Larry Zbyszko was instrumental in helping WWE Land Big HOF Induction

The WWE Hall of Fame contains some huge names that WWE has featured over the years, but there is only one longest reigning WWE champion of all time and his name is Bruno Sammartino.

While on Facebook with “Captain’s Corner,” WWE Hall of Famer Larry Zbyszko revealed that he was instrumental in bringing his mentor, Bruno Sammartino, into a WWE HOF induction.

“I played an important role in talking to Bruno,” Zbyszko said. “WWE approached me in 2012 because they always wanted Bruno in the Hall of Fame, and Bruno said he would never be in the Hall of Fame years before. But then, you know, they came up to me and they asked me if I could talk to him… I wanted Bruno in the Hall of Fame and [Madison Square] Garden was perfect, and then Bruno, I talked to him for a few months and then he talked to some other people and he realized the WWE was going to be a great company.

“…His only thing was, ‘I don’t want people to think I’m a hypocrite’. I said, ‘A what?’ He said a few years earlier that he would never do it. I said, ‘Well, Bruno, no one will think you’re a hypocrite. Everyone wants you in the Hall of Fame’… Bruno said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it’. So it all worked out great and it was a happy ending for everyone.”

In 2013, Sammartino entered the WWE Hall of Fame and was inducted by his protégé, Zbyszko. The two had a legendary feud, with Zbyszko turning against Sammartino in 1979. Sammartino sadly passed away on April 18, 2018 at the age of 82.

Sammartino had a storied career, becoming the second ever WWE champion, beating Buddy Rogers in 1963 and then holding on to an extraordinarily impressive 2,803 days, which amounted to more than seven years. Sammartino lost the championship to Ivan Koloff in less than 15 minutes. Sammartino would take the gold in 1973 by beating Stan Stasiak, this time for over three years – still a very long and impressive run with the title before dropping it to Superstar Billy Graham.

Zbyszko did not find as much single success as Sammartino. However, the living legend was able to win the AWA World Heavyweight Championship in the closing days of his career in 2008. Zbyszko last wrestled in April 2015 at an independent event after his 40+ year career.

In 2015, two years after his mentor moved to the WWE HOF, Zbyszko found himself in the same position, when he was inducted into the HOF during the WrestleMania 31 weekend.

If you use quotes from this article, please include “Captain’s Corner” with ah/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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