Pro Wrestling Books

Wrestling with words

Pro Wrestling Books - Wrestling with words

WWF Wrestling: The Official Book by Edward R Ricciuti

While something of a cash-in on the early 90s craze, this 1992 UK release has a little more depth than most such official titles.

It’s much the format you’d expect, a 160-large pages, full colour affair with a few dozen profiles of wrestlers and managers, largely featuring their character and storylines in 1991-2 rather than a full recap of their WWF careers. There are also sections on popular moves and the big four pay-per-views, all illustrated with good quality pics.

There’s something a little bit different towards the end of the book with looks at WWF’s tours and popularity in Europe and Japan, Hulk Hogan’s movies, WWF television shows and the various merchandise, magazines and home video releases. It’s not exactly the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, but it’s a change to see such explicit acknowledgement of the promotion’s business activities.

It’s by no means a must-read, but makes for a fun bit of nostalgia if you see it at a reasonable price.

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Release Schedule (21 December)

No new entries but some bad news for New Day fans (and not just their title loss): The Book of Booty: Shake It. Love It. Never Be It (It’s Twerked for Us!)  has now been put back to October next year and is currently showing as a Kindle-only release.


 

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

7 February 2017: Superstars of Wwe (Pro Sports Superstars) by Todd Kortemeier 

28 February: The Official WWE Book of Rules: (And How to Break Them)

7 March: Looking at the Lights: My Path from a Nobody to a Wrestling Heel by Pete Gas

21 March: WWE: WrestleMania: The Poster Collection

1 April: Best Seat in the House: A Backstage Pass to My Journey As Wwe Announcer by Justin Roberts

4 April: Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules by AJ Mendez Brooks

11 April: NXT: The Future Is Now by Jon Robinson (official WWE release)

11 April: Sisterhood of the Squared Circle: The History and Rise of Womens Wrestling by Pat Laprade & Dan Murphy

9 May: WWE Book Of Top 10s by DK

25 July: Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte by Ric Flair & Charlotte

1 August: Wrestling’s New Golden Age: How Independent Promotions Have Revolutionized One of America’s Favorite Sports by Ronald Snyder

29 August: No Is a Four-Letter Word: How I Failed Spelling But Succeeded in Life by Chris Jericho

31 October: The Book of Booty: Shake It. Love It. Never Be It (It’s Twerked for Us!) by The New Day

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San Francisco History Book Now Available

wiwbt-front-cover-banner2newversionRock Rims has recently released When It Was Big Time, a lengthy history of wrestling in Northern California, including Roy Shire’s San Francisco based promotion. The contents suggests it’s a detailed account,covering everything from the William Muldoon and Ed Lewis eras right through to Shire’s retirement and the arrival of the WWF.

The book is available for direct order at $26 plus shipping in the US and Puerto Rico, with overseas shipping rates available on request at rockrims@aol.com.

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Recent Release Roundup

Here are a couple of books released in recent weeks that didn’t get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule.

KB’s History of Wrestlemania by Thomas Hall

It has been called the Showcase of the Immortals and the Granddaddy of Them All. No matter what you call it, Wrestlemania is the biggest wrestling show of the year and has produced more unforgettable moments than any other show in wrestling history. In this book I’ll be looking at every edition of the series and breaking down each show segment by segment and match by match. I’ll be including detailed analysis, history and ratings for each match and show overall.


You Just Made the List: A 6 x 9 Lined Journal (diary, notebook)

It’s a journal with lines in it. Buy it. You need it. That way when someone p*sses you off, you can show them how angry you are by adding them to your list. * Excellent thick binding * Simplistic design perfectly made for any occasion or reason * Journal measures 6 inches wide by 9 inches high * 90 lined pages with elegant page numbering * Perfect size for carrying anywhere and everywhere


Bell to Bell: 1990: Televised Results of Wrestling’s Flagship Shows (Volume 6) by Dave Turner

In Volume 6 of the Bell To Bell series we explore the matches that ushered in the most zany and colorful period of wrestling. Bell To Bell: 1990 Televised Results of Wrestling’s Flagship Shows provides the results from the main TV shows aired by the top two wrestling organizations in 1990.


Top 100 Monday Nights Of Memphis Wrestling 1974-89 by Mark James

A look back at the Top 100 wrestling events in Memphis wrestling. All the great cards from 1974 through 1989 are included. Also included for each card is a custom made, full page poster of that night’s card.

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Release Schedule (14 December)

No new entries this week, but we do now have a cover for No Is a Four-Letter Word: How I Failed Spelling But Succeeded in Life by Chris Jericho:


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

7 February 2017: Superstars of Wwe (Pro Sports Superstars) by Todd Kortemeier 

28 February: The Official WWE Book of Rules: (And How to Break Them)

7 March: Looking at the Lights: My Path from a Nobody to a Wrestling Heel by Pete Gas

21 March: WWE: WrestleMania: The Poster Collection

1 April: Best Seat in the House: A Backstage Pass to My Journey As Wwe Announcer by Justin Roberts

4 April: Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules by AJ Mendez Brooks

11 April: NXT: The Future Is Now by Jon Robinson (official WWE release)

11 April: Sisterhood of the Squared Circle: The History and Rise of Womens Wrestling by Pat Laprade & Dan Murphy

25 April: The Book of Booty: Shake It. Love It. Never Be It (It’s Twerked for Us!) by The New Day

2 May: WWE Book Of Top 10s by DK

25 July: Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte by Ric Flair & Charlotte

1 August: Wrestling’s New Golden Age: How Independent Promotions Have Revolutionized One of America’s Favorite Sports by Ronald Snyder

29 August: No Is a Four-Letter Word: How I Failed Spelling But Succeeded in Life by Chris Jericho

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The Ultimate World Wrestling Entertainment Trivia Book

This is a quiz book rather than a collection of facts, and how challenging it is may depend on the eras in which you were a fan.

Published in 2002, this has a total of 2,000 questions with a mix of straight question and answers and multiple choice questions. It’s split over 10 sections: WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, Raw, Smackdown, other PPVs, Old School, Titles and Outside the Ring.

Some questions will seem ridiculously easy to long-time fans, such as where WrestleMania III was held or who won the 1992 Royal Rumble. However, other questions go into great detail and will be tricky unless you obsessed over the era in question or have been rewatching it recently.

For example, even when the book came out only a couple of years after the event, it’s hard to imagine how many people knew (or cared) whether Test and Albert, appearing on Smackdown, threatened to rename Bradshaw and Farooq’s office as the APAT&A, T&APA, TAPAT or T&AA.

Similarly, anyone who can easily recall which WWE star guest-starred on Suddenly Susan or where Lilian Garcia went to university is both a great trivia quizzer and borderline obsessed.

The only real criticism of the book is the occasional spot that appears to be a production error: for example, the SummerSlam section jumps from 1991 to 1996, with questions for the intervening shows scattered later on. But overall this is most certainly not a half-arsed cash in.

Buy on Amazon.co.uk

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The Magnificent Scufflers by Charles Wilson

scufflersThis is strictly one for the collector or for the more avid historian.

It’s a history of the early years of what would eventually become pro (rather than Olympic style) wrestling in the US, with most of the book covering the period from the civil war to late 19th century. The main focus is on collar and elbow wrestling, so named because of the mandatory start of each bout in such a grip.

Only the brief penultimate chapter covers what we’d recognise today as professional wrestling, specifically an activity where worked finishes and cooperation are the point rather than an aberration. There’s not much in the way of new information here, with alarm bells being set off by George Hackenschmidt’s most famous opponent referred to at one point as “Frank Goetz.” And even writing in 1959, Morrow seems baffled by the idea of how “faking” wrestling could even work, let along why one would do it.

If you need to have every wrestling book going, or you have a particular interest in the collar-and-elbow era, this is worth a read, but otherwise it’s very much the type of book that only really appealed back in the days when a wrestling title was so rare as to be a must-buy.

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Release Schedule (7 December)

No new entries this week, while New Day and Chris Jericho fans will have to wait a few extra weeks than expected.


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

7 February 2017: Superstars of Wwe (Pro Sports Superstars) by Todd Kortemeier 

28 February: The Official WWE Book of Rules: (And How to Break Them)

7 March: Looking at the Lights: My Path from a Nobody to a Wrestling Heel by Pete Gas

21 March: WWE: WrestleMania: The Poster Collection

1 April: Best Seat in the House: A Backstage Pass to My Journey As Wwe Announcer by Justin Roberts

4 April: Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules by AJ Mendez Brooks

11 April: NXT: The Future Is Now by Jon Robinson (official WWE release)

11 April: Sisterhood of the Squared Circle: The History and Rise of Womens Wrestling by Pat Laprade & Dan Murphy

25 April: The Book of Booty: Shake It. Love It. Never Be It (It’s Twerked for Us!) by The New Day

2 May: WWE Book Of Top 10s by DK

25 July: Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte by Ric Flair & Charlotte

1 August: Wrestling’s New Golden Age: How Independent Promotions Have Revolutionized One of America’s Favorite Sports by Ronald Snyder

29 August: No Is a Four-Letter Word: How I Failed Spelling But Succeeded in Life by Chris Jericho

Currently unavailable: UNREAL: Growing Up In the Crazy, Fun Show Business World of WWE by Stephanie McMahon

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The Cowboy And The Cross by Bill Watts and Scott Williams

>Ghostwriting means turning a subject’s recollection into a coherent narrative. Sometimes it’s a seamless process. But sometimes it’s clearly a struggle.

The Cowboy And The Cross isn’t an unclear or rambling book by any means, but it gives the distinct impression of a tussle between Watts wanting to let rip on the subjects of his choice and Williams wanting to produce a narrative that would appeal to the likely audience.

If you don’t want to know Watts’s views — expressed at length — on religion or political correctness, you’ll be disappointed by sections of this book. But at the same time, there’s plenty of insight into his wrestling experiences and philosophies, including his booking skills learned at the hands of Roy Shire and Eddie Graham among others.

While the chronology and verifiable facts appear to be correct, it feels as if Williams chose to let Watts give his account on matters of opinion rather than fact. As a result, it’s a book very much in Watts’s authentic voice, complete with little indication that he ever made poor decisions or was proven wrong.

It’s still an informative read however, and should be particularly valuable for those willing to learn lessons and able to distinguish between those fundamentals of Watts’s approach that remain relevant today and those which became outdated as the wrestling industry changed.

Read on Kindle (Amazon.com)

Read on Kindle (Amazon.co.uk)

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