Kurt Angle has explained the reason he thinks was behind WWE firing fellow Hall of Famer Bob Backlund during the Attitude Era.
Bob Backlund was a hero to a generation of wrestling fans throughout the seventies and eighties and still lays claim to the third longest WWE Championship reign of all time as recognised by the company.
In early 2000 Backlund returned to WWE at that year’s Royal Rumble and formed a brief alliance with Kurt Angle where he taught the Olympic gold medallist his patented crossface chicken wing.
Speaking on The Kurt Angle Show, Angle reflected on his time with Bob Backlund and explained how a backstage promo involving Angle’s rival at the time Chris Benoit went awry:
“[Bob] was supposed to put the crippler crossface on [Chris Benoit] while he was sitting, and Bob didn’t want to do it because he wasn’t standing up. I looked back [at the writer] like, ‘Holy sh*t.”
Bob Backlund requested to do over the promo in a less famous “it’s live pal” moment with the veteran unaware the segment was airing live to viewers. Kurt Angle thinks that’s the moment WWE decided to part ways with Backlund once again:
“I think that was the deciding factor. When Bob went and did that, they just went, ‘We’ve had enough of Bob Backlund, we’re gonna move on.’ Don’t get me wrong, Bob was fun to work with. I loved him.”