Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Whether you’re a fan of professional wrestling or just a fan of awesome Pittsburgh icons, you’ll want to tune in at 10 p.m. tonight to the USA Network (Comcast channel 823) to watch Bruno Sammartino’s induction into the WWE’s Hall of Fame.
The ceremony was actually held this past Saturday in front of a sell-out crowd at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Tonight’s broadcast features highlights from that event along with Sammartino’s full induction.
Sammartino, who held the company’s championship longer than any other pro, has fought induction into the hall for years after falling out with the organization’s head, Vince McMahon over the adult-oriented, “vulgar” storylines and harsh language the company began using in the late-1990s, also known as the “Attitude Era.”
For years, Sammartino had rebuffed the WWE’s overtures to join the Hall Fame until he met a few months ago with McMahon’s son-in-law, a performer and company executive known as Triple H. He convinced Sammartino that the company had changed creatively and urged him to join the hall of fame.
Now, local fans shouldn’t get too excited and start planning pilgrimages to the WWE’s hall to visit Bruno’s tights and boots, because it only exists on paper, er, in cyberspace.
But if you actually want to visit a wrestling hall of fame, one does actually exist in the physical world. The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame is located in Amsterdam, NY. And Sammartino was inducted into that hall, which comes complete with a museum you can actually visit, in 2002. If you make the drive check out Sammartino’s pal and fellow Pittsburgher Dominic Denucci, who was inducted last year.