Here are a few books released in recent weeks that didn’t get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule.
Japan has long been the most respected territory in the field of professional wrestling, and the most appreciated by hardcore fans worldwide. New Japan Pro Wrestling is the country’s most recognisable brand. It attracts scores of fans to annual Tokyo Dome shows, has made household names of its most prominent talent, and is increasingly in demand by a rabid international audience. Yet NJPW’s 40+ year history has been a rocky one. The company has endured strong competition, scandals and riots, and for a time it seemed like poor decision making would sink what was once a national institution. For the first time in English, Lion’s Pride: The Turbulent History of New Japan Pro Wrestling explores NJPW’s triumphs and tribulations. Starting with the origins of pro wrestling in post war Japan, Lion’s Pride covers the company’s inception in 1972, through its boom in the early 1980s, its influence on the medium at large in the ’90s, and its downturn and subsequent revival in the last two decades. Alongside a detailed and informative history are essays detailing the intricacies of Japanese wrestling psychology, how NJPW’s key players shaped the company, and much more besides. A crucial reference guide for any wrestling fan, Lion’s Pride offers an entertaining and insightful glance behind the scenes of the ‘King of Sports’.
Tuesday Night At The Gardens: Pro Wrestling In Louisville by Mark James & Jim Cornette
Tuesday Night At The Gardens: Pro Wrestling In Louisville is the latest release from Jim Cornette and Mark James. This book took two years to create and features the history of Louisville wrestling from the debut of Strangler Louis to the rise of Jerry “the King” Lawler. With more than 500 illustrations, photos, programs and newspaper articles, most not seen in over four decades. The most complete analysis of the “golden age” of Louisville Gardens wrestling from 1970-1975 ever printed, with all the line-ups and hundreds of match results, plus TV show and arena reports taken directly from Jim Cornette’s original eyewitness notes. Additional biographies of stars like the Fabulous Fargos, Tojo Yamamoto and Jerry Jarrett. Further information includes the complete hundred year history of the Louisville Garden Arena. The most descriptive inside look at promoters Nick Gulas & Roy Welch and their Nashville-based booking office, and the “Memphis Wrestliing” territory expanded by Jerry Jarrett, ever in print! Backgrounds on major rivalries, booking details and business statistics from all over the Tennessee wrestling circuits. This is the only book of its kind ever written by a major wrestling personality on the sport from a fan and a performer’s perspective. If you want wrestling history, this book both teaches and makes it!
101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die by Samuel ‘Plan
Professional wrestling is not what it once was. Kayfabe is dead; the internet is in full swing; old habits die hard. The time has come to reassess the industry’s identity. 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die hopes to do just that, challenging orthodox preconceptions of the world’s greatest performance art. The methodology is simple: select 101 matches from WWE history that highlight the most important issues permeating professional wrestling today. But don’t call them match reviews. These are moral, historical, philosophical must-read muses of must-see art that will enrich your experience as a follower of WWE; question your responsibilities as a fan; ponder your right to be a critic; present a new, different way to watch professional wrestling; and, ultimately, challenge your existing ideas of what professional wrestling can be at its very core.
United States Championship: A Close Look at Mid-Atlantic Wrestling’s Greatest Championship by Dick Bourne
This is the long awaited follow-up to “Ten Pounds of Gold” and “Big Gold.” Like those books, this book is FULL COLOR and features beautiful photography of the belts, both original and replica.
Mike Mooneyham of the Charleston Post and Courier writes “Bourne strikes gold with new book on U.S. wrestling title.”
In 1975, Jim Crockett, Jr. and George Scott created the United States Heavyweight Championship for the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling territory. For the next 13 years, 21 of the the greatest names in professional wrestling, including 13 future WWE Hall-of-Famers, proudly wore one of five different title belts that represented that championship.
The list of names that held this title reads like a Who’s Who: Harley Race, Johnny Valentine, Terry Funk, Paul Jones, Blackjack Mulligan, Bobo Brazil, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Wahoo McDaniel, Magnum T.A., Tully Blanchard, Lex Luger, Dusty Rhodes, Barry Windham and many others.
Jim Crockett Promotions’ United States Championship explores these five classic title belts, and tells all the stories of the angles, feuds, and controversies throughout the title’s history. There were other regional U.S. championships during the territory era, but this was the biggest and the most widely recognized of them all, and it served as the historical foundation for the United States Championship recognized by the WWE today.
The book includes:
– An exhaustive title history of the championship from its inception in 1975 until the sale of Jim Crockett Promotions to Ted Turner in 1988. All the angles, storylines, feuds, and big matches.
– A detailed look at the design of all five Crockett U.S. championship belts and how they were made, with expert input from belt-maker “Ace of Belts” Dave Millican.
– Historical photographs of all the champions wearing all of the different versions of the belts they held.
– Brackets and results for all five U.S. title tournaments during the Crockett years. – A look at where the title belts are today.
– A brief look at other U.S. championships in other territories during the NWA territorial years.
– A brief look at later U.S. championships that traced their title history to the Crockett U.S. title.
– Trivia and statistics.
– Heritage and legacy.
– Over 100 photographs of both the champions and the belts, most in full color!
“Dick Bourne is the Indiana Jones of title belt archeology.” – Mike Johnson, PWInsider.com