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Who Was Better -- Jack Brisco vs Bob Backlund  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Thu Jun 14th, 2018 04:49 pm
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beejmi
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I have a friend that is a big Florida wrestling fan and we were batting this around and it was a good discussion. Thought I'd throw it out here for discussion.


Both are very similar. Both were good wrestlers. Both held a major title for a good tenure. Both were bad on the mic. Both had a run as a heel. Both were pretty much phased out when 'sports entertainment' became the standard.


Quick breakdown --


On the mic. Not the strength of either.



Wrestling skill. But good. Brisco perhaps a bit crisper.



Title reigns. Brisco with 2 NWA title runs totalling 2.5 years. Backlund with one long run (6.5+ years) and a run with the belt late in his career that lasted a few days.



Wrestling as a heel. I liked Brisco as a swarmy heel way more than 'Mr Bob Backlund'


Matches. Backlund had more matches that survived on video. Better opponents, more entertaining IMO.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 14th, 2018 05:11 pm
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lobo316
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Backlund the face champ was always the underdog. Superstar BG, Studd, Kowalski, 
Ladd, Snuka - no way he would be able to beat them, but he did. That was his appeal.
Who made more $$$ for the promotors ?  I'm too lazy to google that sort of thing.
Drawing power should be a consideration.




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 Posted: Thu Jun 14th, 2018 05:41 pm
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beejmi
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I'll say more people saw Backlund wrestle (for whatever that is worth)

Backlund had more to work with in terms of opponents.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 14th, 2018 05:59 pm
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srossi
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Brisco was a lot more versatile.  Played a convincing heel, subtle during his NWA World title reign and then more obvious at the end of his career in 1983 when he tagged with Jerry.  Backlund was Howdy-Doody until he went way over-the-top in 1994. 

Not a great promo but could speak clearly and get his point across.  Backlund could not.  He sounded retarded with his mumbling and staring at the floor.

In the ring, both were excellent so I'd call that a push. 



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 Posted: Fri Jun 15th, 2018 11:33 am
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retroken



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let them wrestle it out....about the most even match you could find I would think. And if I remember correctly wasn't Brisco strongly considered for Backlund's face-champ run?

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 Posted: Fri Jun 15th, 2018 03:07 pm
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freebirdsforever2001

 

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retroken wrote: let them wrestle it out....about the most even match you could find I would think. And if I remember correctly wasn't Brisco strongly considered for Backlund's face-champ run?
Yes he was.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 15th, 2018 04:13 pm
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Angelic Assassin



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I'd say Brisco even though I saw way more of Backlund who I was a fan of since his days in the AWA. Still remember a fantastic draw with Billy Robinson at the Winnipeg Arena.

As NWA champ Brisco IMO wrestled a more diverse group of wrestlers. Could be a strong man one night and a more technical wrestler the next night.  Backlund seemed mostly up against big men. Guys that you thought could beat him but in hindsight now knowing more about the business that those guys were never going to win.



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 Posted: Fri Jun 15th, 2018 08:15 pm
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MadFrogVachon

 

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to go along with what Angelic Assassin said - Brisco had a list of names you wanted to see him wrestle - Dory Funk Jr, Race, Flair, etc.  If I wanted to see a good match I'd pick him

Backlund had a list of names you wanted to see if he could beat/survive against.  If I wanted to see a lopsided contest/brawl that ended in a fluke I'd pick Backlund

Last edited on Fri Jun 15th, 2018 08:16 pm by MadFrogVachon

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 Posted: Sat Jun 16th, 2018 02:11 am
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BitterOldMan



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Briscoe held the NWA title when the champ was expected to travel from territory to territory and make the local guy look good while keeping the belt. I'm not certain that Backlund could do that, plus Backlund was not good on the mic. He'd need a manager to do the talking.



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 Posted: Sat Jun 16th, 2018 10:36 am
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beejmi
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People forget that Backlund had a manager (Arnold Skoaland) 



"I don't believe 'to be a mouthpiece' though. Not in my opinion at least. 




I'd say Skoaland was there 'to keep the Bruno thing going' as in Skoaland is managing this guy now so Bruno must approve of him

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 Posted: Sat Jun 16th, 2018 02:38 pm
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Superstar
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My first Backlund exposure was 1983, and I thought he looked awful as WWF Champion and I couldn’t believe he had the belt. Over the last 15 years I’ve been able to see so many house show cards from 1977-1982 to find out that when Backlund was “in shape”, he was perhaps the strongest wrestler of his time. And when Backlund wasn’t “in shape” from 1983-1985, he was still one of the strongest and by far the most physically fit competitor to step in the ring. It would have been nice to see him go 60 minutes with Flair, because I doubt there would be many rest holds.

My first exposure to Jack Brisco was 1984, and he was done at that point. Now going back and seeing his old matches, I don’t even rank him with guys like Harley Race...who at times was so boring I’d rather watch paint dry. He wasn’t anywhere near the NWA Champion that Terry Funk was, even though he held the belt longer he wasn’t close to being entertaining to watch. Which is pretty much how I feel about Backlund as well.

Wrestling is about drawing money, your measure of success in a worked sport is based on paycheck. And while it’s unfair to compare the Northeast to the World, I think with no real proof that Backlund made more money for less dates and hardly any real travel compared to Brisco. And Brisco admittedly gave up on the NWA Title because he couldn’t handle the stress of traveling. Flip the script, I am certain Brisco would draw as much as Backlund did in the Northeast, and that Backlund would get burned out from the NWA travel schedule. Add to it that Brisco could play heel when necessary without killing his credibility in his home territory, whereas Backlund never could play a heel without being a lunatic - which wouldn’t work as NWA Champ. But it didn’t play out that way. So I choose Backlund because he virtually got out of the game just as it caught fire and has lived life exactly how he wants for the past 34 years on an extremely valuable piece of property in one of the most expensive cost of living states in the country. Brisco was great but Backlund just a bit better.



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 Posted: Sun Jun 17th, 2018 08:57 am
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beejmi
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I always assumed that Backlund wrestled in front of bigger crowds. Don't really know if that is genuinely the case. Just remember seeing MSG shows on video with 20,000 people watching. At least it looked like that.

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 Posted: Sun Jun 17th, 2018 01:03 pm
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Papa Voo



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Better in what regards?

I will go with Backlund from a viewer’s standpoint.

Backlund was goofy but had more pizzazz in the ring and with angles.

Brisco may have put on better wrestling moves in the ring, but the guy was somewhat of a bore.

I saw more of Backlund so maybe that taints it.

I never saw or understood the great appeal of Brisco.

Plus, Brisco had that creepy CM following, also.

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 Posted: Sun Jun 17th, 2018 06:05 pm
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khawk
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Saw Backlund a lot and read even more about him too given Brisco wasn't nearly as prominent in the later 70's.

I have to say Backlund just because I have seen so much more of him.



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 Posted: Sun Jun 17th, 2018 07:19 pm
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The Ultimate Sin
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I wish I could offer more insight here. I never saw Brisco in his prime, not even on tape. I was never really a Backlund fan when he was champion, but I only saw the end of his reign. (After Vinnie got the USA deal)

As I'm watching him now I really appreciate and enjoy him. He's the underdog champion & that makes for great matches. I wish I was watching it as it happened without the knowledge that Patera, Studd, & Snuka aren't going to take the belt. I like his work in the ring, but he's awful on the mic & I hate the crying and moaning when he's upset.

I think he was a great WWF champion because they were great at getting monster heels over, but I think he would have sucked as an NWA champ because I don't see him being able to work heel vs. top baby faces and strolling into a territory as a milk and cookies boys with shitty mic skills may not have put asses in the seats.



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