Starting from 1993, WWE started honoring its Superstars who had become a legendary name in the business and had contributed immensely to WWE becoming such a huge success. The first WWE Superstar to be inducted was Andre the Giant, who was inducted posthumously. Since then, there have been a total of 204 inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame, as of 2019.
Being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame is surely a proud moment for these Superstars and legends. The entire grand ceremony and speeches make it a memorable event, where the entire WWE family comes together to celebrate the legacy of these Superstars. But there have been a few Superstars who have turned down this offer.
In this article, let's take a look at two Superstars who rejected being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and three others who later accepted, after first rejecting. Be sure to comment down and let us know your thoughts on the same.
#3 Rejected being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and later accepted: Bruno Sammartino
A legendary name in sports, Bruno Sammartino is best known for holding the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship for a record 4040 days across two reigns. But he was a huge critique of the entire "sports entertainment" side that Vince McMahon had taken WWE into.
WWE wanted to induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame before WrestleMania 29 in New Jersey, but the legend initially declined. Dave Meltzer mentioned the following-
HHH reached out to Bruno Sammartino recently in regard to the Hall of Fame in 2013, but Sammartino turned down the invitation. My impression is that neither side wanted it out, but Sammartino did make a point of saying HHH was a gentleman about the approach and very nice about it, but it just wasn't something he was looking at doing.... They had a nice talk and HHH asked if he could consider it and he'll call back in a week. Sammartino said that he didn't want to lead anyone on because he wasn't interested. HHH called back and gave him a pitch, but Sammartino turned him down, saying he's at the stage of life where he doesn't want to do anything that he will have regrets about doing, and if he accepted, he would have regrets. He explained to HHH his reasons.
But later, Bruno Sammartino agreed to get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013 after Triple H convinced him and addressed his issues about the state of wrestling. The WWE Hall of Famer had the following to say during an interview with WWE.com -
Triple H contacted me and started telling me all the things that had changed and everything that was going on with WWE. I started watching it after talking to him and when I saw it, I was very, very impressed.
Bruno Sammartino died on April 18, 2018, after multiple organ failure at the age of 82.