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Review of "Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling's World Champion"  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Thu Jan 28th, 2016 06:32 am
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freebirdsforever2001
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I've read 266 pages so far and it's in my top 3 wrestling books I've ever read.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 28th, 2016 06:58 am
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HBF



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KGB wrote: Superstar wrote: What's a shame to me is that had he continued doing what he'd done for the prior 6-7 years, he would have been an extremely interesting guy to have on the card whether as a secondary babyface (considering the touring schedule, he'd have made a lot of cash), or if Vince finally convinced him to somehow turn heel and fight Hogan.

I wonder if he'd have been up for that, though.  Yes, he did shots in Florida, St. Louis, and Japan as WWF champ, but he seemed to relish living in Connecticut, where most of the WWF territory was driveable for him, where he could get home most nights.  I think the grind of WWF travel in the second half of the 80s would have been a huge turnoff for him.
I listened to a great shoot with Bob and that's one of the things he confirmed. His decision not to go heel was to keep heat off his daughter in middle school. That's living the kayfabe dream, baby.



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 Posted: Thu Feb 4th, 2016 04:00 am
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freebirdsforever2001
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Haven't gotten any farther in my reading, still can't wait to read the rest.



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 Posted: Sun Feb 21st, 2016 08:34 pm
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freebirdsforever2001
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Getting near the end of the book and I have to say it might be the best wrestling book I've ever read.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 09:19 pm
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KGB

 

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Just thinking of one thing about this book that made me roll my eyes, which is Backlund's claim that in his day refs didn't know the finish to matches and so guys had to be careful to kick out in time. He eventually claims that the ref in his match with the Iron Sheik (who was it, Dick Kroll? Dick Woehrle?) didn't know the finish ahead of time which is why he looked so shocked. Come on! The angle was that he hadn't seen the towel get thrown in. So what if it had come from a fan? Would he still call for the bell? I can't believe Bob's co-author couldn't get him to drop that bit of nonsense from an otherwise honest account of the business.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 09:22 pm
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beejmi
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Dick Kroll btw

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 Posted: Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 09:32 pm
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srossi

 

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KGB wrote: Just thinking of one thing about this book that made me roll my eyes, which is Backlund's claim that in his day refs didn't know the finish to matches and so guys had to be careful to kick out in time. He eventually claims that the ref in his match with the Iron Sheik (who was it, Dick Kroll? Dick Woehrle?) didn't know the finish ahead of time which is why he looked so shocked. Come on! The angle was that he hadn't seen the towel get thrown in. So what if it had come from a fan? Would he still call for the bell? I can't believe Bob's co-author couldn't get him to drop that bit of nonsense from an otherwise honest account of the business.
That stuck out to me too and I kept forgetting to post about it.  Even for more traditional finishes, I think the ref really needs to know the finish.  Now back in the '70 and early '80s there were a TON of botched finishes compared to today.  Seriously, watch any MSG house show and there seems to be at least one per show where the 3 count is made and the match continues or a 2 count is made and the match ends, because the ref and the workers weren't on the same page.  This was business-exposing more than any Young Bucks match ever could be.  So I can buy this to a degree, but the scripted finish was still the finish.  It is not as Backlund says that if you're supposed to win and you don't get the shoulder up in time you're out of luck.  No, what happens is the match continues anyway after some standing around and talking and the match looks like shit.  So I'm not sure if this is just really bad referees (especially the commission guys) or the finish really not being communicated, but I'm betting the former.  Also, in the particular case of the towel, just watch the match a few times and you know Kroll knows it's coming.  There's no doubt about that one.     

Last edited on Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 09:33 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 09:35 pm
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tamalie
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Indeed. The WWF likely had Dick Kroll in the ring in order to ensure the finish was not botched.

Last edited on Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 09:35 pm by tamalie

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 Posted: Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 09:39 pm
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srossi

 

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By the way, I don't think Backlund is "lying".  The book seems very honest to the best of Backlund's ability and fact-checked with accurate dates/locations by the co-author, who is a big fan of the era.  And Backlund never pretends that anything is a shoot.  It just goes to show you that these guys brains get scrambled and years go by and none of them have any idea the difference between fact and fiction anymore.  At some point, probably decades ago, he convinced himself of this ridiculous misstatement and now he believes it.  If one of the more honest books could have such a huge pile of bullshit in it, imagine a Hogan or Piper book. 

Last edited on Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 09:41 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 10:15 pm
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srossi wrote: By the way, I don't think Backlund is "lying".  The book seems very honest to the best of Backlund's ability and fact-checked with accurate dates/locations by the co-author, who is a big fan of the era.  And Backlund never pretends that anything is a shoot.  It just goes to show you that these guys brains get scrambled and years go by and none of them have any idea the difference between fact and fiction anymore.  At some point, probably decades ago, he convinced himself of this ridiculous misstatement and now he believes it.  If one of the more honest books could have such a huge pile of bullshit in it, imagine a Hogan or Piper book. Fully agree with this. From conversations I've had with Doc Delaware, he says Bob is approachable but a nutball with kayfabe. It's likely he's gotten truth and and fiction mixed about things and why I've never had much desire to meet him.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 11:04 pm
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KGB

 

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beejmi wrote: Dick Kroll btw

Reminds of the movie The Whoopee Boys, when Paul Rodriguez and Taylor Negron are discussing the Dick Sargeant/Dick York change in Bewitched.  "You can't just change Dicks mid-stream!" 



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