Q&A (Part II) Bob Backlund Talks Piper, Meltzer, Andre, McMahon Sr.

“I don’t hate people, I don’t hate wrestlers. I can say that I don’t like some of the things they do.”

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.

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

John Corrigan: Was McMahon Sr. a rare case of an honest promoter?

Bob Backlund: “You know, I don’t know why, but I think I was treated differently by every promoter, not in the way of Vince McMahon Sr., but they didn’t try to play around with me. They told me what they were going to do, and they did it. I didn’t find the promoters to be bad people, but there’s been rumors that other people have had hard times with them sometimes.”

JC: I was surprised to see that “Rowdy” Roddy Piper had written your forward. How close were you guys?

BB: “You read about the match we had in California, right?”

JC: Yeah.

BB: “When you spend an hour with somebody in the ring, you get to know that person pretty darn well. I really respected the words he used in his interview with Rob Miller. He did that two years, maybe three before he passed. He became a very close friend even though we lived far away. We learned so much about each other that night that we had a lot of respect for each other.”


JC: It wasn’t addressed in the book, but how do you feel about Dave Meltzer’s criticism of you over the years?

BB: “You know, Vince McMahon Sr. told me not to worry about anything other than getting in the ring and entertaining the people as much as I could. So that’s all I worried about.”

JC: Makes sense.

BB: “I don’t hate people, I don’t hate wrestlers. I can say that I don’t like some of the things they do.”

JC: Another thing I found surprising was that you were such a big beer drinker. Who were some of your favorite drinking buddies?

BB: “Andre the Giant and I had beers together a few times. Steve Keirn, Mike Graham, other than that, I was usually in and out, and then went home. Andre was really a nice person, though. He was a good guy to be around. Quite a character, quite a guy.”

JC: Any favorite Andre stories?

BB: “Oh geez, one time I was going to take him for a ride in my 1967 Corvet—I still have it by the way. We were riding in another car and got in the Corvette. I had the top down and his head was stuck above the windshield. I said, ‘put your head down!’ And he couldn’t. (laughs) His whole head, from his chin up, was above my windshield. He was bigger than life. (laughs)”

JC: That’s cool that you got to develop that friendship with him.

BB: “Going back to Mr. Meltzer, he had an opinion. I kind of respect people for their opinions. I respected him for something years later. He said ‘that was good.’”

JC: The book?

BB: “Yeah, that’s what he said about the book. I got goosepimples just saying that to you.”

JC: (laughs) Well, it is a good book.

BB: “And that’s his opinion. But he had his opinion back in the 80s about the character of Bob Backlund. That was his opinion, and I respect him for that.”

JC: Do you think his opinion changed because after reading the book he learned about the real Bob Backlund instead of the character?

BB: “Well, I’m pretty much mom, dad, and apple pie in life, too. Especially back then. I still consider myself an all-American boy. I’m just a person going through life, day to day, trying to enjoy it as much as I can.”

JC: Reading about your childhood was an eye-opening experience. Did you ever reference that aspect of your real life in your promos or interviews?

BB: “No, never. Even my neighbors probably didn’t know, because you try to hide it. I was going to school because it was better than being at home. I was going out for sports so I didn’t have to go home after school. In 8th grade, I was in a bad situation, raising heck with the wrong group of people. There are some things that started happening that changed me, but it wasn’t overnight. It started tipping me away, and by the time I was a senior in high school, I was ready to go.”

JC: Was it tough for you to open up about your childhood in the book?

BB: “The last thing I talked to Rob Miller about was my dad. I wasn’t even going to do it. It was hard to tell him about it, but I wanted to do it because it was part of my life and made me the way I am. The other goal in writing the book was for people to understand why I made the decisions that I did.”

JC: Such as refusing to turn heel after losing the title?

BB: “That was the biggest one, yeah. Our daughter was 6 years old at the time. I had traveled with the Savoldis a little bit and they would tell me what it was like going to school with their dad as a bad guy. I wasn’t going to do that to my daughter.

Also, I was having Bob Backlund kids tournaments in Connecticut and Rhode Island. I was making a lot of promises to kids about not doing this and not doing that, and I expected them to do the same. I gave them my word and I wasn’t going to go against it. Even Rob Miller, during our first meeting, said, ‘if you did that, I wouldn’t be sitting with you right now.’”

For Part III in which Backlund discusses the WWE Hall of Fame, Triple H, Bruno, and the Mr. Backlund character…click here.

John Corrigan
Follow Me

John Corrigan

Columnist / Assistant Editor at Wrestledelphia.com
John Corrigan
Follow Me
2 Comments on this post.
  • Bob Backlund Talks Hall of Fame, Bruno, & Mr. Backlund | Wrestledelphia
    18 November 2015 at 8:03 AM
    Leave a Reply

    […] Q&A (Part II) Bob Backlund Talks Piper, Meltzer, Andre, McMahon Sr. […]

  • Q&A (Part I): Bob Backlund Talks The Dark Years | Wrestledelphia
    19 November 2015 at 8:00 AM
    Leave a Reply

    […] Q&A (Part II) Bob Backlund Talks Piper, Meltzer, Andre, McMahon Sr. […]

Leave a Reply

  • As everyone is aware by now, John Cena defeated AJ Styles for the WWE Championship on Sunday night to become only the second-ever 16-time World Champion. The WWE Universe...
  • Before Howard Finkel, there was Gary Michael Cappetta. A bright-eyed Jersey boy with a distinctive voice, Cappetta announced WWWF and WWF matches from 1974 until 1985. After a stint...
  • Jay: An Emotional Royal Rumble Experience
    Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared as a Facebook post by Emil Jay, but with his permission, we are sharing it in its unedited entirety. Warning: This is going...


  • 10 Greatest WWE Comebacks Of 2016

    WWE relied heavily upon nostalgia in 2002-2003, and was deservingly bashed for it. Fans chastised Vinnie Mac for dusting off relics like Kevin Nash and Sable rather than investing...
  • Wrestling Rewind: That Time President-Elect Donald Trump Attacked Vince McMahon

    Well, it’s over. The 2016 Presidential Election has come and gone, and the result is as shocking as Brock Lesnar pinning The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX to end The...
  • Levin: WWE Shouldn’t Give In To Conor McGregor

    There is no other way to say this nicely. I don’t want to see Conor McGregor anywhere near a WWE event or in a wrestling ring anytime soon. The...
  • HEAT WEEK: 25 Greatest Wrestling Villains Ever

    We’ve looked back on the great villains of yesteryear, the greatest betrayals and the hottest moments. We’ve also determined the top villains in 2016. Now there’s only one list...