Profiles‎ > ‎profiles‎ > ‎

Bob Backlund

        

Real Name - Robert Lee Backlund
Birthdate - 8/18/50
6'1" 242 lbs. - Princeton, MN

Athletic Background - Wrestling, Football (North Dakota State)

Teacher(s) - Eddie Sharkey, The Funks, Jack Brisco

Professional Background - Amarillo(`73), AWA(`74), Georgia(`74-`75), Florida(`76-`77), St. Louis(`75-`76), WWWF/WWF(`78-`84), AWA(`85), UWF(Japan)(`88) UWF(Abrams)(`91), WWF(`92-`96, `00), WAR(`94), TNA(`07)

AliasesMr. Backlund

Groups - none

Peak Years - `77 -`83



Finisher(s) - 
Crossface Chickenwing
- Atomic Spinecrusher (Running Atomic Drop)
- Atomic (Flying) Knee Drop

Favorites - 
Butterfly Suplex
- Piledriver
Dropkick 
Backdrop 
Leg Kicks


Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set
 Science
 Aerial
 Power 10 
 Strikes



Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment
 Selling
 Bumping
 Carrying
 Heat
 Legacy



  
Place in History - Bob Backlund is one of those guys who had a meteoric rise, but did little of note after he fell. While his period of success makes him one wrestling's better draws (he brags many headlined sellouts in MSG), Backlund did almost nothing outside that time frame. After starting in Texas coming off a Division II NCAA Championship, Backlund quickly rose up the ranks. He became a big star in the Southern territories, where he continued the amateur turned babyface role passed down by Jack Brisco. Backlund brought his image to WWWF and became a hot babyface and was quickly given the title. The clean-cut persona matched with his "technical prowess" was perfect for the WWWF, who'd relied on giants since their birth. Backlund was freakishly strong and had a muscular physique to boot, but he was not a good worker and could only have good matches with the right people.  However, Backlund's best quality was that of being an unquestioning and loyal soldier in contrast to "Superstar" Graham and even Bruno Sammartino before him.  He proved to be an excellent champion, Backlund reigned triumphantly for six years and sold out 39 of his 60 title defenses. Backlund made two decisions in the early 1980s that perhaps killed his career in the Vince McMahon Jr. era of the WWF. First, he changed his training regiment to a Karl Gotch-inspired one and lost his great physique. Second, he cut his hair to a crewcut, which emphasized the negative  "Howdy Doody" labeling that he had received.  Backlund marked the end of the Vince McMahon Sr. WWWF/WWF, which was about regionalized wrestling with simple heroes and villians. According to legend, Vince Jr. wanted the clean-cut Backlund to become a face-painted heel and it wasn't going to happen, so he was sent packing. After forgettable runs in dying territories and few returns to Japan, Backlund made a return to the WWF. He was repackaged, but out-of-touch in this last run, his best years were a decade earlier and he looked genuinely old and tarnished his reputation. While not a great worker, Bob Backlund knew how to do the right things with the right people that made him look and was amongst the biggest and most successful wrestlers of the 1970s and early 1980s.
Comments