Does anyone else remember when WWF Champion Bob Backlund introduced the crossface chicken wing as his new finisher? I think it was in 1983, at around the same time Backlund buzzed his hair, began wearing a singlet instead of trunks, and started (probably unknown to Backlund) the downward spiral of his initial WWF career.
Backlund did a demo of the chicken wing with fellow babyface Tony Garea on Championship Wrestling one Saturday morning. Backlund and Garea did some amateur wrestling spots — you know, the type where one babyface sneaks out of the hold, and the other babyface is impressed and gets the fans to give a round of applause.
Backlund finally snuck around Garea and got the chicken wing on him, and I distinctly recall at the impressionable age of 12 hearing Garea yell, “Oh, my fucking arm!” You were lucky if you got a “damn” in pro wrestling those days, never mind a full-blown F-bomb. But it got the point across: The chicken wing hurt.
Backlund helped loosen up Garea’s shoulder after letting go and they shook hands after. And no, Garea didn’t turn on Backlund after that. In fact, I’m fairly sure Garea was a lifelong babyface. As far as I know, Garea is still a road agent behind the scenes in today’s WWE, which would make him one of Vince McMahon’s longest-reigning associates.