When Bob Backlund first hit the Northeast he had the credentials to be a wrestling star; he was a legitimate amateur champion, he had the boyish good looks and the humble demeanor that made him the perfect face. This equated to him holding the WWF World Heavyweight Championship for over five years.
As Backlund’s reign was coming to an end his fan base was waning and the chants of “Howdy Doody” began. After dropping the World Title, Backlund disappeared from wrestling and would not be seen on the National stage until 1992. A year into his comeback he became a psychotic heel eliciting facets of personality that he never before tapped into before. Amazingly, Backlund may be best known for this persona than for the All American he had for years.
Regardless of which incarnation he is best remembered for, his tactical skills had few equals. Still on good terms with Stamford, it has to be assumed that he could be inducted if he wished to be.
The Bullet Points:
U.S.A. (Princeton, MN)
Key Championships Held:
NWA Florida Tag Team (w/Steve Keirn)
NWA Georgia Tag Team (w/Jerry Briscoe)
NWA Missouri Heavyweight
NWA Western States Heavyweight
WWF World Heavyweight (2)
WWF World Tag Team (w/Pedro Morales)
Why He Will Get In:
Anyone who had a five year plus reign as champion should be in.
Why He Won’t Get In:
He probably should go in as the headliner and that may not be possible.
Five Greatest Matches/Moments: (In Chronological Order)
1. Match of the year while winning his first World Championship against “Superstar” Billy Graham (2/20/78)
2. Match of the year defending his title in a steel cage against Jimmy Snuka (6/28/82)
3. Wrestling Ric Flair to a Double DQ (7/4/82)
4. Lasting one hour in the 1993 Royal Rumble and showing a new generation what he was capable of (1/24/93)
5. Winning the WWF World title for a second time over Bret Hart (11/23/94)