It was a scene that I don’t think I’ve witnessed since the day it was on TV in 1982 or 1983 because it broke the cardinal rule: Fans don’t participate in the action.
Then-WWF Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund had just won a rare television squash match (in those days of syndicated TV, the champ almost never wrestled on television because the promoters wanted you to pay to see him at the house shows). As Backlund stood in the ring holding the belt over his head, the crowd came storming in to celebrate with him. They lifted Backlund up on their shoulders and paraded him around the ring.
Can you imagine that happening today? If it was John Cena, it’s a good bet half the people hitting the ring would be out to get him. Steve Austin drinking beers with three dozen fans? Doubt it.
But even back in the 1980s it was a no-no to get near the ring. I’m sure the mob with Backlund was set up, but either way, it was an image that was unforgettable.