If you've been following the situation for the past several years, then you already know that it wasn't going to be an easy thing for WWE to get Bruno Sammartino to sign on the dotted line. Well, it looks like it was a little more difficult than what people initially thought.
Reports have surfaced that Bruno Sammartino essentially held WWE hostage in order to make this moment happen. There were a lot more demands involved than there normally are with other inductees.
Bruno Sammartino is being paid rather handsomely. The ball was in his court, so the living legend decided to ask for an amount that he felt wasn't likely to be approved.
It was a pleasant surprise for the 77-year-old when Vince McMahon agreed to pay him like a top-level WrestleMania performer for the induction. The exact dollar amount has not yet been revealed yet, but it's more than likely going to be more for one weekend than what some of the wrestlers make in an entire year.
For those of you that are wondering, the average pay for these Hall of Fame inductions is $5,000 (and expenses for the weekend). That's a huge amount of money to a lot of the retired performers, but Bruno Sammartino isn't your typical retiree.
The profiting doesn't end just there, either. As part of the agreement, WWE will be involving Bruno Sammartino in future DVD releases, including one that is centered around his career.
A lot of fans hate it when WWE is held hostage in negotiations (i.e., Jeff Jarrett threatening to leave with the Intercontinental Championship). However, there shouldn't be any heat toward Bruno Sammartino for doing this.
Regardless of how you feel about the guy personally (especially after the incident with Steve Austin), Bruno Sammartino deserves this. He's a certified legend in the business and should be rewarded for his lifetime of work.
One of the biggest complaints about the WWE Hall of Fame is that it lacks credibility because of some very notable omissions. While inducting Bruno Sammartino doesn't eliminate all of those complaints, it does get rid of quite a bit of them.
Bruno Sammartino held WWE hostage, and that's quite alright.
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