Pro Wrestling Books

Wrestling with words

Pro Wrestling Books - Wrestling with words

Release Schedule (14 November)

One new entry this week, Jim Cornette Presents: Behind the Curtain – Real Pro Wrestling Stories by Jim Cornette, Brandon Easton & Denis Medri:

Pro-Wrestling’s secrets and greatest moments are immortalized in this graphic novel from legendary wrestling personality Jim Cornette.

A true-story style anthology, these “insider” tales will show the lengths that wrestlers went to uphold “kayfabe” (the old carny term for the presentation of legitimate conflict) as well as the noteworthy cultural, racial, and economic effect these events and characters had on society. This is the graphic novel that old school wrestling fans have been waiting their entire lives for: a no-holds-barred graphic representation of the moments that wrestling insiders couldn’t talk about for years.

Featuring appearances by Ric Flair, Jerry Lawler, Andy Kaufman, Sputnik Monroe, The Sheik, Junkyard Dog, the Fabulous Freebirds, the Midnight Express, Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels.

Behind the Curtain – Real Pro Wrestling Stories present three chapters of tales, personally curated by Cornette and adapted by Brandon Easton (M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) and Denis Medri (Red Hood/Arsenal), the award-winning team behind Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven.


Titles in bold are new additions. Titles in italics have changed release date in the past week.

18 December: WWE Vol. 4: Women’s Evolution by Dennis Hopeless

23 December: Gene Kiniski: Canadian Wrestling Legend by Steven Verrier

15 January 2019: Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It by Diamond Dallas Page

5 March: WWE Greatest Rivalries

5 March: Tito the Bonecrusher by Melissa Thomson

19 March: WWE: The Official Cookbook by Allison Robicelli

19 March: WWE: Then. Now. Forever. Vol. 3

7 May: WWE SmackDown 20 Years and Counting by DK

7 May: Self Help: Life Lessons from the Bizarre Wrestling Career of Al Snow by Al Snow and Ross Owen Williams

7 May: An Encyclopedia of Women’s Wrestling: 100 Profiles of the Strongest in the Sport by LaToya Ferguson

16 July: 100 Things WWE Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Bryan Alvarez

6 August: Jim Cornette Presents: Behind the Curtain – Real Pro Wrestling Stories by Jim Cornette, Brandon Easton & Denis Medri

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Ken Shamrock Book In The Works

Jonathan Snowden, author of Shooters: The Toughest Men in Professional Wrestling, has written a new authorised biography of Ken Shamrock and is now seeking crowdfunding to publish it.

It follows on from Shamrock’s original MMA autobiography/how-to guide Inside The Lions Den. The blurb for the new book reads:

There is no shortage of material on Ken Shamrock. He’s written two books and done countless interviews and documentaries. But, despite millions of words and hours of video, any exploration of his life leads to more questions than answers.

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a superstar on the road with WWE, where the strip club VIP room is always open and drugs are just what you do to get from one day to the next? Or what happens behind the scenes when negotiating with UFC President Dana White or WWE legend Vince McMahon?

What drives a proud man to continue stepping into the ring long after he can do so with his head held high? Why did Ken’s adopted brother leave his teammates in the Lion’s Den behind? And just how real was Pancrase anyway?

You may think you know the Ken Shamrock story. You do not—because it’s never been told.

Until now.

Pardon our french but, simply put, it’s a wild f–king tale, the story of a man who came from nothing, conquered the world, then lost it all again. Now, with the strength of his faith to help power him, he’s finding his way once again.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Inside the Lion’s Den by Ken Shamrock and Richard Hanner

Inside The Lion’s Den, released in 1998, is written in two sections. The first 123 pages are a look at Ken Shamrock’s life and no-holds barred career, while the remaining 78 sides give instruction in the Lion’s Den fighting techniques.

To the pro wrestling audience, it is the former section that will prove more interesting. In September 1993, Richard Hanner, a Stockton, California newspaper reporter, was sent to cover local submission fighter Ken Shamrock’s participation in the first Ultimate Fighting Championship. He found the assignment so captivating that he went on to follow Shamrock from match to match, while researching his background. The result is the biographical portion of Inside The Lion’s Den.

The book describes Shamrock’s upbringing, including his days on the street, living in abandoned cars, spells in prison, and his adoption by Bob Shamrock It then follows his no-holds barred fighting, including the creation of Pancrase, and the success of UFC, along with its controversies. There’s even a brief account on Shamrock’s little known spell as a table-top dancer.

Of particular interest to pro wrestling fans will be the brief account of his days in the South Atlantic Pro Wrestling group as Vince Torelli, along with the infamous hotel room sneak attack by the Nasty Boys (who are not named).

The pace of the biography makes for entertaining and engrossing reading, following a chronological account, but breaking away for a chapter at a time to take a look at a particular aspect of Shamrock’s life, be it his relationship with his family, or a look at the no-prisoners-taken attitude in tryouts for the Lion’s Den.

The use of description is also extremely effective, making for a fascinating look at the development of the UFC.

Shamrock’s own contribution is perhaps of more practical use to the martial arts enthusiast, but does give a comprehensive insight into his training methods, nutrition and fighting techniques.

This section (as with the rest of the book) is illustrated in detail, and all but a couple of the manoeuvres shown can be easily followed. The training manual also demonstrates how submission fighting systems need to constantly develop, with Shamrock readily admitting that he has made mistakes in fights, pointing to the need to learn from his errors. The UFC I loss to Royce Gracie is one such case, with Shamrock later adjusting his fighting methods to account for opponents wearing a gi. Of course, looking back 18 years later, it’s clear how much the MMA game has changed in the meantime.

Read on Kindle (Amazon.com)

Read on Kindle (Amazon.co.uk)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Pro Wrestling: A Comprehensive Wrestling Guide by Lew Freeman

It’s unfair to review a book having only read the free Kindle sample. But then it’s also unfair to produce something this bad and charge $94 for it.

You’ll often see academic books with ludicrous prices such as this, mainly because nobody is buying them with their own cash. You’ll often see wrestling books with as many factual errors, though admittedly usually in eBook-only titles that cost a dollar or two. But you’ll rarely see the two combined in this manner.

It starts out reasonably enough with a very simplified history of wrestling in America, albeit with a slightly odd jump from Evan Lewis, the original ‘Strangler’ of the late 19th, to the post-war territorial era. But within a few pages it goes to pot and the flurry of often-baffling errors begins.

We learn that shortly after 1983, Vince McMahon signed a deal to have wrestling shown five nights a week on TNT. We learn how the 1980s begin with the WWF overwhelming WCW and ECW.  We learn that Andre the Giant’s run as Giant Machine was a failed attempt to fool the fans. We learn how ECW was originally East Coast Wrestling.

It’s just a shame we don’t learn how this book got made or why it costs so much. But the fact that author Lew Freedman has more than 120 books listed on Amazon might be a clue.

Read on Kindle (Amazon.co.uk)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Release Schedule (31 October)

One new entry this week, 100 Things WWE Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Bryan Alvarez

Covering the most charming babyfaces and hateable heels, the high-flyers as well as the hardcore heroes, this comprehensive, authoritative book explores the personalities, events, and facts every WWE fan should know. Dive into pro wrestling history with indispensible information on iconic matches, behind-the-scenes business, unforgettable feuds, and outstanding feats by superstars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, John Cena, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, and Bret Hart. Whether you had the privilege of witnessing the glory days of The Rock, or are a more recent fan of Daniel Bryan or Sasha Banks, this is the ultimate guide to what goes on inside and out of the ring. Bestselling author Bryan Alvarez (The Death of WCW) has collected essential knowledge, trivia, and must-do activities and ranks them from 1 to 100, providing an entertaining and easy-to-follow checklist as you progress on your way to fan superstardom.


Titles in bold are new additions. Titles in italics have changed release date in the past week.

9 November: The Elite Team: Young Bucks Stand Tall by Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson

18 December: WWE Vol. 4: Women’s Evolution by Dennis Hopeless

23 December: Gene Kiniski: Canadian Wrestling Legend by Steven Verrier

15 January 2019: Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It by Diamond Dallas Page

5 March: WWE Greatest Rivalries

5 March: Tito the Bonecrusher by Melissa Thomson

7 March: Convergent Wrestling: Participatory Culture, Transmedia Storytelling, and Intertextuality in the Squared Circle (The Cultural Politics of Media and Popular Culture) by CarrieLynn D Reinhard and Christopher John Olson

19 March: WWE: The Official Cookbook by Allison Robicelli

19 March: WWE: Then. Now. Forever. Vol. 3

7 May: WWE SmackDown 20 Years and Counting by DK

7 May: Self Help: Life Lessons from the Bizarre Wrestling Career of Al Snow by Al Snow and Ross Owen Williams

7 May: An Encyclopedia of Women’s Wrestling: 100 Profiles of the Strongest in the Sport by LaToya Ferguson

16 July: 100 Things WWE Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Bryan Alvarez

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

‘Unladylike: A Grrl’s Guide to Wrestling’ Fully Funded

Congratulations to Heather Bandenburg whose book Unladylike: A Grrl’s Guide to Wrestling has been fully funded on Unbound, a Kickstarter-like crowd funding site for books. Due out next year, it has the following blurb:

Most wrestling books are about the stars of the industry – this one isn’t. Unladylike offers an honest and comedic insight in to the world of independent wrestling from the perspective of one angry, overweight woman following a dream she didn’t know she had. Unladylike is structured around the last five years of my wrestling journey, using it as a backdrop to explore both the hidden and overblown world of wrestling. It also talks about women’s bodies; cabaret in Underground post-recession London; forming unlikely friendships; generational ennui; pushing boundaries and personal politics. It is written for both an existing and new wrestling audience in a way that hasn’t been attempted before – sitting squarely within the narrative non-fiction genre with influences of both sport writing and feminist thought.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Release Schedule (17 October)

Good news for DDP fans as his book has been brought forward a month. But bad news for Gene Kiniski fans as his bio has been delayed. Meanwhile we have a new title, albeit very much at academic pricing, Convergent Wrestling: Participatory Culture, Transmedia Storytelling, and Intertextuality in the Squared Circle (The Cultural Politics of Media and Popular Culture) by CarrieLynn D Reinhard and Christopher John Olson:

This book examines how the current era of “convergence” has affected the world of professional wrestling, which combines several different genres, including drama, action, comedy, horror, science fiction, and even romance. Professional wrestling’s business practices exist at the intersection of bottom-up fan-centric strategies and strict top-down corporate control. Meanwhile, the wrestlers themselves combine aspects of carnival hucksters, actors/actresses, comedians, superheroes, martial artists, or stuntmen, and the narratives consist of everything from social critique to geopolitical allegories, and from soap opera melodramas to stereotyped exploitation. Bringing together the latest scholarship in the field, Convergent Wrestling analyzes various texts, business practices, and fan activities to explore the commonalities that define professional wrestling and consider how it exists in today’s new media ecology. In addition, the book considers the professional wrestling industry from several different angles, from massive multinational conglomerate World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to local indie federations. As such, it will appeal to scholars with interests in popular culture, media and cultural studies, and fan practices.


Titles in bold are new additions. Titles in italics have changed release date in the past week.

30 October: WWE: Then, Now, Forever Vol. 2 by Dennis Hopeless

6 November: WWE Original Graphic Novel: Undertaker

9 November: The Elite Team: Young Bucks Stand Tall by Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson

18 December: WWE Vol. 4: Women’s Evolution by Dennis Hopeless

10 January 2019: Gene Kiniski: Canadian Wrestling Legend by Steven Verrier

15 January: Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It by Diamond Dallas Page

5 March: WWE Greatest Rivalries

5 March: Tito the Bonecrusher by Melissa Thomson

7 March: Convergent Wrestling: Participatory Culture, Transmedia Storytelling, and Intertextuality in the Squared Circle (The Cultural Politics of Media and Popular Culture) by CarrieLynn D Reinhard and Christopher John Olson

19 March: WWE: The Official Cookbook by Allison Robicelli

19 March: WWE: Then. Now. Forever. Vol. 3

7 May: WWE SmackDown 20 Years and Counting by DK

7 May: Self Help: Life Lessons from the Bizarre Wrestling Career of Al Snow by Al Snow and Ross Owen Williams

7 May: An Encyclopedia of Women’s Wrestling: 100 Profiles of the Strongest in the Sport by LaToya Ferguson

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Recent Release Roundup

Here are a few titles released in recent weeks that didn’t get advance listings and thus weren’t in the weekly release schedule. Note that I’ve decided not to include wrestling-related titles that are primarily erotica, of which you will find plenty in the self-published field.

 


On the Ropes: The Ultimate Wrestling Quizbook by Paul Meehan

Welcome to On the Ropes, a quizbook that covers a diverse range of topics across the wonderful world of professional wrestling. The book is aimed at both casual fans and hardcore grappling enthusiasts, with questions covering a huge range of promotions, eras and styles. Some quizzes will be straightforward, others offer more of a challenge and require a little specialist knowledge!In addition to more than 600 general knowledge questions, we’ve included a series of challenges and puzzles – match the wrestler to their hometown, identify grapplers from their real names, list the first 10 holders of a particular belt or achievement, identify tag teams from their members, and more. We’ll cover American, British, Japanese, Canadian and Mexican wrestling, take in the greatest stars of yesteryear and test your knowledge of the big names plying their trade in the ring right now. Whether you are a casual fan of the WWE or a diehard independent or Japanese wrestling fan, there’s something for everyone.Whatever your level of wrestling knowledge, On the Ropes is designed to entertain and educate – have fun!

 


Night Work by Greg F Gifune

In the secret worlds of organized crime and the independent professional wrestling circuit of the 1990s, no one is immune to the con, the violence, the hunger for power and respect, the lust and the darkness.

How far would you go for money and supremacy? Who would you betray? What could you tolerate? How much would you sacrifice?

Frank Ponte is about to find out…

Night Work, originally published in 2003, is Greg F. Gifune’s first published novel. Hailed as a strong debut from a promising author by both critics and readers alike, it offers a fictional glimpse behind the veil of secrecy that existed in the independent professional wrestling world at the time, and chronicles the descent of a young couple into the depths of darkness and depravity.

Part crime novel, part Greek tragedy, Night Work has been out of print for several years, but is once again available in an all-new author’s preferred edition, which includes a new introduction from author/artist Sandy DeLuca, and offers a unique look at the early work of Greg F. Gifune.

 


Before A Fall: A History of PRIDE Fighting Championships by Lee Daly

Before A Fall is the first book in English on the history of the PRIDE FC MMA promotion from beginning to end! Starting out with the story of how the first PRIDE came together, the book covers the history of the promotion in detail and includes: -Exclusive interviews with Bas Rutten, Stephen Quadros, Dan Severn, Frank Shamrock and many others. -Illustrations by professional illustrator John Sheehan. -A fully researched and cited text with quotes, facts and stories.

 


The Book on Pro Wrestling: Lessons from Rip Rogers by Caleb Hall

A compilation of the lessons and teachings from one of the all time great pro wrestling coaches, Rip Rogers. Head trainer at OVW (previously the WWE development center) for many years, Rip has guided some of the biggest stars in wrestling today through their early days including: Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, John Cena, and more. Being able to understand and implement these lessons will greatly expand your knowledge and help you further your career in pro wrestling.

 


Hottest Ticket in Town: History of Pro Wrestling in Lenor, NC (Volume One 1951 -1959) by Jason Freeman

Hottest Ticket in Town is a collection of newspaper clippings, results, phots and reproduced window posters from professional wrestling promoted in Lenoir, Hickory or surrounding town. Jim Crockett Promotions began running weekly events at the Dysart-Kendall American Legion Home in downtown Lenoir in October 1951. The Legion held weekly cards most Saturday night until March of 1955 when the weekly event moved to the Community Center in Hickory. This project is far from finished I hope that we can continue to gather more information about the history of professional wrestling in this area. Projects about the history from 1960 till present day are currently in the works. If you have clippings, posters, photos, old ticket stubs or just have stories about going to the events please contact me. Pro Wrestling has a rich history in this area and if still a part of the local culture.

 


The Joshi Dragon by Robert Lefrancois

Yumiko is the daughter of one of Japans top wrestling stars, when her mother dies she is raised by her uncle Takeshi, a brutal Yakuza crime lord. When Takeshi arranges for Yumiko to marry the leader of a rival yakuza family, she decides to run away. Yumiko enlists the help of her lesbian lover Devil Matsumoto and the two steal a large sum of money from her uncle, then flees Japan to start a few life in the United States. Once in America, Yumiko sets out to follow in her mothers footsteps. She and Devil join a small indie wrestling promotion, where she meets Mike Hilton, the charismatic champion of Union City Wrestling. Mike takes Yumiko under his wing and helps her and Devil get their start. It isn’t long before Yumiko and Mike fall in love—which doesn’t sit well with Devil. Yumiko is torn between her strong friendship and loyalty to Devil and her true love with Mike. Yumiko’s problems increased ten fold when she learns that news of her success has travelled back to her native Japan. It isn’t long before Takeshi and two of his top killers are on a plane bound for the United States. Takeshi is determined to force Yumiko to return to Okinawa with him, and will kill anyone that stands in his way.

 


Mid-Atlantic Wrestling 1976 Yearbook by Dick Bourne & David Chappell

The detailed, written history of one of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling’s most exciting years ever. Includes a huge collection of newspaper ads, event posters, memorabilia, and a massive collection of match listings and results for every city in the territory. Comprehensive rosters of all wrestlers, announcers, and managers for the entire year broken down by their position on the card. The book also includes reproductions of the four major event publications sold at the arenas throughout that year. Plus over a dozen special features focusing on 1976. It was year full of unforgettable action and major angles featuring The Anderson Brothers, Blackjack Mulligan, Wahoo McDaniel, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Rufus R. “Freight Train” Jones, the Masked Superstar, Paul Jones, “Mr. Wrestling” Tim Woods, Terry Funk, Prof. Boris Malenko and the Mongols, Andre the Giant, and many more. Special features include: – Photo feature on the year’s biggest feud: Flair vs. Wahoo! – TV Wrestling in 1976 – NWA Officers and Board Members – The Mulligan wing of the Gateway Museum – Dusty Rhodes’ Chase of the Championships – The Birth of the Masked Superstar – A close look at the United States Championship in 1976 – Truckin’ Tom Miller ..and more! The book features – – Written History Event Posters from Greensboro 30 pages of Newspaper Ads Memorabilia Rosters & Title Histories Reproductions of all four quarterly issues of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazines from 1975 50 pages of Match Listings and Results Special Features, including tournament brackets, exclusive photos, and more.

 


Anything Is Possible: The Eddie Edwards Story by Eric Maher

With as much impact as his signature move, the Boston Knee Party, Anything Is Possible: The Eddie Edwards Story takes fans of all ages inside the ring for an inspiring look into world champion wrestler Eric Maher, aka Impact Wrestling’s Eddie Edwards’ journey to the top of the independent wrestling scene. Maher teams up with co-writer and DC Comics artist Mark Poulton to deliver highlights from his incredible career. The only man in history to win the Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and GHC world heavyweight championships–professional wrestling’s triple crown, Maher recounts his days as a kid dreaming of a wrestling career, including training with the legendary Killer Kowalski and living and training in a Japanese dojo in the footsteps of his heroes.

The world is full of underdogs, but as “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards, Eric Maher proves that with hard work and determination his mantra of “Anything Is Possible” can be true for anyone.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather