Q&A (Part III): Bob Backlund Talks Hall of Fame, Bruno, & Mr. Backlund

"I didn’t know one word I was going to say ten seconds before I started saying it. It was like a wrestling match: start out a little slow, and then build."

For Part I of my interview with Mr. Backlund, click here.

For Part II, click here.

John Corrigan: Let’s talk Hall of Fame. How did you find out you were being inducted?

Bob Backlund: “They called me and asked me. I refused a few different times in years past because of what happened in the 80s, but then they fixed it. My relationship with Triple H has been fantastic. He has kept his word on everything that he has said to me and I respect him for that.”

JC: How did you feel about being inducted in the same class as Bruno Sammartino?

BB: “I thought it was ideal. It was great, especially being in Madison Square Garden. He belonged there. I have no problem saying he is the greatest champion ever. He’s a great man, a man you can look up to who will fight for the right thing.”

JC: You and Bruno are very similar in that respect.

BB: “You know, when we first met, we didn’t know each other from Adam. We didn’t talk to each other much so it took me about two years to figure out what you just said.”

JC: Did you choose Maria Menounos to induct you?

BB: “Yes.”

JC: How did you two become friends?

BB: “I went to a pageant that she was in when she was in 11th grade, and I’ve known her since then.”

JC: Was that in Connecticut?

BB: “It was in Massachusetts, I believe.”

JC: And you stayed in touch all these years later?

BB: “Not a lot, she had a friend that did movies once in a while and I’d go and do little things with them, but not on a day-to-day basis. She’s quite a lady. I can’t say enough good things about her. She loves the business. She followed it back then, too.”


JC: Was the Hall of Fame ceremony one of the best nights of your life?

BB: “It was a fantastic night. You know, they wanted to write a speech for me, and I said if you do that, it will be a disaster. (laughs) I have to speak from my heart. I didn’t know one word I was going to say ten seconds before I started saying it. It was like a wrestling match: start out a little slow, and then build.”

JC: It was definitely one of the classic speeches.

BB: “You know, you make fun of the Mr. Backlund character, but that character was pretty important for me because I probably wouldn’t be doing this interview right now if I hadn’t turned into that character.”

JC: Why do you say that?

BB: “Because Bob Backlund was too shy to talk this long.”

JC: (laughs) So the Mr. Backlund character gave you the confidence to speak out in real life?

BB: “It opened me up. It gave me the ability to do a talk in front of any group, in any place, anywhere. I got more spirited and driven on certain things. I had confidence physically, but I didn’t as far as discourse is concerned. That character gave me the confidence to say words and have them penetrate people’s minds.”

JC: Did that character play a role in you pursuing politics?

BB: “Absolutely. I drove them politicians crazy. They didn’t want to give a speech after I got done. (laughs)”

JC: Are you following the election coverage?

BB: “Yes, yes.”

JC: What are your thoughts?

BB: “I usually stay into the book rather than get into politics. There are some good things happening out there. I just hope it goes in the right direction. We live in the greatest country in the world. There are more opportunities here than anywhere else in the world. Young people need to slow it down because they don’t believe there is an American Dream anymore. But there is—you just have to look for it.”

JC: Do you still keep up with pro wrestling?

BB: “I’m not a follower, I’m a doer. I kind of know what’s going on, but on a day-to-day basis, I’m out there doing something.”

JC: My last question for you…Is it true you used to send out Christmas cards to the fans?

BB: “I used to send postcards. If somebody wrote me, I’d write them back and have postcards made. I’d do about 6,000 a year.”

JC: Wow.

BB: “You know, I like doing stuff with the fans better than doing stuff with the boys. I really appreciate the way the fans supported the Bob Backlund character.”


Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling’s World Champion is available at BacklundEnergy.com and . You can read my review here or save time and simply buy the book right now because it’s mandatory reading for wrasslin’ fans.

Mr. Backlund is also selling his fully restored 1967 Chevrolet Corvette convertible. He bought the car from Mike Graham in 1974 and as you’ll later read in the interview, he’s had some legendary names ride shotgun.

Call Bob with an offer at 860-652-0075.

John Corrigan
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John Corrigan

Columnist / Assistant Editor at Wrestledelphia.com
John Corrigan
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2 Comments on this post.
  • Q&A (Part II) Bob Backlund Talks Piper, Meltzer, Andre, McMahon Sr. | Wrestledelphia
    19 November 2015 at 7:58 AM
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    […] Q&A (Part III): Bob Backlund Talks Hall of Fame, Bruno, & Mr. Backlund […]

  • Craig Reeder
    21 November 2015 at 7:48 AM
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    I’m a life long fan of professional wrestling. And a huge fan of Bob Backlund.

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