Read Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling's World Champion by Bob Backlund Robert H. Miller Roddy Piper Online


Bob Backlund began life as a poor farm boy in the little village of Princeton, Minnesota, with a population of just over 2,000 people. He was a below-average student with a lackluster work ethic and a bad attitude, who hung with the wrong crowd and made a lot of bad choices. He was a kid whose life was headed for disaster—until a local coach took interest in him, suggestedBob Backlund began life as a poor farm boy in the little village of Princeton, Minnesota, with a population of just over 2,000 people. He was a below-average student with a lackluster work ethic and a bad attitude, who hung with the wrong crowd and made a lot of bad choices. He was a kid whose life was headed for disaster—until a local coach took interest in him, suggested that he take up amateur wrestling, and offered to work with him if he promised to stay out of trouble.It was in North Dakota that Bob Backlund had the first of several chance encounters that would shape his destiny. While working out at the YMCA gymnasium in Fargo, North Dakota, where he wrestled for North Dakota State, Backlund met a well-known professional wrestler, “Superstar” Billy Graham. The men talked, and at Graham’s suggestion, Backlund was inspired to pursue a career in professional wrestling.Less than five years from that day, on February 20, 1978, Backlund would find himself halfway across the country, standing in the middle of the ring at Madison Square Garden with his hand raised in victory as the newly crowned World Wide Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Champion. The man Backlund pinned for the championship that night was none other than Superstar Billy Graham.Featuring contributions from Bruno Sammartino, Harley Race, Terry Funk, Pat Patterson, Ken Patera, Sergeant Slaughter, The Magnificent Muraco, George “The Animal” Steele, “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas, The Iron Sheik, and many others, this book tells the incredible story of the life and nearly forty-year career of one of the most famous men to ever grace the squared circle.Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, is proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports—books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team.In addition to books on popular team sports, we also publish books for a wide variety of athletes and sports enthusiasts, including books on running, cycling, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, martial arts, golf, camping, hiking, aviation, boating, and so much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home....

Title : Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling's World Champion
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781613216958
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 536 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling's World Champion Reviews

  • Brandon
    2019-03-14 14:58

    I’m a big sucker for pro wrestling memoirs and when I heard Bob Backlund was writing one, I jumped at the chance to get it. The truth is, while I’m a huge fan of the 80s and 90s wrestling scenes, I know next to nothing about the 70s, which is where Backlund rose to prominence, so this was going to be material that was mostly new to me. Bob held the WWE Championship for nearly six years from the tail end of the seventies into the middle of the eighties, so my interest was piqued into how a reign of this length was sustained.Unfortunately, new doesn’t always mean exciting or interesting. As far as wrestling memoirs go, this was drier than a ski hill in the summer. Bob Backlund was straighter than parallel parking, and his story had the intensity of a grocery list. I’m not faulting the guy, he made a lot of the right choices throughout his career – it’s probably why he’s still above ground, clear of any addictions and also on his first marriage. While most of his peers were running around ripped on cocaine, binge drinking and finding love in all the wrong places, Bob was hopping into bed early in the hopes of a vigorous morning workout.There are some interesting bits here and there given Bob’s experience working all over the United States during the territory days but you’re out of luck if you’re looking for any dirt. There are very few, if any, instances where Bob would criticize a guy. It seemed that everyone he worked with was “great”, which is fine – but it doesn’t make for a compelling read.The most disappointing aspect of the book had to be that he didn’t begin to talk about his return to the spotlight in 1992 until the 95% mark (read this on my Kindle) and it’s all of about four pages in length. I did like that his conservative, preachy character was inspired by a loudmouth rant from Rush Limbaugh on the radio – but that’s about as much insight given with regards to that portion of his career.Backlund’s memoir was an OK read at best that really dragged in the middle when all the stories seemed to blend together. I can’t say I would recommend this above other more nuanced and enthralling reads about the carny lifestyle of a pro wrestler.

  • Charley
    2019-03-17 22:50

    Even as a diehard pro-wrestling fan, I can honestly say that I just never was that exposed to Bob Backlund and his legacy in the wrestling world. It's likely a consequence of my age and just being too young to have grown up with his matches and his legacy to be a large part of my world. Even for his second run in the 90's, it was a little too before my time.Reading this book, I've realized I've missed out on something special.For much of Backlund's career, he wrestled in a pre-National-television era, where everything was about working a corner of the country and keeping that pocket of fans entertained. But even in that pre-national era, Backlund brought to the ring something that resonated with everyone in those arenas. No matter where he traveled to, even to Japan, the people wanted to see Bob Backlund and cheer him on to victory. Going back and watching some old clips on YouTube, I can see the spark he brought to the arena.I've read a number of other wrestler's biographies and I honestly have to say that this reads as one of the most honest of them all. Many wrestler's bios are either wholly or partially ghostwritten and although Backlund had a writer assist him, the result reads as a pure and honest story told by Backlund. (Part of this feeling comes from the repetition of some stories, almost verbatim, in different parts of the book.) Aside from Mick Foley's memoirs, which he wrote on his own, this is the one wrestler's bio that I believe is 100% their story.Additionally, the book is especially poignant considering the foreword was written by Rowdy Roddy Piper. Piper and Backlund faced each other in a historically inconsequential match early in Piper's career, but it's clear from Piper's story that Backlund went out of his way to help a young up-and-coming wrestler build their career. With Piper's recent passing and his legacy firmly entrenched in wrestling history, his voice jumps off the page to praise Backlund and his work ethic.[Review based on an e-ARC provided by AboveTheTreeLine]

  • Donna
    2019-02-25 16:35

    We know Bob Backlund from when he attended Waldorf College early in his football/wrestling days (my husband was his football coach). We recently met him at his Induction to the Hall of Fame at Waldorf College and found him to be the same wonderful, ethical, well-bodied, healthy, disciplined young man (66 years old,now) that he was when he started his college career.We are not followers of professional wrestling so his book was an enlightening account of his life's path that took him through unimaginable experiences throughout the USA and countries abroad.We would suggest that anyone who enjoys success of persons struggling with up and down life experiences read this book. Bob is an excellent source of how to get through the ups and downs!

  • Douglas Castagna
    2019-03-14 20:01

    I loved Wrestling back in the day and am still highly nostalgic about this period and a little after Backlund's reign. I enjoyed the writing style along each rather long section, the narrative was peppered with remembrances of all the wrestling greats of the period. Slaughter, Sheik, Andre, Bruno, and many many more help make the sheer volume and repetitive nature of this tome more entertaining and worth sticking with throughout. The era before his arrival to the WWF is long and a bit boring to me, only because I am not as familiar with all the nuances of those organizations back then. I knew some of the greats when they were mentions like the Funks, Dusty, and Harley Race, but I was much younger then and did not recall ever hearing of Backlund until he became the champ.I would say it is a bit on the long side, but worth the read if you are a fan of his or a fan of the genre or even the period. I had a blast reminiscing about a period when I loved the sport.

  • Noetic_Hatter
    2019-03-01 14:45

    It has its flaws - especially later, when Backlund falls into, "And then I had two matches with X; they were good. After that, I worked with Y, and we had a good run." But it's one of the best rasslin memoirs I have read. I knew nothing about Bob Backlund, beyond having seen a few matches. His life has been interesting and inspiring, though I am amazed at how inexperienced he really was in the business when he won the WWWF belt in 1978. The best part of this book are the anecdotes - especially about Andre and about Vince Sr. Also, there's a lot of great stuff here about why certain booking decisions are made and how to put together a match and a program. (I don't know how NYC fans didn't tire of the championship feud formula, though. No wonder Vince Jr started switching things up as soon as he took power.)Incidentally, Bob makes an effort not to badmouth others much. But he clearly - to me - dislikes or disrespects Ric Flair. Even though he talks about Flair's obvious talent, he goes out of his way on two different occasions to talk about how Flair couldn't handle himself if someone decided to shoot on him in the ring. For a real wrestler like Bob, who was trained by the Funks and Harley, it's just about the biggest insult he can come up with. Finally, there's a lovely introduction from Roddy Piper. Given the timing of the book, it's possibly one of the last things Piper wrote. I am not ashamed to admit that the thought made me teary-eyed as I read it.

  • Daniel
    2019-03-12 22:55

    I lived thru the entire reign of Backlund as WWE champion. Was great to get the behind the scenes dirt on what was going on. BS factor was very low or non existent for a book about wrestling.

  • Mr David Brooks
    2019-03-08 20:33

    The Real DealJust a fabulous historical document in a lot of ways. Survivor Series 94 was almost exactly my 17th birthday, as the traditional Thanksgiving Eve ones often were and it was the last time I was sold on something to do with a wrestling "angle" and that was down to Mr Backlund, Owen and the rest f the Hart Family. I've grown a lot since that overnight stay at my friend's house and I've come to identify with many of the joys and many of the difficulties that Mr. Backlund came through. We all go through them. Blimey, people hate me for having standards but I won't lower them to fit in. I ran a junior cricket team for seven years and succeeded in other fields too but the standards I believe in aren't wanted anymore. I used to feel badly about it. I used to think maybe I was wrong to expect things from people and that I too was a dinosaur. I've since realised that people don't like having expectations placed upon them because there's apparently nothing in their lives that matters more than a new phone or game, or chemical dependance, can cure. People don't believe that they have to work at anything, not even in their personal lives. They think that they deserve everything and that it should all be handed to them on a plate and when it isn't then comes the tantrums and the manipulation and so on. The self-entitlement and instant gratification mindset is more destructive to any of our societies than any politician ever could be because it devalues us all. Like Mr. Backlund, I believe in things that were instilled in me before the Answer To Everything came from Google and so on. I was taught that while I am indeed a cog in a greater machine, I have to function the best I can or I'm not doing my part. If Mr. Backlund has taught me anything over the years, it is that it is not wrong to have high standards but it would be a crime to betray them for any reason.

  • J.J. Lair
    2019-03-20 17:51

    I couldn't wait to read this when it came out. I remembered his title reign in the old WWF as a good time. Yes, I was young, but every month he was on at Madison Square Garden and i watched.He claims on the book jacket that he had this tough trouble-making background-- but not so much. The wrestling life is far more interesting. He worked with a lot of greats from the 1970s like The Funks, Abdullah the Butcher, Andre the Giant, Harley Race and then to the early 1980s. He had matches against Stgt. Slaughter, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and so many matches that I never knew. I didn't realize the level of respect that so many wrestling greats had for him. For years wrestling magazines downplayed his reign, but those who faced him, respected him. Backlund does try to have respect for his detractors in wrestling so this isn't a back room gossip book. Good for him. He does clarify so old rumors about his title reign that sound reasonable so I could believe him. At the end of his career, he starts to sound like one of those guys who time has passed. He complains how new wrestlers don't understand crowd psychology and aren't as talented. It isn't worth dwelling on. For a wrestling fan who loves the history and the work, this book is for you.

  • Joe Loncarich
    2019-02-24 19:01

    I love wrestling books, but this one was a chore. It's nearly 500 pages, and at least 300 pages of it is Backlund going over every single feud he had during his career. During his title run, that included him wrestling a guy, that guy winning a countout, then Backlund would win but the guy's leg was on the rope, and then they would have a cage match. I read that story over and over about 75 times. Then his period between WWE runs, which was eight years, lasted about four pages. Backlund didn't party, so you don't get any great party stories either. Backlund seems like a good guy but a good editor would have at least cut this book in half.

  • Steve Mahofski
    2019-03-14 15:36

    Honest autobiography that captures a time period that I remember well while providing an insight unavailable anywhere else. This is the period of time where wrestling was shifting from regional promotions to the empire that became WWE. Self published, it doesn't have to tow any party line and Backlund has no intention of bashing anyone for the sake of doing so. All the people he introduces us to are indeed people who, even when they could have been nicer or more professional, have earned his respect and more importantly understanding.

  • jim morrison
    2019-03-11 22:38

    Approachable Having met and spoken to Bob during his title reign, he really was and is exactly what is described here. I approached him while he was sitting in the stands at the old Boston Garden. Security paused me but Bob waved me over. We chatted a few. He was easily the most approachable wrestler of that status ever. He is a very sweet man and a man's man.

  • Tom
    2019-03-17 19:46

    To me the real story is about the circumstances that brought Bob Backlund to the top. The roads traveled as a youth through middle school and beyond are remarkable. The lessons he learned. Good lessons as opposed to reckless lessons. His many challenges. Well well worth reading for the wrestling fan or anyone interested in a remarkable real life story.

  • Oliver Bateman
    2019-03-12 21:46

    a brisk, revealing, and professionally written account of backlund's glory years in the wwe year, with not much else included (his mid-90s run, which I remember far better, is reduced to a footnote). also discussed here in my VICE piece about pro wrestling autobiographies:

  • Steven Pofcher
    2019-02-25 19:54

    Good book about the value of hard work, training and focusing on one's fieldIt is about doing your best and working at a job you love.Also interesting history of the professional wrestling business - and I do mean business.

  • Kathie
    2019-02-22 20:46

    Such a pleasure and an inspiration! I love his positive outlook and focus on the simple things that all too often get lost in the shuffle these days. Never capitulate!*PMA always and forever*

  • Dave Hofer
    2019-02-25 18:48

    This was OK. A good peek into the old ways of pro-wrestling. It was a little repetitive. I bought this from Backlund himself, so that was cool.