One of the longest reigning champions in WWWF/WWF history will be entering the WWE 2013 Hall of Fame this year. Bob Backlund will be returning to Madison Square Garden to accept his long awaited honor.
I am very excited about this one as Backlund was WWF champion when I started watching wrestling as a kid. I started tuning in right at the end of the Superfly Snuka vs. Bob Backlund feud. I was immediately a fan of Backlund and grew to appreciate him more as I got my hands on more Backlund tapes as I got older.
Backlund will join another former WWF champion, Mick Foley for the high World Wrestling Entertainment honors. It is only appropriate that Backlund would go into the Hall in the building he headlined for four years. Backlund is the second longest reigning WWF champion behind Bruno Sammartino.
Bob Backlund defeated Superstar Graham for the WWWF championship in 1978. Backlund was picked two years earlier by Vince McMahon, SR. to be the next world champion. According to several stories, McMahon wanted someone just like Jack Brisco, the NWA world champion. NWA promoter Eddie Graham and Sam Muchnick recommended Backlund to McMahon and the rest is history…although there is some debate as to whether that history would have been written differently.
Superstar Graham was doing big business as world champion. Superstar wrestled Bruno Sammartino in a Steel Cage match in Philadelphia the night before losing to Backlund. According to the Superstar, Bruno suggested that Graham fake a knee injury to get out of his scheduled match with Backlund since business was good with Billy on top. The idea came from Bruno’s own problem with Buddy Rogers who claimed he had a heart attack before he was scheduled to drop the title to Bruno. I asked Bruno about that and while ..read more