Greetings From Allentown: Episode 7 WWF 1982

Episode 7 of the Greetings From Allentown Wrestling podcast is here! This week it is a look at the Sept. 25, 1982 episode of WWF Championship Wrestling:

– Information on the sale/transfer of the WWF from Vince Sr. to Vince Jr., which was ongoing at the time of this show
– Bob Backlund trying and failing to properly express anguish at his belt being destroyed and coming off like proto-Nancy Kerrigan
– Pete Sanchez: Where is he now, and what is he doing?
– Mr. Saito: complete and total badass
– Andre the Giant on the TV show The Greatest American Hero.

Plus a new segment: YouTube Comment Theater!

Highlights from Bob Backlund’s Book: Part 2 (The Rise of Backlund Edition)

We pick up in the mid-1970s in Bob Backlund’s 2015 autobiography: “Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling’s World Champion”. Bob is making an impression on many promoters, not the least of which is a guy named McMahon in New York.

What happened that night certainly diminished my respect for Jack [Brisco]. He was the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and was supposed to be a role model both for the fans and for young wrestlers like me.

Backlund has a very strict set of ethics, which can come off as a bit pious but I respect it particularly in this regard. He was riding with Jack Brisco who just happened to be smoking dope at the time. On a personal note, before I got my drivers license early in my junior year of high school, I carpooled with others in my town and a classmate of mine gave me a ride one day. He drove 70 in a 30 while smoking a joint which scared the shit out of me. Needless to say, I never rode with him again. So I can get why Backlund might be pissed off. Continue reading Highlights from Bob Backlund’s Book: Part 2 (The Rise of Backlund Edition)

Highlights from Bob Backlund’s Book: Part 1 (The Early Days)

When most people sit on the beach, they will read a book of fiction that will be escapist. But for me, I sat there and read Bob Backlund’s 2015 autobiography: “Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling’s World Champion”. As I’ve started to dive in and watch WWF footage from 1978-83, I was curious to get insight from the man who defined the era. This will be set up similarly to my series on Bret Hart’s outstanding book where I pull a quote and comment on it.

It is hard for me to have any respect for that man. I know that Erhardt ended up as a head coach with the New England Patriots and offensive coordinator with the New York Jets, but I just didn’t have any respect for the way he conducted himself, the way he treated his players at NDSU, or the way he unilaterally downplayed my NFL prospects.

I am not sure why I was surprised that Backlund wanted to play football growing up; it’s probably I’ve just never imagined him as anything but a wrestler. But this passage and story really jumped out at me because people know who Erhardt is and Backlund takes him to task. Erhardt was coach of the Patriots from 1979-81 and went 21-27, though the final 2-14 year in 1981 was plagued by bad luck and close losses. Given Backlund’s feelings, it is ironic that Erhardt was fired by Patriots owner Billy Sullivan for “being too nice of a guy.” Continue reading Highlights from Bob Backlund’s Book: Part 1 (The Early Days)

Greetings From Allentown: Episodes 4-6

Late on the update here, but there are three new episodes of Greetings from Allentown posted since the last post.

Episode 4: WWF Superstars of Wrestling, February 7, 1987, Andre and Hogan in Piper’s Pit, the Harts win the tag titles, and Outback Jack debuts.

Episode 5: WWF Wrestling Challenge, January 12, 1992, Rockers in the Barber Shop, Jake Roberts, Undertaker, Roddy Piper.

Episode 6: NWA Power Hour, August 18, 1989, Sting, Luger, Flair, Terry Funk hosting Funk’s Grill.