Highlights of Bob Backlund’s Book: Part 5 (Early title reign edition)

After an even longer hiatus as I have focused more on the Greetings From Allentown podcast, it’s back to more highlights of Bob Backlund’s 2015 autobiography

Billy has also said over the years that he and Bruno talked on the night of their steel cage match in Philadelphia about pulling a last-minute screwjob over on the promoters.

I’m going to suggest that Graham is full of crap on this one. Bruno didn’t seem like the kind of guy who would participate in such a thing, especially since it would be putting the title back on him which is something the Living Legend was precisely trying to get away from so it makes zero sense. Losing the world title really screwed with Graham’s mind.

Billy’s face was blank and emotionless—quite a change from the usual. I could tell he was really struggling with it all.

Backlund making my previous point, and something that virtually everyone has pointed out. While it’s probable that Graham would have been a success as a babyface champion, the issue of his longevity wouldn’t have changed. His body was going to break down whether he was happy with wrestling or not. Continue reading Highlights of Bob Backlund’s Book: Part 5 (Early title reign edition)

Highlights from Bob Backlund’s Book: Part 4 (Bruno and Mascaras)

After a bit of a hiatus, the review of Bob Backlund’s 2015 autobiography finally resumes!

At a lot of the hotels and motels where we stayed, Andre had a great deal of trouble getting a comfortable night’s sleep or even taking a hot shower in the little tub/shower combos that those places had—so he preferred to just stay up most of the night drinking.

I will never get tired of Andre the Giant drinking stories and it is one of those things where I don’t care if they are 100% accurate. Legends and myths are often more entertaining than the truth and it’s not like something to do with Andre would break open a Watergate. Though the mother of a friend of mine had met Andre in the 1970s, and that story turned out to not be much of anything. Oh well. Continue reading Highlights from Bob Backlund’s Book: Part 4 (Bruno and Mascaras)

Greetings from Allentown Episode 8: WWF 1988

Episode 8 of Greetings From Allentown is now out! Included:

  • Recaps of WrestleMania 4: Randy Savage’s journey and Demolition climbs the mountain
  • The weirdness of Rick Rude and why he never had a feud with Hulk Hogan
  • Bam Bam Bigelow’s excuse for his 1988 run being cut short
  • Andre the Giant tries to laugh off Hacksaw Jim Duggan before trying to choke him to death

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!

Saturday Night’s Main Event #18 – 11/26/1988

Big guy getting comeuppance or victim of light terrorism?

It has now been over a full year since I started this sojourn through all the WWF Saturday Night Main Event shows and I hope at this point next year I will have wrapped with the weird FOX editions from 1992. But for now, we are at Thanksgiving weekend 1988, two days after the Survivor Series. Of course this was taped ten days before that PPV and it wasn’t referenced at all on the show. No newly turned Demolition is what that means since that would be tough to explain to the live crowd in Sacramento at the Arco Arena, home of the Sacramento Kings. On the night this aired, the Kings lost to the New Jersey Nets at Arco to drop to 1-9 on the year.

Despite being in a less glamourous part of California, Jesse Ventura reminds you that he is a Hollywood star and that makes him more important than Vince McMahon. He also says he’s got a better physique than Vince, who no doubt took that shit personally. I appreciate their dynamic so much more now than I did 15-20 years ago. Continue reading Saturday Night’s Main Event #18 – 11/26/1988

Saturday Night’s Main Event #17 – 10/29/1988

Not Patera-Bravo!
Not Patera-Bravo!

If you like wrestling shows that start with Jake Roberts making out with his then-wife Cheryl, then this is the show for you. If you like seeing a close up of Rick Rude’s crotch, well, that’s the second thing seen on the October 1988 episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event. A lot of moving pieces on this show from Baltimore, Maryland. Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are the hosts and Jesse immediately compares Vince to hapless then-VP candidate Dan Quayle. For those who don’t know, Quayle is the guy who misspelled “potato” during an elementary school visit by adding an “E” to the end. Continue reading Saturday Night’s Main Event #17 – 10/29/1988

Reflections on 1989 Survivor Series

I was able to see every WWF PPV live in the calendar year 1989. That’s the 1st PPV Royal Rumble, WrestleMania 5, SummerSlam, and yes, the No Holds Barred: The Match/The Movie show. Oh and this Survivor Series from Chicago, where the only thing people seem to remember is Tully Blanchard being pulled and replaced by Bobby Heenan. Something more must have happened, because I took 2 1/2 pages of notes on this! Continue reading Reflections on 1989 Survivor Series

Reflections on 1988 Survivor Series

When I was given the opportunity to choose a show for review on The Lapsed Fan Wrestling Podcast, I had a lot to choose from even with all WrestleManias and Starrcades spoken for. I chose the 1988 Survivor Series, a show that I did see live and one that has so many interesting behind the scenes details. It is a show with Hillbilly Jim and Red Rooster in the main event. It is the only time we would see Tully Blanchard wrestle Bret Hart. It was a changing of the guard; Junkyard Dog, Don Muraco, Ken Patera, and the British Bulldogs are all guys who were either gone before this show or immediately afterward. And we see the arrival of The Rockers, The Brain Busters, Mr. Perfect, and Owen Hart as the Blue Blazer. Plus so many random appearances. Let’s dive in. Continue reading Reflections on 1988 Survivor Series

Reflections on 1987 Survivor Series

Once upon a time, the Survivor Series carried a lot of cachet. It wasn’t just a place where guys got pinned off regular clotheslines or where Bret got screwed. It was a Thankgiving “tradition” that was actually a giant middle finger to not only Jim Crockett Promotions, but to other remaining territories that ran big shows on the holiday. (The WWF was famous for NOT running shows on those holidays) I sat down earlier this week and watched the 1987 Survivor Series and here are my reflections: Continue reading Reflections on 1987 Survivor Series

Saturday Night’s Main Event #16 – 04/30/1988

In the 1985, NBC gave the World Wrestling Federation a Saturday late night slot with the idea that Hulk Hogan would generate ratings that were better than Saturday Night Live reruns. But as we hit mid-1988, Hogan is on a sabbatical. His first daughter would be born 5 days after this show aired, and he was filming No Holds Barred in his effort to become the new Stallone. While that failed, how did the WWF cope without their biggest star? For one thing, they would promote the hell out of Randy Savage making his first world title defense. Continue reading Saturday Night’s Main Event #16 – 04/30/1988