Killing time Googling random wrestling bric-a-brac, when I came upon Meltzer’s list of "Most Disgusting Promotional Tactics." I see for 1982, the entry reads, "Bob Backlund as WWF Champion." Care to shed some light on that? As a Hulkamania baby, I missed out on the pre-Rock-‘n-Wrestling era, but I was always under the impression that Backlund–while an order of magnitude below Bruno or Hogan in terms of star power–was a consistently popular draw who carried the belt more than ably during that era.
Meltzer REALLY hated Backlund at that point for whatever reason, although that was pre-Observer anyway so the "awards" were basically just him and about 10 friends voting. He was essentially just cheesed off that they continued to have Backlund as champion instead of a "real wrestler" like Flair over in the NWA, essentially.