I asked Bruno about when WWE approached him and why he turned it down. Sammartino said that Triple H (who he described as a "gentleman" numerous times) had called him, noting that he wanted to open "communications" since they had never spoken and he knew the bad blood between Vince McMahon and Bruno. He explained to Sammartino how much he "respected the wrestling of yesteryear" and was trying to steer the business away from the raunchier aspects back to something better. He noted that Wrestlemania and the Hall of Fame would be in the New York-New Jersey area, with the Hall possibly in Madison Square Garden, and felt the fans would like to see Bruno inducted there.
Sammartino, whiled noting that he liked what he heard from HHH and felt he was a gentleman, declined as there was no physical Hall of Fame and since WWE had inducted actors and boxers and others who aren't wrestlers into the Hall, he couldn't get behind the Hall and want to be inducted into it. Sammartino also noted that the past issues were also part of the problem and admitted that while "you never know what tomorrow will bring", he couldn't see himself being involved with WWE.
Sammartino said that he appreciated the offer and the kindness and the way they were going to treat him, he couldn't "in good conscience" accept the offer.
I asked Sammartino whether the conversation with HHH could at least open the doors for Bruno to be more involved with WWE projects such as historical features and documentaries. Sammartino said Triple H was a nice guy. "I'd have no problem having any conversation with him at anytime about anything", but as far as being involved with them, "at this point, I have no interest whatsoever."
Sammartino said he was surprised they even reached out to him and felt this time, it was different because it was HHH who reached out as opposed to someone's lawyer or someone like that.
When asked about what changes WWE could make to get him to reconsider, Sammartino admitted that "maybe I'm stubborn in my own way, but [Vince McMahon] is stubborn in his own way and I don't know that we could ever agree totally on anything. So, I don't see anything happening as long as Vince McMahon is in the company. I really don't."
Sammartino also noted a documentary on his life has been completed and would be seen within the next year. A feature film on his life is still in the works.
During the interview, we also discussed Bruno's recent visit to ROH, how his health is today following heart surgery, the secret to happiness and life and more.
You can listen to the entire interview in the Elite section as well as a three hour interview with 1980s star George South, a 90 minute interview with ECW star Tony Mamaluke as well as interviews with Cliff Compton, Jerry Lynn, ROH TV champion Adam Cole, Lucha Libre USA's top heel RJ Brewer, Michael Elgin and Devon "Crowbar" Storm conducted over the last 10 days, plus HOURS of original audio features in our ad-free PWINSIDERELITE.COM website! You can listen to EVERYTHING we have to offer, uncut and in its entirety, in the PWInsider Elite section by clicking here to subscribe.