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PWTORCH EXCLUSIVE: What did Sammartino say about Triple H in 2006 interview discussing WWE's new Wellness Policy?

Feb 6, 2013 - 2:07:14 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

Sammartino_3.jpg



One of the key reasons why Bruno Sammartino accepted a Hall of Fame invitation this year is that he believes positive changes have been made to WWE's drug-testing policy. In a PWTorch exclusive interview in Spring 2006, Sammartino explained his position against WWE for their TV content and handling of drug-testing. He also referenced Triple H, who brokered the deal that brought Sammartino back into the fold seven years later.

The following is an excerpt from the Sammartino interview in Spring 2006.

James Caldwell: WWE recently instituted a new drug policy. How big a move do you think that is if WWE carries out to the letter?

Sammartino: If they carry out to the letter and it’s an independent organization - remember they had drug testing before years ago (laughs) and it was very strange that a few little apples got caught and didn’t pass the test, but there were a lot of big fish that everybody knew were big time steroids users who always passed their test. How legitimate were those tests? I have a big question mark on anything they do until I hear about a real serious organization with people who over-look the legitimacy of such testing.

Caldwell: Let’s say WWE pulls a wrestler right before WrestleMania if he tests positive, would that be enough for you to say that maybe WWE is thinking differently and it won’t be the same?

Sammartino: It all depends on what names they pull.

Caldwell: A name like Triple H.

Sammartino: Yeah, like Triple H, but I don’t even know who the top guys are because I refuse to watch the show. I never watch. I couldn’t even name you a bunch of guys because I don’t know these people’s names. Let’s say you have five guys like Triple H and this guy, Batista - I’ve heard him. Take five or six of these top guys who and show me before WrestleMania how many of these people fail a drug test and I’ll say there might be something to the drug testing.

Earlier in the Interview...

Caldwell: Do you think that getting the audience to respect wrestling requires having more athletic wrestlers and does that mean you have to eliminate some of the big muscle guys who are on steroids?

Sammartino: You don't have to eliminate muscle guys if they're natural. Do away with all of the chemicals and do away with that garbage. Bring in guys who work hard in the gym, are athletic, and can go out there in the ring and provide the kind of action that people would be entertained by and respect without looking at it as a freak show. In my opinion, that's what it has become.

Caldwell: Do you think steroids are such a big issue in wrestling that the only way to resolve the problem is if wrestling dies off as you said?

Sammartino: (sigh) Well, I don't know why they (promotions) can't do honest-to-goodness legitimate testing on these guys and have them work out more at the gym to develop the bodies. It wouldn't be necessarily the same kind (of body) you would get by using steroids. But, then again, do people really care more about how freakish a guy looks or how his performance is in the ring?

Fast-forward to 2013 when Sammartino accepted the Hall of Fame invitation.

WWEClassics.com: This is obviously an historic announcement, but let’s start off with the elephant in the room. Why now, Bruno? Why did you feel like this was the time to go into the WWE Hall of Fame?

Sammartino: The main reason would be Triple H. He’s the one who contacted me months ago and we got acquainted with each other. We had only met once, very, very briefly. I only really knew Triple H as a Superstar with WWE, but in person I think we only met for maybe 20 seconds... Since then, Triple H contacted me and he started telling me everything that was going on with WWE. There had been issues and things that I was not happy with, but when I saw the changes, I was very, very impressed.

[ FYI: Sammartino's entire six-part interview can be found in the VIP-exclusive Torch Talk Library . NOT VIP? Find out how to become a VIP member by clicking here at PWTORCH.COM ]

[Torch photo credit Wade Keller (c) PWTorch.com]


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