WWE Hall of Famer Bob Backlund has said the reason he never turned heel during his early career in the WWF, was because of his daughter and the promises he made to kids.
Throughout the WWE, there are many wrestlers who work best as a face or as a heel. Everyone knows John Cena's best work comes when he is a face wrestler. As for some like Brock Lesnar, his best work occurs when he is a heel.
Throughout the early stages of anyone's career in the WWE, they're usually tested as a face and as a heel, to see which one not only works best for their persona, but also to see which one connects the most with the WWE Universe.
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For Backlund, he was a face during his early career in the WWF, but when the option to turn heel came around, he turned it down because of the connection he has with kids and his daughter.
He said on the Ring Rust Radio whilst promoting his new book, BACKLUND: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling’s World Champion: “This is explained pretty well in the book, but I had a daughter that was six years old about to start school. I went around the country talking about amateur wrestlers, hosting Bob Backlund kids wrestling tournaments, and I always talked to them about things I wouldn’t do.
"I wouldn’t turn because I made a lot of promises to a lot of kids and with my daughter starting school I didn’t want her to have problems in school.”
Many comparisons of this situation can be drawn to what Cena has been going through for quite some time. A certain proportion of the WWE Universe has been calling for the Superstar to turn heel to add more life to his on-screen character.
However, the connection Cena has with the younger generation of the WWE Universe, especially children, means it would break a lot of hearts if he ever were to make the heel switch.
His merchandise sells well to the younger fans because they idolise him and see him as a hero. Taking this away would be devasting to not only them, but the WWE too as they would lose a lot of money.
This is why it has never happened, and why it probably never happened for Backlund during his time either.