Caldwell: Looking to the future, do you ever see yourself aligning with WWE in any way, shape, or form?
Sammartino: No, absolutely not. End of the question. They offered the Hall of Fame several times and I had absolutely nothing to do with it. What kind of a person would I be to accept their Hall of Fame after I've been so outspoken against everything that they stand for? I would be the biggest hypocrite in the world.
Caldwell: What do you make of WWE's Hall of Fame? Is it purely Vince pushing his agenda?
Sammartino: Yeah! Tell me something. How did Pete Rose qualify for the Hall of Fame?
Caldwell: He made two appearances at WrestleMania.
Sammartino: And does that qualify him?
Caldwell: No way.
Sammartino: Let me say something about this guy named Dudley. He used to be a gopher for his dad. He would get coffee at the arena and he's in the Hall of Fame. He was a nice, nice guy, that Dudley. The only connection he had to wrestling was that he was a gopher for Vince McMahon Sr. years ago. Then, Jr. put him into the Hall of Fame. How can anyone take a Hall of Fame seriously? It's a joke for God's sake. How does one qualify for the Hall of Fame? Vince McMahon thinks about how would be good for the Hall of Fame. 'Who can we get this year? Let's see, so and so and so and so would be good selections.' That's a Hall of Fame?
Caldwell: The qualifications aren't exactly set in stone and people aren't voting in.
Sammartino: There is one Hall of Fame that offered me a spot. The (Pro Wrestling) Hall of Fame in Iowa talked to me about it. A fellow by the name of Mike Chapman said they were considering me and I was flattered by that. That's something that, when I see the amateurs and professionals that are in there, you can feel good about. But the McMahons? Give me a break. What kind of a Hall of Fame is that?
Caldwell: Would you consider the invitation to a more legitimate Hall of Fame compared to WWE?
Sammartino: There's no comparison. There's a board of directors and they vote on the candidates before they are accepted. I have been invited and I am considering it. It would be up to the board if they decide whether I belong or not.
Caldwell: Does that decision have any affect on legitimating your career or have you done enough in the business?
Sammartino: No. I don't need anything to legitimize my career. It's up to the fans. They decide. Not a Hall of Fame; it's whether the fans believe in you. Everywhere I go today to make an appearance, people come up to me and say they used to enjoy watching me wrestle. Some guys told me they thought I was a great wrestler and role model for me. They gave you such wonderful compliments that mean more than any Hall of Fame.
Caldwell: That's a very good way of looking at it. Do you think your mentality is unique and most wrestlers need some form of confirmation beyond fan complements?
Sammartino: I can't speak for others. We're all different. Like myself, I enjoy my privacy. I'm not a guy who guys out hoping that people recognize me. If they do, I try to go out of my way to be nice to them. If they don't, that's better. Some people, if they're not recognized or seen, they feel depressed and it hurts them. Everyone has their needs. If you see my life today, some people might think it's boring. It's the happiest time of my life. I get up early. I work out for a bit in my gym with my weights. The next day, I do road work. After that, I come home, have coffee, read the paper, and have a light breakfast. I get on my recliner and take a little snooze. If my wife and I have some things to do, we go out and take care of errands. We go back to the old country once a year and sometimes we take a cruise. Believe me, I love my life and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. I'm not looking for anything else.
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