WWE Superstars, Legends and Hall of Famers react to Bruno Sammartino's Hall of Fame induction

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February 07, 2013

WWE Hall of Famer Howard Finkel chimed in with his own message for the first two-time WWE Champion. “Bruno was at the top of his game for many years and I’m thrilled that he will now be receiving the fruits of his labor with his induction,” Finkel said. “Welcome to the club, champ.”

Sammartino also received homage from some of WWE’s contemporary Superstars and even one of his fellow inductees, Trish Stratus.

“Bruno being inducted is long overdue,” Stratus said. “It’s like how the Hockey Hall of Fame would be incomplete without Wayne Gretzky; Bruno being inducted makes the WWE Hall of Fame complete. I'm absolutely honored that I'm going to be inducted in the same class as one of our industry’s greats.”

The Rock — currently holding the WWE Championship that Sammartino carried for years — took to Twitter to give his tribute.

“Congratulations Bruno Sammartino: 2013 #WWEHallOfFame,” The Great One tweeted. “You’re the greatest @WWE Champion of all time. Thank you for paving the way. #Hero.”

Even Michael Cole and JBL stopped bickering long enough to pay homage to Cole’s boyhood hero.

“I don’t know what has happened in the past between him and sports-entertainment, but Bruno Sammartino belongs in the Hall of Fame,” JBL said. “He sold out the Garden 187 nights. Most people go their entire career without 187 appearances in the Garden. Phenomenal record, what Bruno Sammartino did.”

Cole, a native of The Empire State, agreed with his broadcast partner. “[Bruno Sammartino] did so much for the Italian-American community in the Northeast — New York, Pittsburgh, Boston, all over the Northeastern part of the United States,” Cole concurred. “He became a hero for so many people.”

But the most moving tribute came from 2011 Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, whose best friend Triple H was instrumental in sealing Bruno’s inclusion into the Hall and whose candid, thoughtful remarks perfectly encapsulated The Living Legend’s long, strange journey into WWE’s most hallowed echelon.

“As a Hall of Famer, I feel that, respectfully, the Hall of Fame takes on a legitimacy [with Bruno] that, could be argued, was not there before,” Michaels told WWE.com. “The entrance of Bruno Sammartino is an example of the exclusivity, prestige and honor that should be the hallmark of any Hall of Fame.”

That’s a hard act to follow, but for what it’s worth, allow us to join in the chorus. Congratulations, Bruno. It’s good to have you home, and we’ll see you on April 6 for Madison Square Garden sellout No. 188.

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