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)
As we turn 2016 into 2017, it is appropriate to look back to a show that also aired on New Year’s Eve (sort of, more on that later) and on the precipice of the wrestling world being changed forever. I already covered the episode after this one, but let’s take a look at what preceded it.
The theme song of this time is “Cruise Control” by the Dixie Dregs and is now also my ringtone. It would be replaced with an instrumental from Michael Jackson’s Thriller in about 2 ½ months. This version ends with Backlund holding the belt amidst the fake mob, and maybe we’ll find out something on that front today. Our hosts are Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson, who offer the same old platitudes in telling us what’s coming up, no sign of perhaps a shocking announcement or anything like that. Continue reading WWF Championship Wrestling – 12/31/1983
Strange feeling this morning as baseball is in the home stretch, yet I’m going to the Ring of Honor PPV tonight despite never watching their TV show. And I feel like I forgot something: to finish a look at Pat Patterson’s book “Accepted”!
A few people even had to be let go when we came back from that tour in the late 1980s.
This is in reference to the fall 1988 tour of Europe, which led to something of a housecleaning and some very odd substitutions at the Survivor Series. Don Muraco was let go even though his feud with Greg Valentine had not wrapped. They had some terrible house show matches, apparently. And speaking of terrible matches, Junkyard Dog was finally fired either for drug use or the fact that he could barely move. Continue reading Highlights of “Accepted” by Pat Patterson: Part 6 (Montreal and Final Edition)
As I was reading the book “Accepted” by Pat Patterson last month, I got more than halfway through and wondered if he had left out the first WrestleMania or something. Fortunately, he went back in the timeline later to discuss that and inventing the Royal Rumble.
I have all the respect in the world for Muhammad Ali, but when he showed up to be the referee for that match between Hulk Hogan and Mr. T against Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper, I realized right away that he would not be able to perform a normal referee’s duties in the ring.
Muhammad Ali was promoted as the special referee for the first WrestleMania main event, but was bumped to the outside at the very last minute as Patterson took over those duties. Ali had just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease within the prior year so it was not clear how many people knew what that meant. Patterson being in the ring was helpful to get Mr. T through the match as well since Pat had a role in training him. With so much on the line, things needed to go smoothly. Continue reading Highlights of “Accepted” by Pat Patterson Part 5 (Royal Rumble/WrestleMania Edition)
Back for a dip into Pat Patterson’s book as he is just about to take an unwanted sabbatical from the business:
“Pat, I was sure you had someone with you. I didn’t know how I was supposed to position myself. I didn’t know if I could watch or not. You had me all screwed up in my mind.”
On the road at one point, Patterson roomed with Bobby Heenan and Pat decided to mess with him. After Heenan had gone back to the room for the night, Patterson decided to make like he was bringing a man back to the room for some fun. This was Heenan’s reaction to all this.
You know, we weren’t sure what to do with Undertaker when he first came to WWE. “You know how I see him?” I said to Vince. “I’m not sure what is the exact word for it, but he reminds me of characters in old Western movies . . . That guy with the long black coat who would have different roles in town. Like a doctor . . .” Vince said, “You’re not describing a doctor, Patrick.” “I don’t know what they are called.” Someone said, “From your description, I think you mean an undertaker.”Continue reading Highlights of “Accepted” by Pat Patterson: Part 4 (90s Edition)
In lieu of a goofy intro, let’s get right to the part of Pat Patterson’s book with the most interest: his time in WWF as Vince McMahon’s right hand man.
The third match with Backlund along with the famous match with Slaughter I had later were my greatest moments as a wrestler.
Patterson in the book is very proud of his series with Backlund at Madison Square Garden because of the quality of the matches combined with the fact that it was a four match and not the usual three match series that would go countout-DQ-blowoff. The Slaughter “Alley Fight” match from May 1981 is one of those matches that is as good as everyone says it is. Pat wears the iconic “I Love NY” shirt during the bout. Continue reading Highlights of “Accepted” by Pat Patterson Part 3: (1980s WWF Edition)
I don’t have much of an opinion about last night’s SummerSlam other than they need to have shorter shows because the crowd and TV audience gets burned out. Today it’s back to Pat Patterson’s new book “Accepted” with some Ray Stevens stories. Those two were one of the best tag teams of the 1970s and probably all time. The shame is that little footage from that time and territory (San Francisco) exists.
I admit I did this kind of thing a few times for Ray, and on the road Stevens would even pick up a girl here and there and get her to give me a blow job. When he would ask me how it was, I would tell him, “I certainly could have given her lessons.”
As mentioned in the last post, I was on vacation last week. The great thing about having a Kindle (or any e-book reader) is that I can immediately get new books and highlight things to comment on for this blog. This book is a very new release having come out only a week ago today. Patterson, born Pierre Cleremont in 1942, has led a very interesting life in the wrestling business. He’s very well-known for being gay, but what he should be known for is being perhaps the greatest booker/producer in the history of wrestling. The Royal Rumble speaks for itself, but he also held together the first WrestleMania main event, was in one of the greatest tag teams ever with Ray Stevens, and as Vince McMahon’s right hand man he was an advocate for smaller wrestlers like Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. I recommend this book highly, so let’s peek at some highlights. Continue reading Highlights of “Accepted” by Pat Patterson: Part 1 (Early Career Edition)