Bruno Sammartino reportedly approached the WWE Hall of Fame offer from Triple H as purely a business decision, giving Triple H a price that he thought would be turned down. Bruno didn’t think the deal would go through and eventually believed that Vince McMahon likely nixed the deal due to his asking price. The price is apparently in line with what WWE would pay one of their top stars for a WrestleMania pay off. Nobody going into the Hall had ever asked a deal anywhere near what Bruno asked. Sammartino ended up getting a significant deal.
Vince McMahon and Bruno still have not spoken as Triple H has handled the deal. Triple H is hoping to get Vince and Bruno together to talk in April. Regarding Triple H’s talks with Bruno, he portrayed himself as a student and a fan of Sammartino’s era. Triple H told Bruno from the start that WWE cleaned up their product and that when he got more power, he wanted to make WWE’s product similar to the product that Sammartino headlined years ago.
One of the connections between Bruno and WWE is Pittsburgh neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Maroon. Maroon had operated previously on Bruno and worked on WWE’s medical team. Sammartino credits Maroon with keeping him out of a wheelchair after successful back surgery years ago. Sammartino viewed Maroon in high regard when he spoke of changes that had been made when it came to the health of WWE’s performers and their strict drug testing.
Sammartino said during negotiations that if the deal didn’t happen this year, he was not open to it any time in the future. The deal will see Sammartino be involved with WWE after his Hall of Fame induction. Sammartino was asked to be part of DVD’s on his era. He will also do voice-overs for some of his matches and a straight Sammartino DVD release is likely. Sammartino will also appear on WWE’s Legends Roundtable shows at times.
(Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter)