This year’s edition of the WWE Hall of Fame could be the most prestigious one yet.
This year’s Hall of Fame class is worthy of induction; Mick Foley, Trish Stratus and Bob Backlund are big names in the wrestling world. Nevertheless, one name brings a smile to wrestling fans around the world: Bruno Sammartino.
For many fans Sammartino’s induction is an iconic moment for wrestling.
Sammartino’s problems with the WWE have been well documented. According to an interview with WWE.com, credit goes to Triple H for convincing Sammartino that business had changed for the better, thus convincing the living legend to accept the offer for induction.
Expect a standing ovation from around the world when Sammartino takes the podium. Sammartino should go down not just as a legend, but also as a pioneer. He sold out Madison Square Garden 187 times, a truly unheard of standing record.
Sammartino set off a chain reaction of headliners and legends to follow in his footsteps. Superstar Billy Graham ended his 2,803-day reign as WWWF Champion. He went on to be the “man” in the wrestling world. Hulk Hogan followed in Graham’s footsteps, only as a face opposed to Graham’s heel.
Hogan inspired a generation of wrestlers and WWE Superstars to take over the wrestling world. However, Sammartino paved the way for wrestling to headline in marquee arenas. Who can say things for the WWE would have turned out the same if Sammartino hadn't become the legend he is today?
Bruno Sammartino is synonymous with the WWE. He represents a thriving generation well before The Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection and prior to the Attitude Era. He was the WWE’s first Superstar, and there is no higher honor than his Hall of Fame induction.
What does the Hall of Fame get from inducting Sammartino? Sammartino brings worldwide credibility, sorely needed for the Hall.
Many prestigious names have been inducted with reverence. Hulk Hogan brought the WWE mainstream. Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels will go down as the best in-ring performers of their generations. Stone Cold Steve Austin led the Attitude Era’s revolution. Bret Hart, Edge and others represent the best the WWE ever had. Sammartino is in a class of his own.
Look at the mainstream news. The announcement of Sammartino’s introduction brought him coverage from all over the world, including ESPN. He brings legitimacy to the WWE. He makes the Hall of Fame relevant on a national and international scale.
Bruno Sammartino’s induction will be iconic, well deserved and worthy. Frankly, no one merits this honor more than Bruno Sammartino.