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Discussion Starter #1
I always felt sorry for Backlund that his 1994 championship reign was so short. The guy was a great heel in my opinion; I loved his psychotic character and thought that he was a really entertaining guy - far better than Diesel!

Was there any real reason that his 1994 reign was so short or was he just supposed to be a transitional champion? He was a pretty prominent character at the time and was even significantly involved in the Bret/Owen feud.

I always thought that Backlund should have held the title until (at least) Royal Rumble 1995. It would've been great if he'd faced Owen Hart for the title (as a reward for Owen helping him win), setting up an Owen vs Bret title matc at Wrestlemania 11 to end their rivalry.
 

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It shows the change in Backlund's attitude. Rumor has it that Vince McMahon wanted Hogan to squash Backlund in December of 1983, but Backlund refused, and insisted on losing to a heel with wrestling credentials. In pops Iron Sheik who fit that role.

Flash forward to 1994 and Backlund gets squashed by Kevin Nash. Ironic.
 

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I don't know what Vince was thinking but Bob Backlund winning the title in 1994 was stupid as fuck. He was a transitional champion, the exact definition of a transitional champion, he only had the belt to drop it to Diesel. The whole thing was well done true enough but a straight up Bret vs Diesel match would have been better. Diesel could have gained more from beating Bret straight up instead of going round about with it.
 

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As far as I know it's a situation where Vince panicked at the potential of low buyrates with Backlund as champ and he undoubtably had the Kliq in his hear.

It's not to say it wasn't entirely planned though because Nash had just come off his "breakup" with Shawn Michaels and was getting huge reactions at the time.
 

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I liked several things from that Backlund run though. Most notably getting over his psychotic heel persona and really establishing the Crossface Chickenwing as a devastating move that was to be feared. Despite the fact that Bob never put it on correctly.

More characters and moves today should be put over like that.
 

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As a relatively new fan during that time, I hated Backlund's entire run. He was so plain and generic that it totally didn't interest me at all, as a 6 year old. Plus he beat my hero at the time, Bret Hart for the title so I really didn't like him but it wasn't heel heat it was more like Michael Cole, get him off my TV heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
As a relatively new fan during that time, I hated Backlund's entire run. He was so plain and generic that it totally didn't interest me at all, as a 6 year old. Plus he beat my hero at the time, Bret Hart for the title so I really didn't like him but it wasn't heel heat it was more like Michael Cole, get him off my TV heat.
Plain and generic? He played a weird sqealing, shrieking psycotic old man. Nothing plain and generic about that! He was great at the time. I guess that, as you were only 6, it makes sense that you didn't like him. I, for one, found him insanely enjoyable (or enjoyably insane).

As far as I know it's a situation where Vince panicked at the potential of low buyrates with Backlund as champ and he undoubtably had the Kliq in his hear.

It's not to say it wasn't entirely planned though because Nash had just come off his "breakup" with Shawn Michaels and was getting huge reactions at the time.
I always felt that the Shawn Michaels / Diesel match had enough going on that adding the championship didn't really add anything. These two seemed destined to face each other at Wrestlemania right from Survivor Series 1994: it just seemed inevitable, and as a result the Royal Rumble win / title match just added nothing. Personally, I'd have had Diesel / HBK feuding without the title, and I'd have put the title from Backlund to Owen - building up to an epic, feud closing Owen Hart / Bret Hart championship match at Wrestlemania 11.

Backlund could have been (and should have been) kept in the main event by feuding with Hart for the title after Wrestlemania.
 

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I loved insane Bob Backlund (and the later Mr Backlund) but him as champ wasn't a good idea.
 

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At the time, it seems like he got the belt to help further the Bret/Owen rivalry. Owen shouldve 'tricked' Backlund into a match and won the title. Couldve had Bret/Owen at WM 11 for the title.
 

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I enjoyed heel Bob Backlund, and I didn't mind so much his very short reign as traditional champion. Backlund losing to Diesel in 15 seconds (or was it 8 seconds) on an non-televised event was just sad. I mean sure it was to Diesel more over, but that was a helluva long and boring title reign.
 

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I put my sixth grade social studies teacher in the Crossface Chickenwing during recess. True story. Got that detention, son! :)
 

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I remember being completely shocked when Backlund beat Bret and not really in a good way. Now I look back on it I can see the entertainment value in the Backlund character at the time, but back then as a naive 10 year old kid I was just thinking 'why the fuck is this guy the champ?!'

I like the Backlund dropping the belt to Owen who then faces Bret at WM XI idea. Primarily because it would have meant that Owen would have got a title reign.
 

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I have never understood his reign as champion in 1994. If they wanted someone to transition the belt from one wrestler to another, I dont think Backlund was anymore worthy than anyone else. His history was terrific, but at the time he didn't need to come in and be the champion. Losing in seconds was ridiculous though. Diesel could have got much more from a back and forth match than a straight up kick in the stomach, powerbomb finish.
 

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I never understood why they gave Backlund the belt in 94. I saw a shoot interview with Bob Backlund and Terry Funk and I dont think the man is playing with a full deck.
 

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I never understood why they gave Backlund the belt in 94. I saw a shoot interview with Bob Backlund and Terry Funk and I dont think the man is playing with a full deck.
I thought he could've been pretty entertaining as the champion. Couldn't have been any worse than that train wreck of a run that we had to suffer, with Diesel. As for the Backlund shoot and not playing with a full deck, well, it's still real to him, dammit?
 

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The WWF was into that whole "New Generation" kick at the time, so I don't think the plan was for Bob to have a long Title run. I think it was more about protecting Bret and Diesel and any future matches they were to have. If Diesel out of nowhere pinned Bret for the belt, that would've kept him heel, and Vince's plans were for Nash to be a top babyface.

In the end, Bob was just a scapegoat, like how the Iron Sheik was when Bob didn't wanna drop the gold to Hogan in '84.
 

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Vince McMahon wanted to put the WWE title on Kevin Nash but didn't want to make Bret Hart look weak and lose it to him so they simply used Bob Backlund as a transitional champion to bridge the title but also provided Bob Backlund with possibly the biggest match of his career at Survivor Series in 1994. Outside of Hart/Backlund i don't really remember any other storyline or proper feud prior so it worked out well for all involved as Bob Backlund had a proper feud and a major match on PPV which saw him win the WWE title, Bret Hart lost the WWE title but looked strong as it was a cheap loss and Kevin Nash won the WWE title.
 
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