When I started watching
sports entertainment pro wrestling, Bob Backlund was WWF Champion. It recently occurred to me how the holds he used all the time were all pretty cool.
For example, in 1981, Backlund’s finisher — and I realize this sounds as corny as hell in 2011 — was the reverse roll-up, a.k.a. the schoolboy. Granted, everyone does the roll-up today, but Backlund always topped his off with a neck bridge that looked impressive. You don’t see that very often these days.
Backlund also used a running atomic kneedrop, which as I noted in a prior post about long-forgotten manuevers, has been gone for so long that it’s primed for a return in today’s WWE. It’s a good hold for a face to perform on a heel, because a knee to the ass just screams crazy heel bump.
And then around 1983 or so, Backlund started doing the cross-face chicken wing, which you can certainly see reflected to some extent in the STF, which is the submission move John Cena uses. Back in ’83, that move didn’t garner a lot of respect. In the WWF at the time, submissions were kind of boring, and we were decades away from UFC and MMA changing the way we looked at submission holds. When Backlund returned to the WWF in 1992 and later went heel, he again used the chicken wing as his signature move.