Here are a few books released in recent weeks that didn’t get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule.
WCW: The Alternate Timeline: Saving WCW in 1999 by Craig W Atkinson
In October 1999 former WWF writer Vince Russo signed with WCW. Within months WCW was in a death spiral that it never recovered from. To this day people argue that when Russo took over WCW it was recoverable. But was it? In this book we will look into the most commonly put forward ideas people give to see if these ideas would have worked in the real world, within the corporate structure of Time Warner and with those in power in WCW at the time.
Gotch vs. Hackenschmidt: The Matches That Made and Destroyed Legitimate American Professional Wrestling by Ken Zimmerman Jr
“Don’t break my leg!” As the two muscular men struggled in the center of the ring, the man on top continued to work on the downed man’s legs. Again, the man on bottom yelled, “Please don’t break my leg!” Frank Gotch looked over at his rival George Hackenschmidt, who was writhing in obvious pain. Despite a severe knee injury, Hackenschmidt went through with the rematch on Labor Day Weekend 1911. Gotch snarled, “What?” Hackenschmidt repeated, “Please don’t break my leg.” Gotch said plainly, “There’ll have to be a fall.” Hackenschmidt hesitated for a minute before laying back for the second and deciding fall, an anti-climactic ending to the second of the most anticipated wrestling matches in the legitimate wrestling era. The match was the second meeting between the men. On April 3, 1908, current World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion George Hackenschmidt met American Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Frank Gotch in pro wrestling’s version of The Match of the Century. Anticipated since 1905, the combatants finally settled on a location and date for the match in early 1908. George Hackenschmidt won the World Greco-Roman Heavyweight Wrestling Championship in 1901. He spent the next seven years touring the world defending his championship. Originally a weightlifter and holder of several world weightlifting records, “The Russian Lion” was one of the most powerful men in wrestling history. Standing only 5’09” tall, “Hack” weighed between 209 and 218 pounds in his prime. As he approached the match with Gotch, wrestling observers believed Hackenschmidt to be nearly unbeatable. The most serious previous challenge to his reign came from “The Terrible Turk”, Ahmed Madrali. Hackenschmidt pinned Madrali in 41 seconds after dislocating his arm with a hammerlock. Gotch started wrestling in the late 1890s about the same time as Hackenschmidt, when he came to the attention of Martin “Farmer” Burns. Going into the first match, the only knock on Gotch was a lack of international experience. Hackenschmidt had been touring the world for seven years. Gotch did all of his wrestling in the United States including a brief stint in the Klondike during 1901. However, the years of touring may have damaged “Hack” more than it helped him. Hackenschmidt had not been defeated in a ring for seven years. He beat every credible challenger not named Frank Gotch. Frank Gotch had lost in 1901 to St. Louis Champion Oscar Wasem, in 1905 to Tom Jenkins and in 1906 to Fred Beell but otherwise maintained an equally impressive record. The anticipation built into the greatest legitimate wrestling match ever held in the United States. After building interest in the sport with the first match, the second match brought back all the doubts about legitimacy and spending hard earned money on wrestling bouts. If the first bout built the sport, the second bout wrecked it.
Memphis Wrestling History Presents: 1992-93 Programs & Booking Sheets by Mark James
Memphis Wrestling History has documented the 1950s, 60s, 70s & 80s. This book features MWH’s first trip into the 1990s! With programs from the entire USWA territory from 1992-1993 along with weekly booking sheets for the same time frame. Take a trip back in time to when professional wrestling was still real.
“From a personal standpoint, the old expression of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is somewhat true.” – WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon
You don’t have to be a pro wrestling fan to appreciate the story of a man who evolved from a trailer park troublemaker into a revolutionary billionaire (though he never quite shook off his tendency for trouble-making!). The life of Vincent Kennedy McMahon is not all about spandex and muscular heroes conquering even more muscular bad guys in the squared circle; The Ruthless Aggression era, the attitude era, his rise to prominence and acquisition of unprecedented wealth as a professional wrestling promoter is a story that encompasses enough ups and downs to fill a dozen lifetimes, let alone one.
From overcoming abuse in his youth and careering off the rails several times before finding his calling, Vince McMahon has mastered the art of getting back up after being knocked down. Love him or hate him, his life story is one hell of a ride that works equally well as either a warning shot against hubris or an inspiration for anyone who dreams of overcoming a hard start in life to find success. Enjoy the tale of a man who, much like many of his wrestling character creations never knows when he is beaten.
Both Sides Now by John Reinhard Dixon
Both Sides Now is a witty, provocative romantic comedy providing an incisive view into the world of professional wrestling set against the backdrop of 1960’s New York City. Dr. Lucien Triskellion, arriving from West Germany to accept a position at New York University, is solicited by International Wrestling Association manager Jim Dandy. He learns of Lucien’s amateur prowess and phenomenal powerlifting ability and matches his NYU salary for his moonlighting services. Lucien comes into increasing conflict in trying to balance his budding romance with Anneliese Krieger, his teaching career at NYU, and his alternative lifestyle as an IWA star. His daily interaction with students reconciling their own scholastic regimens with the rapidly-changing sociocultural scene and political events impacting their lives resonates with the themes of change, adaptation and development throughout the novel. The story is as much a tribute to the wrestling stars of the era, virtually unheralded as compared to those of the 21st century enjoying the benefits of electronic social media. Lucien is engulfed in promotional strategies designed to compete in a pop culture overwhelmed by revolutionary concepts in music, TV, movies and the arts. The public is fascinated by a University professor working with Jim Dandy, leader of the most notorious bad-guy clique in the wrestling world. He becomes an item of interest throughout the media, attracting undue attention to himself and Anna as well as making him an icon at the University. Yet he finds himself serving as a lightning rod for the IWA as he is constantly questioned over the nefarious deeds of Team Dandy as well as those of other wrestling villains. The plot takes a dark turn as Anneliese’s elderly father is misidentified as a war criminal and incarcerated pending an extradition hearing. Lucien’s ring persona is such that Manfred Krieger’s defense team requests that he no longer attend the proceedings. It puts great stress on Lucien, coupled by the fact that the IWA is going through troubled times and placing greater demands on their roster. Lucien and Anna’s relationship undergoes enormous strain but it is their love for one another that keeps them going. The life and times of a college professor at NYU during the turbulent Sixties also provides a fascinating introspective in a multi-layered, entertaining yet analytical novel. For wrestling fans, Sixties buffs, romance and comedy/drama audiences alike, Both Sides Now is one not to be forgotten.