In 1976, after repeated delays and compromises (like Bruno getting a part-time schedule), Bruno Sammartino gave Vince McMahon, Sr. an ultimatum: Groom someone to be champion or else.
McMahon wanted a "Jack Brisco type," a handsome young wrestler with an amateur background. St. Louis promoter Sam Muchnick recommended Bob Backlund, but he needed seasoning and it would take time to get him over in the Northeast, enough time that they couldn't do the quick heel transitional reign again.
"Superstar" Billy Graham had been in and out of the territory for years, challenging Sammartino for the title on several occasions in addition to teaming with Ivan Koloff. When he was brought in for the run that would lead up to his title reign, notorious long term planner Vince McMahon, Sr. told him the exact days he would win the title from Sammartino and lose it to Backlund.
Baltimore was the site, as there were fears of what would happen if Bruno lost the title in Madison Square Garden again. Again, Bruno had beaten this guy before, so why would anyone have expected a title change?
After a hard-fought match, Bruno was seemingly in the middle of his comeback when Graham slumped over in the corner. As the referee pulled him away, Graham picked his leg, cradled him, put his own feet on the ropes for leverage, and got the pin.
Unlike Stasiak, Graham got an obvious victory, was handed the belt, and was announced as champion. Still, there was obvious worry about his safety, as he grabbed the belt and ran to the locker room before the official decision was announced.
Thankfully, there was no fear of murder this time once he was champion, so Graham went on to hold the title for a year as promised and lost the title on the day he was told he would lost it before he ever won it.