Pro Wrestling Books

Wrestling with words

Pro Wrestling Books - Wrestling with words

Release Schedule (31 May)

One new entry this week: How to be a WWE Superstar, aimed at 5-7 year-olds learning to read:

Find out what it takes to be a top WWE Superstar in DK Readers L2: WWE: How to Be a WWE Superstar.

Discover how the WWE Superstars prepare for the ring, work their way to the main event, and become WWE Champions. With inspirational photos of some of the most beloved Superstars, young readers will love diving into the world of WWE with DK Readers L2: WWE: How to Be a WWE Superstar.

And we now have a cover for WWE Absolutely Everything You Need to Know by DK:


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

19 June: Wrestling Demons by Jason Brick

21 June: Professional Wrestling in the Pacific Northwest: A History, 1883 to the Present by Stephen Verrier

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

1 August: Superhero Ninja Wrestling Star by Lorna Schultz Nicholson (Check out our review)

1 August: How to be a WWE Superstar by DK

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

15 August: WWE Vol 1 by Dennis Hopeless

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

5 September: Mad Dog: The Maurice Vachon Story by Bertrand Hebert and Pat Laprade

3 October: Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling by Jim Ross

3 October: WWE Absolutely Everything You Need to Know by DK

17 October: Saint Mick: My Journey From Hardcore Legend to Santa’s Jolly Elf by Mick Foley

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

8 November: Wrestling Dreams by Colt Cabana and Erica Weisz

30 January 2018: WWE Vol 2: The Lunatic Fringe

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Superhero Ninja Wrestling Star by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

There’s only a slim connection with pro wrestling, but this is a fun enough children’s book, though you might want to shop around on the price.

The bulk of the story is about 11-year-old Archie who feels undersized after his friends and foes go through growth spurts. He then tries a range of tactics to both bulk up and improve his social standing, which backfire in a manner of amusing ways.

The wrestling element comes in two parts. There’s a memorable scene in a family restaurant run by a former pro (with a couple of nice lines to make fans from the 80s and 90s really feel their age.) There’s also a subplot with Archie learning amateur wrestling that proves somewhat pivotal to the payoff.

It feels a little churlish to criticize the pacing of a childrens’ book, but the resolution of the tension does have RKO tendencies. We never actually see how Archie’s wrestling tournament career works out as that’s not the point of the story’s conclusion, though there’s definitely room for a sequel.

I’m probably not the best reviewer to judge how well-pitched the writing is for the intended audience. I found the dialogue irritating at times, but given my age, that means it’s probably quite realistic for the young characters.

It’s certainly not worth adult readers getting just for the wrestling connection, but is worth looking for if you need a present for a pre-teen. It’s available to pre-order at Amazon for an August release, though appears overpriced there (and will presumably drop before the release). You can also get it for delivery now from the publishers at a more realistic price.

(Disclaimer: The publishers provided a review copy.)

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Release Schedule (17 May)

Two new entries this week. First Wrestling Demons by Jason Brick:

Varsity wrestler Connor Morgan and his mother moved to Portland, Oregon to get away from his drug-addicted father, but they didn’t move away from trouble. At his new high school, three heavyweight wrestlers chase him through the halls. He runs away, in his underwear, past the girl he likes, into the January cold.

Then something weird happens.

The next thing Connor knows, he is fighting for his life against supernatural evil with the help of new friends as he learns the powers and dangers of his new destiny. The stakes rise as he discovers a powerful enemy bent on destroying more than just his high school. Ultimately, he must embrace his role in an ancient fight if he wants to save the day.

And he still has to get good grades and a date for the prom.

And a childrens book, Wrestling Dreams by Colt Cabana and Erica Weisz:

Colt loves to wrestle. He dresses in his best wrestling gear, practices his moves, and bench presses his friends. But when the neighborhood doesn’t approve of his habits, will anyone believe in his dream? Join Colt as he follows his passion, and discovers who will always be in his corner.


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

19 June: Wrestling Demons by Jason Brick

21 June: Professional Wrestling in the Pacific Northwest: A History, 1883 to the Present by Stephen Verrier

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

1 August: Superhero Ninja Wrestling Star by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

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

15 August: WWE Vol 1 by Dennis Hopeless

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

5 September: Mad Dog: The Maurice Vachon Story by Bertrand Hebert and Pat Laprade

3 October: Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling by Jim Ross

3 October: WWE Absolutely Everything You Need to Know by DK

17 October: Saint Mick: My Journey From Hardcore Legend to Santa’s Jolly Elf by Mick Foley

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

8 November: Wrestling Dreams by Colt Cabana and Erica Weisz

30 January 2018: WWE Vol 2: The Lunatic Fringe

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Release Schedule (3 May)

We now have a cover and blurb for Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling by Jim Ross:

There are few people who have been in the wrestling business longer than Jim Ross. And those who have made it as long as he has (half a century to be exact) probably made enemies or burned bridges. But that’s just not JR.

Slobberknocker is the story of how an Oklahoman farm kid, with a vivid imagination and seemingly unattainable dreams, became “The Voice of Wrestling” to record TV audiences and millions of fans around the world.

Jim opens up about his life as an only child on a working farm, who became obsessed with professional wrestling having first saw it on his grandparent’s TV. Even though the wrestling business was notoriously secretive and wary of “outsiders,” he somehow got a foot in the door to start a historic career, one where he held almost every job in the business―from putting up the ring to calling matches, from driving his blind, drunk boss towards revenge, to consoling two naked 600 pound brothers in the shower room after a rough match.

With all those adventures and responsibilities, he’s also recognized as the man who built and nurtured a once-in-a-generation talent roster that took the WWE to new heights, including “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Brock Lesnar, and The Rock to name a few. Readers will finally get the opportunity to hear never-before-told stories about the politics, wackiness, and personalities of all the biggest stars.

But this isn’t just a wrestling story. It’s a story about overcoming adversity and achieving your dreams, as success did not come without significant costs and unforeseen challenges to JR, including multiple bouts of severe facial paralysis called Bell’s Palsy.

Currently the host of the podcast The Ross Report, any fan of wrestling―from the territory days to today―will be enthralled with stories from the road and behind the scenes. Slobberknocker is the first time Ross tells his story―and you don’t want to miss it!


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


9 May: WWE Book Of Top 10s by DK

21 June: Professional Wrestling in the Pacific Northwest: A History, 1883 to the Present by Stephen Verrier

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

1 August: Superhero Ninja Wrestling Star by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

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

15 August: WWE Vol 1 by Dennis Hopeless

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

5 September: Mad Dog: The Maurice Vachon Story by Bertrand Hebert and Pat Laprade

3 October: Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling by Jim Ross

3 October: WWE Absolutely Everything You Need to Know by DK

17 October: Saint Mick: My Journey From Hardcore Legend to Santa’s Jolly Elf by Mick Foley

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

30 January 2018: WWE Vol 2: The Lunatic Fringe

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First Looks (2 May)

Here’s another batch of initial impressions of some recent releases based on the free samples on the Kindle. Obvious disclaimer that these are not necessarily fair reflections of the book as a whole, so please do share your views if you’ve read the whole thing.

Squared Circle Blues by Matt Posner is one of several novels set in the territory eras. There’s certainly plenty of authentic-sounding insider jargon (and politically incorrect dialogue) along with all the stock character gimmicks you’d expect to get. It may well be a slow burner however as the free sample appears to be more about explaining the business to non-fans than any major plot developments, though the effect of a struggling territory’s top star jumping ship to what’s clearly the WWWF appears to be the catalyst.

Hardway: A Novella by Hector Acosta seems to be more of a teen fiction drama based around backyarding rather than the fully pro business. The sample suggests the wrestling element might be more of a backdrop than the primary focus of the book, but it’s an easy read.

Taking Bumps: How I Made 49 Bucks In Pro Wrestling by Alexander Goodlive is a non-fiction memoir about what can only be described as very low-level indy wrestling. It’s very much about the business rather than Goodlive as an individual and there’s some intriguingly detailed accounts of what goes through his mind during a match.

Wake Up! It’s Feeding Time by Ryback Reeves is a selfhelp book that looks like its aimed at people who wouldn’t normally buy such a book. The sample covers nutritional advice (with fitness, motivation, money management and personal responsibility covered later on.) For the most part it seems to be simple, almost common sense points made in a clear way, but there’s also what feels like padding with several pages made up of lists of side effects associated with artificial sweeteners that are simply copied and pasted (with attribution) from medical and health websites. The sample does prove intriguing as it cuts off when a list of the supplements Ryback takes every day has already reached 10 items.

Teeny: Pro Wrestling’s Grand Dame by Brennon Martin is a biography of hia grandmother Christine Jarrett. While that’s no doubt a fascinating story of an undersung figure in the business, it’s a little disappointing to find it told in a “non-fiction novel” format with extensive detail and dialogue that the writer confirms in the foreword is imagined and recreated based on stories that have been passed down. The problem is that the dialogue so clearly being created in this way makes it difficult to trust any of the stories, making it hard to know what mindset to apply when reading.

 

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