Bruno Sammartino Talks WWE Under HHH, If He'll Meet With Vince Before The HOF, Current Stars
When he went into professional wrestling, he was very good at adjusting and displaying a lot of great moves. It was something that the fans could look at a say, hey, that's wrestling. You know what I mean?
Today, I'm watching and I see a lot of these guys and they're very athletic. They work hard and they move well. With the WWE, I'm still trying to learn all the names. There's [John] Cena of course and there's a guy and I wrestled his father and grandfather believe it or not. [Laughs.] I'm talking about Randy Orton.
I've seen this guy [Jack] Swagger and he seemed pretty talented. There's this guy [CM] Punk, even though he's a villain and says these kind of crazy things, but watching him wrestle, he performs well. There's a number of them do these crazy acrobatic things off the top rope which, of course, is not something that I would have ever done or could do. But, we were different and we did more in-ring stuff and wrestling in my day. Also, the size of the individuals that do these triple somersaults and some of the acrobatic things they do. [Laughs.]
In my day, I, myself, in my prime, in the late-'50's-mid-'70's I was about 270-275. After I broke my neck and I was in the hospital for a month or so, I dropped the weight to about 250 and I kept that weight until I retired.
But, we had guys like Don Leo Jonathan; 6'7", 350 pounds. Big Bill Miller; 6'6", 330 pounds. Bobo Brazil; 6'5", 320 pounds. Monsoon; 6'5" 420 pounds. We had a lot of giants in those days. So, the wrestling was quite a bit different than it is now.
Wrestling INC: I know you get this question a lot, but; if you could choose just one name to induct you, who would that be?
Bruno: You know what? I wish I could tell you, that's the bad thing. I'd like Dominic Denucci for one because he and I not only came from the same neck of the woods in the old country but we've been friends for many years. We spent time in Australian together wrestling. Although he was a big star in Australia, we stayed there for a whole year. I used to just go for three weeks at a time. I've been in Japan with Dominic -- he's wrestled all over the world.
But, I've known him for all these years, he's been a personal friend, he's a good guy. So, I would certainly be proud to have him. But, there are other people I would accept. But, WWE has asked me in a very nice way to allow them to make some suggestions. They would like someone that's worldly, somebody that's really well known because they say that want to make it a special introduction and all that.
So, I told them, 'Sure, come up with some names and let's kick those names around. Whether it be the ones that you might come up with or somebody that I might come up with.' So, there's plenty of time for it yet and no decision has really been made.
If I couldn't have a Dominic Denucci if it was my choices, I would go with an Ivan Koloff because he's the guy that took the belt from me. He made an impact and I think that might be appropriate. Another guy I made a great impact with was Larry Zbyszko. I mean, what a way to end my career.
We sold out every arena and turned them away by the thousands, including Shea Stadium. He used to be my protégé and I actually helped him get into wrestling. So, he would be in consideration of course.
But, again, I'm going to see what they come up with. Then, we have to get our heads together and see what we can agree with.
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