Bob Backlund

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Backlund2000.com

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

Aliases - Mr. Backlund

Athletic background - Wrestling, Football (North Dakota State)

Teachers - Eddie Sharkey, Funks, Jack Brisco

Professional history - Amarillo(`73), AWA(`74), Georgia(`74-`75), Florida(`76-`77), St. Louis(`75-`76), WWWF/WWF(`78-`84), Florida, AWA, UWF, WAR, WWF(`92-`96)

Peak Years - `77-`83

Career Highlights -
- Defeats Harley Race to capture the Missouri Heavyweight title
- Defeats "Superstar" Billy Graham to win the WWWF World title and reigns for six years
- Has a series of rematches with Graham that were huge draws
- Wrestles Nick Bockwinkel and Harley Race in the only "real" unification matches in WWWF/WWF history
- Returns to the WWF in his mid-40s and regains the championship from Bret Hart

Finisher(s) -
- Crossface Chickenwing
- Atomic Drop

Favorites -
- Butterfly Suplex
- Dropkick
- Backdrop
- Leg Kicks

Ringwork Rating -
move set - 5
science - 6
aerial - 2
power - 10
strikes - 3

Intangible Rating -
entertainment - 7
selling - 5
bumping - 5
carrying - 4
heat - 10
legacy - 6

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 Jerry 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. An excellent champion, Backlund reigned triumphantly for six years and sold out 39 of his 60 title defenses. Backlund made two fatal decisions in the early 80s that killed his career. First, he changed his training regiment and lost his great physique. Second, he cut his hair to a crewcut, which looked dorky at the time. 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 painted-faced heel, 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 70s.

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