Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter
Speaking of Hollywood, one of the first days I was hosting the Today Show, John Cena and Vince McMahon happened to be guests. Of course, I'm huge fans of theirs, too, but I couldn't help but threaten John that Bob would one day come back to put him in the chicken wing! They both had great things to say about Bob but I'm sure they thought I was a little nuts, as people have thought Bob was a little nuts. But along with everything else Bob taught me, it's okay to be a little nuts.
I'm sure people thought Bob was more than a little nuts, when after an unprecedented 5 year run with the title, he refused to turn heel. He believed it would let down his fans which included many troubled youth who had looked up to him and in those days, it would have. In so doing he surrendered millions of dollars from the new age of rock and wrestling as well as the career he loved most.
Not only did Bob Backlund hold the title for almost 6 consecutive years – he did something perhaps even greater when he came back a decade later. He completely reinvented himself and his character. When you think of performers who've been able to successfully reinvent their characters, even in Hollywood, few names come to mind. Bob not only created an entire new persona he also went on to become wrestling's number one heel and regained his title in one of the most successful comebacks in sports entertainment history.
But most people know that. Like the greatest champions Bob Backlund carries himself with humility – which is why many of the facts I'm about to reveal are not known.
In a Pennsylvania match against Hulk Hogan, whom he pinned on several occasions, Bob Backlund picked Hulk up over his head with one arm. It's a feat Hulk, and his own late father, often reflected on in astonishment.
Bob Backlund has only been to the doctor twice since 1973.
Bob Backlund has never done a drug. As he says, and I quote, "I wouldn't know what to do with them."
Bob Backlund, within a three month span, won the NCAA wrestling championship and the National college football championship. He is perhaps the only man in history to hold that distinction.
In that championship football game, Bob Backlund recorded 22 tackles and 2 fumble recoveries. To give perspective, a team averages about 65 plays in an entire game.
Bob Backlund was a top shoot fighter, if not THE top shoot fighter, in the world of professional wrestling.
Bob Backlund intentionally NEVER squashed his opponents as he believed it would harm their future earnings.
Bob Backlund is in better condition than 99% of men... a third his age.
Bob Backlund has a diverse portfolio of stocks and real estate and has NEVER IN HIS LIFE PAID A DIME OF INTEREST!
Bob Backlund has a beautiful wife and daughter.
And at the end of the day, Bob Backlund justs want to help others in need.
Bob Backlund is simply one of, if not, THE greatest personal success stories for wrestlers, fans and people in general.
I know it wasn't always easy in your career, Bob. But, in the face of shortcomings and disappointments, you never gave up or succumbed like so many of us understandably would. Instead, you continued working out, educating yourself and, always, helping others and donating your time to charity. Through it all you kept your faith and your resolve and here you are on the greatest stage being honored by your greatest peers. I'm excited for tonight, your book being published and all the amazing things you remain to accomplish in your journey. And, I believe there's one more WWE run in that journey for you Bob, because 'When u believe you can do something, you can.'
Some know you as Bob Backlund. Others as Mr. Backlund. I just know you as my champion, my hero and my friend. Thank you to the WWE Universe for allowing me to welcome to the stage, Mr. Bob Backlund!
Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.
See Recent Photo Of Sable With Brock Lesnar At The Gym
Elias On Braun Strowman Playing A Bass On WWE RAW, Concert With The Rock, WrestleMania Opponents
Filmmaker Claims Roman Reigns' 2016 WWE Suspension Was Over Steroid Ring, Tags Another Top WWE Star
Impact Wrestling Live Coverage: EC3 Takes On Johnny Impact, Brian Cage In Action, Will Abyss Return?
Tommaso Ciampa Taunts Johnny Gargano On Twitter, WWE 2K18 Elimination Chamber Dives, WWE Shop
Bray Wyatt Reportedly Spending Some Of His Required Child Support Payments On Gifts For Jojo
WWE On The Velveteen Dream's "Indy Guys" Tweet, Emma's First Post-WWE Match Video, 205 Tournament
Big Weekend For Ronda Rousey Next Month, John Cena Delivers Attitude Adjustments (Video), SheaMemes
Renee Young Talks Being Upset When WWE Dropped Talking Smack
WWE SmackDown Results - AJ Styles Headlines, Six-Woman Match, New 1 Contenders Crowned, More
Alicia Fox Says She's Single Again (Photo), SmackDown Live Media, WWE Shop Sale, Meet Jinder Mahal
Backstage Update On Dolph Ziggler's New WWE Contract, How Much He Was Making Before
Renee Young On How Dean Ambrose Got Her Attention Over Other WWE Stars
Jim Cornette On How Much Money WWE Loses With NXT
Backstage News On Who Is Responsible For Jeff Jarrett's Upcoming WWE Hall Of Fame Induction
Twitter Drama Erupts After Mandy Rose Uses Hair Whip On Monday's WWE RAW
New Title Match Set For WWE Elimination Chamber