Top 50 good guys in wrestling history

#28 Bob Backlund

He never was a purveyor of glitz and glamour, nor did he ever exhibit a flashy style. But the one thing that endeared Bob Backlund to the WWE Universe was his grass roots approach toward the mat game and toward the people. And that took the Princeton, Minn., native to his first WWE Championship on Feb. 20, 1978, as he defeated “Superstar” Billy Graham in Madison Square Garden. (WATCH)

Known for his great stamina and physical conditioning, Backlund was one of a select group of men who won an NCAA Championship in college, then parlayed that into a successful career in the pro ranks. An unwavering do-gooder, Backlund’s humble Midwestern manner sometimes seemed out of place in the wild world of sports-entertainment, but the technician’s fire and fervor were undeniable in his bouts against rivals like Greg Valentine, Sgt. Slaughter and Don Muraco. — H.F.