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Bob Backlund - World Wrestling Champion

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Published on Dec 3, 2010

Backlund received his first shot at the WWWF Champion against "Superstar" Billy Graham where he lost by countout. Over the course of 1977, Backlund received additional shots at the champion where his fortunes started to change; they first went to a double countout[7] and later Backlund defeated Graham, but only by countout.[8] On February 20, 1978 at the famous Madison Square Garden, Backlund finally got the elusive pinfall victory over Billy Graham that earned Backlund his WWWF World Heavyweight Title. Backlund won the match despite Graham's leg being on the rope during the pinfall.
Three days after winning the WWWF gold, Backlund clashed with the NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race in a rare "WWWF vs. NWA" title match. Neither title changed hands as the two fought to a 60-minute time limit draw.[10] Defending against other champions became a recurring theme in Backlund's run with the title as he faced both the AWA (Nick Bockwinkel) and the NWA World Champion (Harley Race four times and Ric Flair once)in highly publicized matches and also engaged in a legendary series of scientific matches against NWF World Champion and Japanese legend Antonio Inoki. Backlund would also take on and defeat the Florida Champion Don Muraco[13] and in 1982 battled "International Champion" Billy Robinson to a classic 63-minute curfew draw in Montreal.[14] Backlund defended the title against a who's who of professional wrestling legends, including Dusty Rhodes, Roddy Piper, Ivan Koloff, Sgt. Slaughter, Adrian Adonis, Greg Valentine, Tatsumi Fujinami, Stan Hansen, WWF Intercontinental & NWA Missouri Champion Ken Patera, Jimmy Snuka, Pat Patterson, the Masked Superstar, the Iron Sheik, Spiros Arion, Tony Atlas, Blackjack Mulligan, Buddy Rose, Killer Khan, NWA Florida Southern Champion Jimmy Garvin, Hawaiian Champion Wildman Austin, Seiji Sakaguchi, Riki Choshu, Hulk Hogan, George Steele, Big John Studd, Strong Kobayashi, Gorilla Monsoon, Ray Stevens, Ernie Ladd, Stan Stasiak, Baron Von Raschke, the Destroyer (Dick Beyer), Bob Orton Jr., Raymond Rougeau, Hiro Matsuda, King Kong Tonga, Ron Bass, Dick Murdoch, the (original) Sheik, Kevin Sullivan, Prof. Toru Tanaka, Mr. Fuji, Bob Sweetan, Swede Hansen, Peter Maivia, Bobby Duncum, Sika, Afa, Larry Zbyszko, Angelo Mosca, Jesse Ventura, Luke Graham, Osamu Kido, Victor Rivera, Crusher Blackwell, Twin Devil #2, Bulldog Brower, Lou Albano, Moose Morowski, Jerry Valiant, Jimmy Valiant, Johnny Valiant, Tom Andrews, Roger Kirby, Jose Estrada, Johnny Rodz, Bulldog Brown, Kengo Kimura, Ron Starr, Lord Alfred Hayes, Le Bourreau (Hangman), Tor Kamata, Buzz Tyler, Butcher Brannigan, Moondog Rex, Hans Schroeder (Masked Executioner), Mr. Saito, and Iron Mike Sharpe.
On August 9, 1980, Backlund teamed with Pedro Morales to capture the WWF World Tag Team Championship from The Wild Samoans at Showdown at Shea. Backlund and Morales were forced to vacate the title due to a then-extant WWF rule stating that no one can hold two championships at the same time. Backlund met with more tag team success at year's end when he (along with Antonio Inoki) captured the 1980 MSG Tag Team League Tournament with a win over Hulk Hogan and Stan Hansen on December 10, 1980, in Osaka, Japan. Backlund and Inoki finished the tournament with seven wins and two double-countout decisions en route to victory.
Bob Backlund World Wrestling Champion

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