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Review of "Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling's World Champion"  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Wed Sep 30th, 2015 01:42 am
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Might be have to a must get for Christmas.



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 Posted: Wed Sep 30th, 2015 07:39 pm
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WongLee
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Finished the book and to me this is the greatest wrestling book ever written. To pick up from my last post, Bob went over his peak years of 1981 and 1982 where the WWF was awash in great heels who could all work. Then into 1983 where it starts to fall apart. Bob admits when he fucked up like his over-reaction to Kung Fu Billy Graham ripping up the belt. He had kind words on about 95% of the guys he worked with. The only ones he wasn't too hot on were Stan Hansen, Eddie Gilbert, Angelo Mosca and my personal favorite Nazi after Hermann Goering, Bulldog Brower. Bob put to rest the rumor that he wouldn't drop the strap to Eadie because he wasn't a wrestler. He said Vince the Elder told him he was losing the strap to Sheiky at the 12/26/83 MSG show on the 12/3/83 TV tapings. He goes into quite a lot of detail about the NWA/WWF unification match with Flair. Naitch was actually afraid Bob was going to shoot on him and asked Bob not to hurt him before they went out. If Bob had his way, Vince Sr. would achieve sainthood before that slattern Mother Teresa. He touched briefly on his comeback and even had kind words about Kevin Nash. I couldn't recommend this book any higher to anyone who watched WWWF/WWF wrestling before Hulkamania.



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 Posted: Wed Sep 30th, 2015 09:18 pm
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bpickering
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WongLee wrote: Finished the book and to me this is the greatest wrestling book ever written. To pick up from my last post, Bob went over his peak years of 1981 and 1982 where the WWF was awash in great heels who could all work. Then into 1983 where it starts to fall apart. Bob admits when he fucked up like his over-reaction to Kung Fu Billy Graham ripping up the belt. He had kind words on about 95% of the guys he worked with. The only ones he wasn't too hot on were Stan Hansen, Eddie Gilbert, Angelo Mosca and my personal favorite Nazi after Hermann Goering, Bulldog Brower. Bob put to rest the rumor that he wouldn't drop the strap to Eadie because he wasn't a wrestler. He said Vince the Elder told him he was losing the strap to Sheiky at the 12/26/83 MSG show on the 12/3/83 TV tapings. He goes into quite a lot of detail about the NWA/WWF unification match with Flair. Naitch was actually afraid Bob was going to shoot on him and asked Bob not to hurt him before they went out. If Bob had his way, Vince Sr. would achieve sainthood before that slattern Mother Teresa. He touched briefly on his comeback and even had kind words about Kevin Nash. I couldn't recommend this book any higher to anyone who watched WWWF/WWF wrestling before Hulkamania.
What did he say about Gilbert?



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 Posted: Wed Sep 30th, 2015 09:48 pm
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WongLee
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When Gilbert came into the territory, Vince Sr. actually really did ask Bob to mentor him. Even in the WWF, Gilbert had a raging drug problem and Vince the Elder wanted Backlund to help keep Eddie in line because Bob really didn't have any bad habits. After about two weeks Backlund said fuck this shit, this kid doesn't want to help himself at all. Another few weeks later they are both on a card in Springfield MA and Gilbert was so fucked up he could barely stand up in the ring. Bob completely broke kayfabe and went out to the ring in the middle of Gilberts match and dragged him back to the locker room before he killed himself or his opponent. Vince Sr. got wind of it and Backlund was relieved of his babysitting duties much to Bob's relief.



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 Posted: Wed Sep 30th, 2015 09:51 pm
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WongLee wrote: Another few weeks later they are both on a card in Springfield MA and Gilbert was so fucked up he could barely stand up in the ring. Bob completely broke kayfabe and went out to the ring in the middle of Gilberts match and dragged him back to the locker room before he killed himself or his opponent. Vince Sr. got wind of it and Backlund was relieved of his babysitting duties much to Bob's relief.
I'd like to see results from Springfield that confirm that incident.  I have my doubts that it happened.



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 Posted: Wed Sep 30th, 2015 10:48 pm
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KGB

 

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WongLee wrote:  He said Vince the Elder told him he was losing the strap to Sheiky at the 12/26/83 MSG show on the 12/3/83 TV tapings.

Does anyone know exactly when Jr. got Hogan's committment?  Because it would seem that as soon as Hogan put his name on a contract, Backlund's reign was all but over.  Does Bob say anything in the book about what he knew regarding Vinnie's plans for Hogan and how it would affect his status with the company?

I'm really looking forward to getting this book. 



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 Posted: Wed Sep 30th, 2015 10:49 pm
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In working on a Gilbert record book, which is far from complete... There is a 12/04/83 Springfield show where Gilbert beat Swede Hanson but Backlund is not on the show. The on camera mentoring stuff started in 1983. Gilbert came back from his car crash after about 9 weeks, and even after the Masked Superstar reinjury angle, he worked a tour of Japan while selling it. I can imagine Eddie on painkillers might have been part of that equation.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 30th, 2015 10:50 pm
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12/04/82 vs Swede, can't edit from my phone..

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 Posted: Wed Sep 30th, 2015 10:53 pm
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One Fan Gang wrote: In working on a Gilbert record book, which is far from complete... There is a 12/04/83 Springfield show where Gilbert beat Swede Hanson but Backlund is not on the show. The on camera mentoring stuff started in 1983. Gilbert came back from his car crash after about 9 weeks, and even after the Masked Superstar reinjury angle, he worked a tour of Japan while selling it. I can imagine Eddie on painkillers might have been part of that equation.
If Backlund dragged Gilbert to the back in the middle of the match, the result should be a countout loss or no-contest.  I don't know how complete WWF Springfield results are for '82-'83, but it seems like it shouldn't be too hard to find if it happened.  I kinda doubt it though. 

I also have to question the necessity of Backlund getting involved.  I imagine Swede or any veteran heel at the time who was working with a kid too impaired to take care of them properly would be able to handle the situation himself, swiftly and violently.  They wouldn't be waiting for Backlund to help them out. 

Last edited on Wed Sep 30th, 2015 10:56 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Wed Sep 30th, 2015 11:03 pm
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WongLee
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srossi wrote: WongLee wrote: Another few weeks later they are both on a card in Springfield MA and Gilbert was so fucked up he could barely stand up in the ring. Bob completely broke kayfabe and went out to the ring in the middle of Gilberts match and dragged him back to the locker room before he killed himself or his opponent. Vince Sr. got wind of it and Backlund was relieved of his babysitting duties much to Bob's relief.
I'd like to see results from Springfield that confirm that incident.  I have my doubts that it happened.

How dare you doubt Bob.
Actually the story does reek of wrestling book bullshit. However, virtually everything else in the book seems right on the money so why would Backlund lie. No one remembers Eddie Gilbert so there's no celebrity recognition. I checked all my '82 and '83 Massachusetts stuff and couldn't find anything even though there were at least 5 Springfield cards I had where Gilbert and Backlund were on the same card. Who knows....



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 Posted: Wed Sep 30th, 2015 11:06 pm
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srossi

 

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WongLee wrote: srossi wrote: WongLee wrote: Another few weeks later they are both on a card in Springfield MA and Gilbert was so fucked up he could barely stand up in the ring. Bob completely broke kayfabe and went out to the ring in the middle of Gilberts match and dragged him back to the locker room before he killed himself or his opponent. Vince Sr. got wind of it and Backlund was relieved of his babysitting duties much to Bob's relief.
I'd like to see results from Springfield that confirm that incident.  I have my doubts that it happened.

How dare you doubt Bob.


I would never doubt El Dandy, but Bob's a different story. 



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 Posted: Wed Sep 30th, 2015 11:09 pm
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WongLee
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KGB wrote: WongLee wrote:  He said Vince the Elder told him he was losing the strap to Sheiky at the 12/26/83 MSG show on the 12/3/83 TV tapings.

Does anyone know exactly when Jr. got Hogan's committment?  Because it would seem that as soon as Hogan put his name on a contract, Backlund's reign was all but over.  Does Bob say anything in the book about what he knew regarding Vinnie's plans for Hogan and how it would affect his status with the company?

I'm really looking forward to getting this book. 

Backlund says he had no idea at all they were going to take the strap off him until the early December TV tapings. He didn't even know Hogan was coming in until a couple of weeks later and when they approached him to have Hogan come out to "second" him on TV in late December against the 9 Samoans, he knew Hogan would be the face of the company. Bob also said that Vinny Mac had told him he would be winning the strap back on the 1/84 MSG card after the 12/83 loss. However, a week later at the TV tapings, Vinny told him the plans had changed. Soon after that, Vinny started to plant the seed for Bob turning heel which he turned down flat.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2015 12:29 am
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WongLee wrote: KGB wrote: WongLee wrote:  He said Vince the Elder told him he was losing the strap to Sheiky at the 12/26/83 MSG show on the 12/3/83 TV tapings.

Does anyone know exactly when Jr. got Hogan's committment?  Because it would seem that as soon as Hogan put his name on a contract, Backlund's reign was all but over.  Does Bob say anything in the book about what he knew regarding Vinnie's plans for Hogan and how it would affect his status with the company?

I'm really looking forward to getting this book. 

Backlund says he had no idea at all they were going to take the strap off him until the early December TV tapings. He didn't even know Hogan was coming in until a couple of weeks later and when they approached him to have Hogan come out to "second" him on TV in late December against the 9 Samoans, he knew Hogan would be the face of the company. Bob also said that Vinny Mac had told him he would be winning the strap back on the 1/84 MSG card after the 12/83 loss. However, a week later at the TV tapings, Vinny told him the plans had changed. Soon after that, Vinny started to plant the seed for Bob turning heel which he turned down flat.

Come on.  Backlund had to know that any promise of winning the belt back in January was hogwash.  What would be the point in dropping it in the first place?  Knowing about Koloff, Stasiak, and, to an extent, Graham, he must have seen the writing on the wall even if he didn't know who would replace him.   



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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2015 01:18 am
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WongLee
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KGB wrote: WongLee wrote: KGB wrote: WongLee wrote:  He said Vince the Elder told him he was losing the strap to Sheiky at the 12/26/83 MSG show on the 12/3/83 TV tapings.

Does anyone know exactly when Jr. got Hogan's committment?  Because it would seem that as soon as Hogan put his name on a contract, Backlund's reign was all but over.  Does Bob say anything in the book about what he knew regarding Vinnie's plans for Hogan and how it would affect his status with the company?

I'm really looking forward to getting this book. 

Backlund says he had no idea at all they were going to take the strap off him until the early December TV tapings. He didn't even know Hogan was coming in until a couple of weeks later and when they approached him to have Hogan come out to "second" him on TV in late December against the 9 Samoans, he knew Hogan would be the face of the company. Bob also said that Vinny Mac had told him he would be winning the strap back on the 1/84 MSG card after the 12/83 loss. However, a week later at the TV tapings, Vinny told him the plans had changed. Soon after that, Vinny started to plant the seed for Bob turning heel which he turned down flat.

Come on.  Backlund had to know that any promise of winning the belt back in January was hogwash.  What would be the point in dropping it in the first place?  Knowing about Koloff, Stasiak, and, to an extent, Graham, he must have seen the writing on the wall even if he didn't know who would replace him.
According to the book, no. Throughout the entire book, Backlund made it clear that Vince the Elder went over everything with him twice a month. Once at the TV tapings, and then at MSG. By December of '83 the company was more or less in complete control of Vinny Mac. According to Backlund it was when he saw Hulk at the tapings he knew the jig was up. Sheiky supposedly was promised a one year run with the belt.
Title changes in the WW(W)F(E) were not always known ahead of time by the boys. Stasiak didn't know he was going over Pedro until the agent was laying out the match for him in the dressing room. Stasiak was completely surprised. Not sure about Koloff or if the 1971 locker room knew that Bruno had had his fill.



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BJWINDHAM MULLIGAN
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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2015 03:23 pm
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KGB

 

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My point is that given the fact that Koloff, Stasiak and Graham had all been short-term transitional champs from one babyface to another, why would Bob entertain the fantasy that he would be getting the belt back from Sheik? History showed that the long-term champ who dropped the belt didn't get it back (or, in the case of Bruno, had to wait a couple years).



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