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)

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

HOF Roundup: Stan Hansen

Back to the WWE 2016 HOF Roundup for the legendary Stan Hansen. A lot of guys have done Texas cowboy gimmicks but none of them are quite on the level of Hansen. Much of his best work was in Japan but he had many solid runs in the United States over the years in WWWF in the 1970s and early 80s, the AWA where he was champion n 1985/86 (beating Section 309 HOFer Rick Martel for the title), Georgia Championship Wrestling, and even in WCW in 1990 where he had a U.S. title reign. I am no Hansen scholar but have enjoyed him at just about every turn. Continue reading HOF Roundup: Stan Hansen

Match of the Day – Stan Hansen vs Andre the Giant, September 1981

Match of the day for today is Stan Hansen vs Andre the Giant from Japan, September 1981. Andre could still move at this point and displays a scary intensity to match Hansen. Arnold Skaaland is there as Andre’s handler. It gets REALLY fun when Hansen lariats Andre out of the ring at the 15 minute mark.