deal of respect for Triple H, but told “The Game” on a couple of occasions that he would not be involved with the WWE unless Vince McMahon was out of the picture. Well, Triple H has obviously convinced Sammartino to be inducted and, on April 6, Bruno will appear on WWE television for the first time in 25 years. Bruno will join Mick Foley, Bob Backlund, & Trish Stratus as inductees in the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame.
On May 17, 1963, Bruno Sammartino defeated Buddy Rogers in Madison Square Garden to win the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship. Bruno would hold the championship for an astonishing seven years (2,803 days, to be exact) before finally losing the championship to Ivan Koloff on January 18, 1971. Sammartino also holds the record for the fourth longest reign of all-time for his second reign as champion, holding the title for three and a half years (1,237 days).
After the announcement about his induction was made, Bruno commented, “Being that they [WWE] made those changes, now that they want me in there [Hall of Fame] so badly, I absolutely accept it because they did what I wanted them to do.”
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