Pro Wrestling Radio: WWE HOF Bob Backlund Interview

Former WWE world champion and Hall of Famer, Bob Backlund joined the Camel Clutch Blog and Pro Wrestling Radio for an exclusive, no-questions barred interview. Mr. Backlund discusses his new book, Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling’s World Champion and the inspirational story of his journey to the top of professional wrestling.

Bob covered most of his career in the 78 minutes of time we had together. Here are some exclusive excerpts to Pro Wrestling Radio.

On the how big feuds with Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff with him over the WWF title if he remained champion in 1984 and whether a series with Orndorff could have rivaled his series with Don Muraco – I agree, I agree 100% (with my opinion they’d be big), I never got into the politics, I didn’t discuss that, he (Vince Jr.) told me things that are in the plan but he didn’t discuss Piper or Orndorff with me so I knew it wasn’t going to be anything in the Garden, return matches, they were in the territory. Maybe he talked to them, but he was designing the road that we were taking and they just followed up and did what I could in the ring to make that road happen. We’d start a match, get a match going, and “what do we have to do to get to that (next) match?). If you set a goal in life that you want to be this or that, you have to think about how you are going to get there. No matter what age you’re out, what business you’re in, whether it’s wrestling, football, selling cars, or making food, or having a diner, it’s the same thing. You have to work hard, you have to have goals every day, and you have to achieve  those goals.

On how he was able to maintain a strong relationship with his family and avoid the temptations in the 1980s that came with being a celebrity in New York – “At 2 o’clock we’d (he and his daughter) would go out and play in the snow. This relates back to Dick Murdoch in 1974 told me, “Don’t ever get your family mixed up with the wrestling business.” He must have did that because it was something that he was very sad about. I made a deal with my life, “I don’t come to watch you teach school and you don’t come to watch me wrestle.” We celebrated our 41st anniversary on Halloween and we agreed we have to make it to 61.

On why referee Dick Kroll not being in on the finish of his title change with the Sheik and whether that was customary – “Referees were normally always in on the finish, they have to know when to do it. He didn’t have to be. It wasn’t like a pinfall where he needed to be right down there and you didn’t want him standing on the other end of the ring or something at the time when that’s going to happen. It wasn’t crucial

Topics covered include;

  • How long have you been working on the book
  • Thoughts on all of the work you put in through the territories to prepare you to be a headlining world champion
  • Amazing how pivotal that match you had with Harley Race in Omaha was to your career
  • Stretching guys
  • Mmatch in 1976 with Terry Funk “You Made It”
  • Loyalty Vince had to you and how close you were to being NWA champion
  • Arriving in WWF, knowing nobody, political ramifications
  • Title Change
    • Not giving it away on your face as you went to the ring
    • Lame duck month as champ
    • Vince JR told you you’d get it back
    • Dick Kroll not in on finish
    • Should Muraco have been transitional champion
  • Hulk Hogan: Fired for “Things he did outside of the ring”?
  • Did you realize at the time you had the tag match with Hogan you were passing the torch or was that in hindsight
  • Lack of communication once Hogan came in, off the road for 3 weeks, no clear direction
  • Jimmy Snuka

To order Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling’s World Champion, visit Bob will even sign it for you. You could also contact Bob through the site for more information on his 69′ Corvette.

Listen or download the entire shoot interview here.

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