Superstar Billy Graham On The Rock Not Mentioning WWE, Bruno Sammartino Entering The HOF, More


"I have all my tie dye on and ready to go, we're in the hallway with Vince Sr. and we're waiting for Backlund to walk out before we head for the ring, Backlund walks out of the locker room with this full length boxing robe on and the towel around his neck, and the boxing robe was all the way down to his shoelaces and of course, it is wrapped over and around the belt. Vince McMahon Sr says, 'Bobby, where is the belt? My god, the belt, where's the belt?' Because everything was about the belt. And he says, 'Vince, I have it underneath my robe.' And Vince says, 'But Bobby, the fans want to see the belt. My god its the belt.' Vince was having a breakdown backstage. And so Backlund's answer to Vince Sr about wearing the black robe and covering up the belt, hiding the belt, was, 'but Vince, I like my robe.' That is a child like response.

On The Rock not mentioning WWE on The Tonight Show: "You're kidding?! Well there you go. Completely falling apart at the seams. The Rock's heart is not in the ring, it's in the movies. We know where his heart is and I don't blame him. I don't blame the man for wanting to continue his movie career, but to most even mention WrestleMania on a program like that and to have the belt shows you the devaluation of the whole product. The whole product is suffering. The depth of the talent pool is so shallow it's just pathetic. And who believes for one minute that; who's the Undertaker working with? [CM Punk} My buddy Punk; who on gods green earth believes the Undertaker's going to lose to CM Punk?"

On his influence in pro wrestling: "I'm very aware of that and it's a compliment. I remember the fans back then would tell me, 'do you know that Jesse Ventura's taking your stuff, trying to look just like you?' The fans at one point were very jealous about things like that. I said that's ok because it's a compliment to be that type of an influence on people that they want to be like you and look like you. It's a great compliment to have that much influence on people. So I've never been jealous or have had a grudge against Jesse and the Hulkster. I've always thought it was a great compliment to me that they wanted to follow my persona and be influenced by my charismatic presence just like I was influenced by Muhammad Ali, he was my inspiration.

"I've always thought it was a great thing. I didn't think it was so unusual because I was so different. I knew I was an entertainer and I always, to myself, knew that I was an entertainer in the ring as opposed to a more precision technician wrestler type like a Harley Race or even a Bob Backlund. My ambition was to entertain people. I saw pro wrestling from day one as entertainment and that's what I sought after. I was very happy and proud to have influenced two of the best entertainers ever in professional wrestling, Ventura and the Hulkster.

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