"I was mesmerized" - Konnan recalls watching former WWE Heavyweight Champion for the first time (Exclusive)

Konnan has fond memories of Billy Graham.
Konnan is a renowned wrestling veteran

Konnan recently recalled being "mesmerized" after watching WWE legend "Superstar" Billy Graham wrestle for the first time.

Graham passed away last month, on May 17, 2023, after a prolonged illness. The legend had been in and out of the hospital for months before his passing, battling for his life. The news, shared by WWE legend Ric Flair via Twitter, led to an outpouring of grief from the wrestling world. From veterans to current wrestlers to fans, many took to social media to talk about his influence on the business.

In a chat with Bill Apter of Sportskeeda Wrestling, Konnan recalled how Bill Graham was a larger-than-life character in the vein of Dusty Rhodes and Flair. The WCW veteran recalled watching the former WWE Heavyweight Champion perform for the first time at a show in Miami, where he was left "mesmerized."

"The first time I saw him was on the covers of your magazine. He was a larger-than-life character. A lot of guys back then, Dusty Rhodes, [and] Ric Flair, were larger-than-life characters. And I remember seeing him there, and I remember him wrestling in Miami. I was mesmerized because, as you know, he was a great promo; he was very entertaining," said Konnan.

Konnan also pointed out how Billy Graham was highly influential, with many others, like Hulk Hogan, taking inspiration from his on-screen character.

"He was way ahead of his time, and so many people have been inspired by him, whether it's Dusty Rhodes or Hulk Hogan. He was the man to me." (2:35 - 3:16)

Check out the full video below:


Bill Apter was not happy with Vince McMahon Sr. booking Billy Graham to lose the WWE Heavyweight Title

A few weeks back, Bill Apter expressed disappointment at one aspect of Billy Graham's decorated career. The Hall of Fame journalist mentioned that he was displeased with Graham losing the WWE Heavyweight Championship to Bob Buckland in February 1978 after holding it for over nine months.

Apter felt Vince McMahon Sr. should have let the late great performer remain the champion for a little longer since he was at the peak of his powers.

"What I didn't like about 'Superstar' Graham's career is that Vince McMahon Sr.'s decision to take the belt, the WWF belt off of him, and put in on Bob Backland when Graham was so hot at that particular time. I think Graham should have been left champion—no disrespect to Bob Backland. Bob Backland was that nice, clean, all-American guy, right?" Apter mentioned.

It's safe to say Graham's work would continue to inspire and influence a generation of young wrestlers hoping to make it in the wrestling business.

If you take any quotes from this article, please embed the YouTube video and credit Sportskeeda Wrestling.

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Edited by Arpit Shrivastava
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