Here is a Bob Backlund doing a Pro Wrestling USA promo after leaving the WWF in ’84. Sure, it’s using his monotone voice promo, but he’s alluding to Hogan and steroids before the steroid scandal of the late ‘80s/early 90s in the sport.
The beauty of the Mr. Backlund character is that it’s not much of a change from the Bob Backlund character of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Do you think Backlund missed a great opportunity by going heel and using this pre-Mr. Backlund character? I understand that Vince suggested that Backlund dye his hair black and go heel, but I think Backlund’s stubbornness cost him a good run in ’84 when a heel Backlund would have been more over than years after his first retirement. Again, still think Backlund putting over Diesel days after Survivor Series ’94 was a bad idea then and more now.
Yeah, Bitter Bob Backlund could have had a run in the 80s for sure, although not as a top Hogan level guy. But there's worse spots to be in than "Crazy former World champion terrorizing the B-show main events", especially when there was so much money to go around for everyone. Hell, Backlund could have easily been slotted into the Terry Funk role.