Highlights From Bob Backlund’s Book: Part 6 (Hatchet Edition)

A lot less time between blog posts this time, as it’s on to part 6 of the highlights of Bob Backlund’s 2015 autobiography.

“I’m going to kill that son of a bitch!” Oops.

The first hot angle with Backlund as champion was against “High Chief” Peter Maivia, the grandfather of The Rock. Maivia attacked Backlund’s manager Arnold Skaaland while teaming with Bob and it was a real shock and not just because it meant Skaaland actually did something other than go to the back and play cards. In the promo afterward, Backlund lost his way wondering if the whole world was against him, and declaring that he would “kill” Maivia, a real no no.

Antonio Inoki was here for that card as well, and was being billed as the “Martial Arts Champion,” as the front office was trying to figure out what to do with him to make him a draw in America, where he was still virtually unknown.

Inoki was a hero in Japan but never got any traction in the United States, which I chalk up to two things. First, the concept of a Japanese hero was something that hadn’t really been considered in U.S. wrestling, as they were usually the cliché foreign bad guys. Second, his working style was not something that was easy to digest for fans of American wrestling. Personally, I hate him for the Muhammad Ali fiasco because the joke of a match damaged Ali’s legs to the point where he was never the same athlete. Continue reading Highlights From Bob Backlund’s Book: Part 6 (Hatchet 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)

Highlights from Bob Backlund’s Book Part 3 (WWWF Edition)

Time for part three in a peek at Bob Backlund’s 2015 autobiography “Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling’s World Champion”. At this point we are in 1977 and Backlund is navigating the world of Vince McMahon Sr.’s locker room:

There was a definite clique in that dressing room, comprised of Bruno, DeNucci, Rodz, Garea, Chief, and Scicluna. They were a strong and tight-knit group. Fortunately for me, Vince McMahon Sr. went out of his way to make me feel welcomed and at home.

Those six guys were all mainstays of the New York territory and rarely ventured elsewhere to wrestle. Baron Mikel Scicluna and Domenic DeNucci wrestled each other approximately 35,000 times over the years. Tony Garea was a multiple time tag champion and later became one of the agents and guys who come from the back to breakup brawls. The “Unpredictable” Johnny Rodz mostly worked as a jobber to the stars but later became a trainer extraordinaire. Chief Jay Strongbow was popular in the northeast but wasn’t a great wrestler and was divisive as a backstage presence, considered a stooge by many. And Bruno Sammartino was the undisputed leader. Continue reading Highlights from Bob Backlund’s Book Part 3 (WWWF Edition)

Highlights from J.J. Dillon’s Book: Part 1

Since I enjoyed putting together passages from Bret Hart’s book, I figured I might do it for other wrestling books. Maybe I’ll try to cut it down from 17 parts. Ergo, a look at J.J. Dillon’s book will run 3 parts. Dillon is best known as the manager of the Four Horsemen from 1985-89, and as the on-screen WCW Commissioner from 1997 to 1999. But he also played a key role behind the scenes in the WWF from 1989 to 1996 doing the grunt work, and was a wrestler himself in various territories. The book is “Wrestlers Are Like Seagulls”, an interesting quote itself that will be covered eventually.

I had a passion for baseball, but when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, my interest waned somewhat. 

A common issue, actually. My wife’s grandparents (born in the mid-1930s) remain pissed to this day about the Dodgers leaving. Hell, even Mets ownership had Citi Field built, but turned it into a monument to the Dodgers and not their own franchise. Continue reading Highlights from J.J. Dillon’s Book: Part 1