Bob Backlund: ‘Jimmy Snuka Is An Embarrassment!’, More


In an interview with The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast, Bob Backlund had some harsh words for both Jimmy Snuka and Hulk Hogan. Here are highlights:

On his relationship with Bruno Sammartino: “Bruno Sammartino is the greatest wrestling champion ever in the world. I wrestled more than he did but he was a strong man, he pushed a lot, threw people around and he was the greatest. I actually did more wrestling maneuvers then he did but that wasn’t his thing. He out powered people, he beat them up. I just barely won in the matches and when I came out here Vince Sr. was looking for an ‘All American Boy’ in 1977 and I don’t think he talked it over with Bruno very much and I didn’t know Bruno and Bruno didn’t know me. I shook his hand the first day I was there and I’m sure he would have liked for one of his people that he knew to be the WWF Champion but Vince picked me and it took Bruno and I about two years to find out that he and I were almost mirrored as far as moral values are concerned. We both wanted to walk the walk not just talk the talk. We weren’t friendly at all back then but we are now. I questioned him and he questioned me but we found out and it took us a long time but we are pretty close now.”

On his rivalry with Jimmy Snuka: “In the ring he was a genius. But out of the ring he was an embarrassment to society. I didn’t know him outside of the ring at all, I just knew him in the ring. I didn’t hang around and wasn’t out there with him but I know he was very good in the ring and as good as it gets. If he would have been a decent person then he would have been the WWF Champion but he didn’t have the qualifications and didn’t meet the standards or else he would have been. Vince McMahon Sr. would have made him the WWF Champion if he would have been an honorable person. I didn’t hang around the guys and I didn’t ride in the cars with him. I had an instance riding in a car with him in Georgia and I never rode with him again. I don’t know what was going on at all and I didn’t want to know. My business was wrestling and I wanted to be ready to go in the ring and do my best and I didn’t have time to worry about what was going on behind the scenes and I didn’t want to know.”

On Hulk Hogan: “I thought that he didn’t meet the standards and I know Bruno would have thought if I had been doing all that goofy stuff he was doing he wouldn’t have liked me being champion and I’m sure that Bruno feels the same way. He (Hulk) didn’t meet the standards outside the ring to be able to represent the WWF. Did the WWE fire him recently? Because, I would have fired him thirty years ago. He was saying one thing and doing another.”

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