WWE Hall of Famer Bob Backlund spoke with Duke Loves Rasslin Podcast about turning heel in the 90s, Brock Lesnar, his latest run in WWE with Darren Young, and the “All American Boy” moniker. Here are some of the highlights:
Latest WWE run with Darren Young:
“Darren Young was looking for someone to train him and finally he came and asked me if I wouldn’t mind to be his life coach. I said, ‘I sure would, you’re a great man and good for the business.’ So he went to Vince [McMahon] and the rest is history.”
Brock Lesnar and “Suplex City”:
“How big of a repertoire did he have in the ring. ‘Suplex City’? How many times can you suplex someone as opposed to the ‘All American Boy’s’ large repertoire of moves. It’s gotten to the point where they do the same moves over, and over, and over, and that’s all they know. When you have a set program in your match it gets old to do the same thing over and over and over again.”
“All American Boy” Moniker:
“When I think about ‘All American Boy’ I think of someone that lives by the Golden Rule: treat people how you wanted to be treated. That’s one of my rules in life. I respect everybody. We’re all equal, we’re all human beings and we’re all here to do good things. I liked it when they started calling me the ‘All American Boy’ and I think I lived it.”
Eventually turning heel:
“In the mid-80s Vince [McMahon] Jr. wanted me to turn heel and have a run with [Hulk] Hogan. I said I can’t do that. He asked me why and I said because I have a daughter who’s starting school next year. I’m not going to let her down and have her go through people calling her family names and this and that. In the 80’s people were a certain way, but in the 90s people weren’t that certain way. They didn’t want to hear about Mom and Dad and apple pie and doing the right stuff. They wanted to hear about lying, cheating and swearing and I wasn’t going to do that.
“So, I said to Vince McMahon Jr. ‘Let me be a bad guy now, but let me be a bad guy by being good!’ I believed I was trying to save the world. People were asking me if I was going crazy then because I was so serious about what I was trying to do. I wanted to fix it! I wanted to get people back to that high level of integrity and the family and working hard. Basically treating people the way you wanted to be treated. I thought I was going crazy at times, but I was doing a pretty important job.”
Backlund also discussed the importance of family, his first match and how he wants to be remembered. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.