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 Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2007 02:14 pm
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clawmaster
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Ron wrote:

So we have what?  Maybe 12 dates for Bob in the WWWF by the end of November of 1977.  and they are mainly TV dates.  Shows you how much he is being pushed in the WWW so far.  The Bob lovers talk about him being here during this time.  As you can see he really wasn't.  They have nothing to back it up about him being here and being pushed.

Now people can start to understand why the papers bad mouthed him, and called him a unknown, and ignored him as champion.  Plus the low attendance records he drew in Pennsylvania and Maine for his first year as champion.  Because he was unknown.  It is another reason why Graham had more return matches against a Champion than any other former champ.  It was to try to get Bob over in 1978.  Bob needed all the help he could get.  Patera and Arion were not drawing fans against Bob.

Even Graham couldn't get the fans back to see Bob in his rematches.  It kind of took the believability out of everything with Bob as champ.  Sure they cheered him.  But they would have cheered any face that took the title.  You had Bruno, and then Graham.  Then comes Bob who isn't even close to them.

And using MSG as a basis for drawing power is ridiculous because of the amount of people living in that city.  That venue should never be used to guage someone's drawing ability when there is milions of people living there.  If anything it should be making wrestling overall look bad by the percentage of fans coming out a month.

I hear all types of excuses for attendances. I love the possibility of the weather effecting it to save Bob.  Everyone loves to use MSG, so we will.  Snow Blizzard happening and, MSG sold out for Bruno vs Graham in the spring of 1976.  The papers using the headlines of  "The only Game in Town".  Now that is drawing power.  Bobs matches agains Patera with 580 some fans in a arena  that held over 3,500 is pretty bad.  And it was happeing in Maine as well as Pennsylvania.  Hell the papers said the attendance wasnt even worth mentioning with Bob headling shows in the beginning of 1978 right before he was booked to take the title.

As Peter Maivia once said to Vince, "Who did he beat McMahon?  When you beat me, you beat somebody, till then your nobody.",     Because Bob never had any real competition.  Mid card guys mean nothing in getting a worker over to the top.  Patera made money with Bruno.  He didnt make as much wih Bob, and the attendances prove that statement before people say Patera was bitter.


Drawing power is taking the Spectrum to something that had never been done before.  3 sellouts in a row.  With the papers reporting thousand are being turned away.  The WWWF dropped the ball again with these matches.  They could have rented another arena like MSG did and broacasted it to their.  Prism was broadcasting live so they could have easilly done it.  Those matches with the finalee being on February 20, 1977, could have rivaled MSG for attendance figures.  The papers were telling fans it was sold out and not to even tr to attend in person at the spectrum.  Graham took that attendance up monthly with every appearance till the 3 sell outs.  Bob instantly dropped that attendance with his first appearance their as champion.  I have always asked Bob lovers to give me attendance levels for Phila.   Show me his sell outs in a row.  They can't because he couldnt pull 3 off in a row, I doubr he did two.  Actually it wouldnt surprise me to find out that Graham is the only WWWF Champion to pull that off in that arena.

How would you like to be a mid card worker or even a opener for Graham, durring his reign at the sectrum?  Your making so much money now for that venue than you ever did before in the history of the Spectrum.  Then Bob comes in and the attendance drops 8 to 10,000 fans.  Everyone had to have felt that in their pockets.  Graham was indeed a money champion.  Everyone was making money.  And money was the name of the game.

I have listed his attendance records for the spectrum before, for the year of 1978.  It didnt matter who and what type of gimmick matches went on in the undercard. The attendance sucked because the believability was not with Bob.  He was down around the 10,000 mark a few times.   He never achived success their.  Philadelphia was never his home, actually Pennsylvania wasn't his home.
 



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 Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2007 02:16 pm
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clawmaster
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khawk replied to Ron:

:shock: I think we found the guy that's been whispering to Meltzer about Bob not being very good  all these years.

 

Have you ever given thought as to why Vince Sr. would hold onto Bob as Champ for so long if business was such a fall-off from the Graham reign? I'd have thought any wrestling promoter would have made changes ASAP if it was affectin gtheir bottom line.



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 Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2007 02:18 pm
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clawmaster
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clawmaster wrote:

I think what Ron was trying to say is Bob did not draw very well in 1978 because people were unfamiliar with him. After 1978, Bob drew better because fans were familiar with him. However there were certain places where Bob never was a draw. He couldn't draw that well in Boston so the McMahons rarely booked him there.



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 Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2007 04:25 pm
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beejmi
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The question of whether Backlund drew well is a never-ending question.

Basically there are the numbers. Typically the numbers don't look good at all.

One area I would disagree with Ron ~ I do think MSG attendance was relevant when "calculating" Backlund's success. MSG wasn't ALWAYS a guaranteed sellout. Just because the shows were in New York and there were millions of people there. MSG historically did have periods of non-sellouts.

The water gets muddy after that. Backlund definitely didn't get a strong push in his drive to the title. That definitely hurt him. The recycled challenger routine later in his reign didn't do him any favors. Fresh blood like (Piper, Bundy, Funk, Kabuki, Orndorff) would have injected life into things.  Recycling Slaughter, Muraco, Steele and Koloff surely didn't help.

I've always had trouble "buying" the accuracy of the numbers on Backlund for one reason. If he didn't draw ~ why leave him as champion for SIX YEARS.

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 Posted: Thu Nov 15th, 2007 06:15 pm
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HBF



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beejmi wrote:
I've always had trouble "buying" the accuracy of the numbers on Backlund for one reason. If he didn't draw ~ why leave him as champion for SIX YEARS.

This I fully agree with.  The business of professional wrestling is getting fans to part with their dollar and making money.  You may have goals in business, but if the plan doesn't work at a certain point, you adjust the plan or revamp. 
They never revamped.  For almost SIX years.  Through an ownership change.
Backlund had to have done something correctly.



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 Posted: Thu Nov 15th, 2007 08:14 pm
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Ron



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His low point was 1978 because he was not over.  The other years I do not have a issue with.    The gave Bob his chance in 1978.  From 1979 on he did well and the numbers equalled out the rest of his years.   Bob's strongest point was the smaller venues for sure.  Graham did not do so hot in those cities where Bob did.

So lets look at things from a different way.  Think the cost of the large arena's.  Factor in all costs for every person involved.  The over head woul be large.  Now you have the B and C town where the overhead was a lot lower, and Bob packed the fans in.  Bob was making more money for the company in a different way.  The profit zone would have been higher on the smaller markets.  Think how the AWA ran so so many smaller towns.  They made more money off the smaller markets also.

Boson was not his town.  But then again Boston was not Graham's town in my opinion, nor Morales's.   I think Bruno did well their.

Philadelphia was a strong town in 1977 under Graham.  Bruno did not do great at the spectum.  He does not have sell outs galore there as champion.   Graham is the only one that did.  He did those 3 sell outs in a row, with the WWWF and prism giving it away on live TV.   Phila was a sports town.  Lots of sports going on at the time.  All their teams were succesful.   They had at the time Pete Rose, Mike Scmidt, Greg Lisinsky (yes I know my spelling is hideous).  They had a succesful hocky team.  So Graham came along at the Spectrum at the correct time.  He was riding on Philadelphia fans who were proud to look up to their heroes.  Graham in his own way was their wrestler,  while being Champion.  The Phila fans loved to come out and see him because he stood out.  He was there hero they loved to hate, yet he was able to over come no matter what the challenger.  When he lost the title, he was now no longer belivable, and invincible.

Bob never achieved that status.  And the papers in the Phila area were pro Bruno and Billy.  So that did not help Bob out either.  Stating things like, "There will be no Bruno, nor no Billy Graham"  doest help Bob look good either.  They were making his matches not seem worth going to by how they did write ups.

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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 08:50 am
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beejmi
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1/22/79 New York City, NY @ Madison Square Garden
Steel Cage Match
WWWF Champion Bob Backlund beat Peter Maivia in 20:46
Ivan Koloff beat Ivan Putski COR
WWWF Tag Team Champions Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko beat Stan Stasiak (sub Spiros Arion) & Victor Rivera
Dusty Rhodes beat Lumberjack Pierre
Jay Strongbow beat Baron Mikel Scicluna (sub Stan Stasiak)
Fabulous Moolah & Suzette Ferrara beat Joyce Grable & Wenona Little Heart
Roddy Piper beat Frankie Williams
WWWF Jr Heavyweight Champion Tatsumi Fujinami beat Johnny Rodz


Here's a card from Claw's "Backlund Record Book"I would love to see make it out of the vault one day. The Backlund - Maivia feud ends in a Steel Cage Match at MSG. Koloff vs Putski. Piper in MSG in 1979. Special appearance by Dusty Rhodes. Good stuff.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 06:48 pm
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clawmaster
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HBF wrote:

2/19/79 NY NY MSG
WWWF Champion Bob Backlund drew Greg Valentine 60:00
Bruno Sammartino drew Ivan Koloff
WWWF Tag Team Champions Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko beat Stan Stasiak & Peter Maivia
Ivan Putski beat Victor Rivera COR
Jimmy Valiant & Johnny Valiant beat Chief Jay Strongbow & Dominic DeNucci
WWWF Jr. Heavyweight Champion Tatsumi Fujinami beat Tony Russo
Steve Travis beat Baron Mikel Scicluna
Allen Coage beat Frankie Williams


That's about a full card.  The legend behind this match is that there was a huge blizzard and guys were unable to make it to the Garden (although with the Trains that constantly run, that's debatable).  Thus, Backlund and Valentine were asked to carry the card and wrestle a full 60-minute draw instead of the usual COR, DQ, Blood, etc....   I was really surprised to see this.



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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 08:17 pm
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HBF



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Thanks Jim!;)

3/6/79 Allentown, PA @ Agricultural Hall
Championship Wrestling taping:
WWWF Champion Bob Backlund & Ivan Putski beat Jerry Valiant & Johnny Valiant dq


BJ-has this one ever come to surface anywhere?

Last edited on Tue Nov 20th, 2007 10:34 pm by HBF



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 Posted: Wed Nov 28th, 2007 12:23 am
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HBF



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7/16/79 Oshawa, Ontario, Canada @ Civic Auditorium
Bob Backlund & Dino Bravo beat Greg Valentine & Ken Patera dq
Jim Brunzell vs Swede Hanson
Paul Orndorff vs Gene Anderson
Jay Youngblood vs the Masked Blue Devil
Dewey Robertson vs Silent Macknee


What was the story with the sudden exchange of talent with Toronto/the AWA, and the Mid-Atlantic?  In my past delving into results (reading yours, of course!:D) I found that this really started occurring around 1979.  Those were some great cards with different guys than the norm.



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