Sammartino & Backlund To Appear At WWE HOF Ceremony?
World Wrestling Entertainment announced this afternoon that Abdullah the Butcher will inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 2 in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s interesting to note that WWE.com’s bio on The Butcher notes that while he never brawled two-time WWE Champion Bruno Sammartino or went the distance with Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden, all three wrestling icons will be together when he’s inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
The text reads: “Still active today even though he’s in his 70s, The Butcher has battled every legend in nearly every promotion on the planet — except WWE. Despite his decades in the ring, Abdullah never brawled with Bruno Sammartino for the WWE Championship or went the distance with Bob Backlund in Madison Square Garden. These are dream matches that will never happen, but these icons will all be together when The Butcher takes his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011.”
It appears far fetched that Sammartino would involve himself with WWE considering that he has been highly critical of the organization’s lurid storylines, over-the-top theatrics, and drug and steroid abuse since his retirement from in-ring competition in 1987. The living legend he has been particularly critical of Vince McMahon, saying that “Junior” has been detrimental to his father’s creation. Sammartino has refused induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, as well as to provide commentary on retrospectives of his career.
Meanwhile, Backlund reportedly refused an invitation into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004 because he didn’t consider himself retired. He competed for TNA Wrestling in 2007 at the age of 58 and made an appearance at the 15th Anniversary of Raw on December 10 of that year, participating in the 15th Anniversary battle royal.