WWE proved it is capable of doing the right thing when it finally decided to reach out to Bruno Sammartino for Hall of Fame enshrinement.
Now it needs to build on that goodwill by reaching out to the family of another WWE legend to make peace and put this person in his rightful place in the Hall.
Yes, we are talking about Randy Savage. It’s too late for him to see it happen, but it is not too late for WWE to mend fences with his family so they can see the Macho Man get the ultimate respect.
There are already legends in the Hall who feuded with Vince McMahon over the years—Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Jim Ross and now Sammartino. And those are just among the ones we know about.
You do not get successful in business without making enemies along the way, so I am sure there are others who had harsh words with McMahon at some time or another who are now recognized as wrestling’s elite.
But for some reason or another, Savage is not there.
There are plenty of rumors in cyberspace about the basis of the Savage-McMahon feud. Some say McMahon never forgave Savage for bolting to rival WCW in 1994. Others say their bad blood brewed over a reported budding relationship between Savage and McMahon’s daughter.
But we are not here to individually list those rumors. Nor are we here to prove or debunk each and every one of them.
No, we are here simply to say this: The biggest takeaway we can get from Sammartino’s pending enshrinement is that WWE has finally learned that it is OK to bury the hatchet with the ones who helped put the company at the forefront of the sports entertainment industry.
And look who is acting as the chief WWE diplomat these days. None other than Triple H.
Triple H? Heavens to Bret Hart!
The man who, according to Hart, has not shown any genius as a WWE Superstar or executive took the initiative to reach out to Sammartino. After all, the record holder of the longest championship reign in the company had soured on WWE in the days of the Attitude Era and reports of rampant steroid use.
How ironic is it that one of the faces of that Attitude Era would be so instrumental in bringing Sammartino back into the fold?
Now, Triple H—as WWE’s de facto secretary of state—needs to beef up his diplomatic credentials by reaching out to Savage’s family. It probably will not happen in this HOF cycle, but it definitely is not too late to start thinking about the HOF class of 2014.
The only sad thing about all this is that Savage is no longer around to witness it. A fatal heart attack in 2011 made sure of that.
But the time has come for all parties to move past something that happened 20 years ago. We cannot unring that bell, but we can prove that we are bigger than petty disputes which, in the grand scheme of things, will not make that much of a difference.
If Triple H can pull this off, he ought to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.