***UPDATE: It was announced and confirmed on February 4th, 2013 that Bruno Sammartino has accepted and will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013***
Bill Apter, a professional wrestling journalist, is best known for the pro wrestling news magazines which he edited and photographed matches from the 1970s to the present. The magazine he became most prominently known for was the highly respected Pro Wrestling Illustrated, and he would later move on to WOW Magazine, Fighting Spirit Magazine, and now is the face of 1Wrestling.com. After professional wrestling legend Bruno Sammartino recently again refused induction into the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame, Apter took to the internet to post an open letter to Sammartino, asking him to reconsider joining the WWE’s Hall, for the sake of the history of the business they love and the fans who respect where the sport (yes, S-P-O-R-T) came from.
Here’s some background:
Bruno Leopoldo Francesco Sammartino, born October 6, 1935, is a retired professional wrestler who is best known for being the longest-running champion of the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF, now World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE), as he held the world heavyweight championship for over 11 years total across two reigns, as well as the longest single WWE Championship reign in professional wrestling history (at 8 years). Sammartino’s wrestling style was predominately mat-oriented — which was typical of wrestlers from his era — and his phyiscal brawling, powerful moveset, and natural charisma helped him become the most popular wrestler in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. In his retirement, Sammartino has publicly criticized the direction of modern professional wrestling, particularly the storylines, theatrics, and controversies of drug and steroid abuse. Most of his criticism is directed at WWE Chairman Vince McMahon for the business’ change of presentation to entertainment. Sammartino refused to provide commentary on WWE-produced retrospectives of his career, and has rejected many invitations by the WWE to be inducted into its Hall of Fame.
Click the link below to read Bill Apter’s Open Letter to Bruno Sammartino turning down a WWE Hall of Fame induction request. Apter makes an excellent case for Bruno to accept the induction out of respect of the what he has done for the business and what the business had done for him (mainly the old school fan base). Personally, I really, REALLY hope Mr. Sammartino accepts the induction in the future and puts the politics behind for the sake of his passionate fans (a’la Bret “The Hitman” Hart in 2006, especially considering those circumstances).