Pro Wrestling Books

Wrestling with words

Pro Wrestling Books - Wrestling with words

Release Schedule (28 June)

One new entry this week: Regular Show Original Graphic Novel Vol. 4: Wrasslesplosion by Ryan Ferrier and Laura Howell

When slacker park employees Mordecai and Rigby settle an argument with a backyard wrestling match, they suddenly find themselves transported to an all-wrestling dimension, where they’re forced to compete for the greatest championship in the land… or risk losing their souls!

When Mordecai and Rigby accidentally miss the biggest pro wrestling show of the year, their argument about who should have won turns into a backyard wrestling brawl . . . and sends them on a one-way journey to Pound Town, an all-wrestling dimension! Can the dudes work together to win tag-team championship gold and their freedom? Or will they be trapped forever in an endless tournament?

Writer Ryan Ferrier (Kennel Block Blues, Secret Wars: Battleworld) teams up with artist Laura Howell (Regular Show, Angry Birds) for an epic wrasslin’ adventure.


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

4 July: Regular Show Original Graphic Novel Vol. 4: Wrasslesplosion by Ryan Ferrier and Laura Howell

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

19 September: Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte by Ric Flair & Charlotte

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

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

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 (21 June)

A couple of delays to report this week: Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte by Ric Flair & Charlotte is now listed for 19 September while Professional Wrestling in the Pacific Northwest: A History, 1883 to the Present by Stephen Verrier, expected this week, has been put back to 18 October.


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

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

19 September: Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte by Ric Flair & Charlotte

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

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

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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Killer Bees Comic Biography on Kickstarter

John Crowther has let us know about a series of comic biographies he’s written about wrestlers, mainly 1980s stars. They are all authorized titles based on interviews by the author with the wrestler in question. A Nikolai Volkoff title is currently available at https://inversepress.com/collections/squared-circle while a Killer Bees title is available to fund on Kickstarter, with PDF and print editions plus signed copies among the options.

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Release Schedule (14 June)

No new titles this week but we now have a cover image for Professional Wrestling in the Pacific Northwest: A History, 1883 to the Present by Stephen Verrier, which is released next week:


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

With the Diva’s Revolution in full effect, it’s certainly an appropriate time to look back at the history of female grappling. But while undoubtedly well-written and comprehensive in scope, the format of this book can often be frustrating.

The strength is the wide range of the book, giving due attention to various eras of female grappling from the pioneer years to the Fabulous Moolah era, the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling connection days, the Diva period and the modern day, along with separate looks at Japan, the rest of the world and the independent scene.

As with Laprade’s Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screwjobs, which covered wrestling’s rich heritage in Montreal, the writing flows well, with quotes taken from a wide range of sources; it’s clear the writers have not skimped on effort or research.

The main problem is that rather than a broad chronological or thematic history, it’s presented as a series of profiles of female wrestlers, verging on encyclopaedic format. This brings several disadvantages. One is that the wider story of women’s wrestling’s evolution is somewhat erratically told. In particular, there’ll often be a teasing reference to an incident or event (such as the first women’s match in New York) that’s then left hanging until later in the book when another wrestler is profiled.

The laudable aim of covering as many names as possible also has drawbacks. For those women such as Mildred Burke or Moolah with rich stories to tell, the profiles inevitably only scratch the surface. In other cases even a few paragraphs feels like a stretch with the emphasis on dates and title reigns giving the impression there’s no particularly compelling human interest story to tell. British readers may be particularly disappointed when what’s trailed earlier as a dedicated section turns out to be a matter of a few paragraphs listing names and then a solitary profile of Sweet Saraya.

More positive points include a handful of special sections breaking up the profiles to detail a specific event or setup, be it GLOW, the controversial Wendi Richter-Lady Spider bout, or the 1994 AJW Tokyo Dome show. There’s also some welcome even-handedness with both sides of controversial issue’s such as Moolah’s control of her stable given a fair hearing.

Overall it’s not quite a comprehensive history of women’s wrestling to rival the Montreal book, but certainly serves as an appetiser for fans of contemporary wrestling to learn more about the women wrestlers of the past before moving on to a more focused volume such as Jeff Leen’s ‘Queen of the Ring’ which details the Mildred Burke era.

Read on Kindle (Amazon.com)

Read on Kindle (Amazon.co.uk)

[This review originally appeared in Fighting Spirit Magazine.]

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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.


Professional Wrestling by Ed W Smith

Back in 1900, when wrestling was not nearly as popular in the Middle West as it is at the present time, and when wrestlers were looked upon with a great deal of suspicion by the average man, the wrestler being qualified along with the crafty secondstory man and porch climber, Martin Burns, then one of the best heavyweights in the country, began to circulate stories about a wonderful young fellow he had discovered out in Iowa and for whom he predicted the most brilliant future. His name was Gotch, and he said he intended to make a champion of the world out of him if it took him the rest of his life.


The Unmasked Tenor: The Life and Times of a Singing Wrestler by Sam Tenenbaum and TJ Beitelman

Equal parts showman and artist, hustler and faithful son, trained tenor and fast-talking raconteur, Sam Tenenbaum is—to paraphrase Whitman—large, he contains multitudes. In this inspirational and quintessentially American “song of himself,” we see Sam pick himself up by the bootstraps of an awkward childhood in mid-20th Century Birmingham, Alabama, and forge an unlikely path through the roughriding, anything-goes early days of professional wrestling in the American South—all while nurturing his faith and pursuing, on the sly, his  rst true love: operatic singing. In the end, we learn what Sam learned early on: how to live large, fear nothing, and never give up on your dreams.


The Impending Sausage Sandwich of Doom by Kirk St Moritz

Elliott Rose is having a bad day. After being fired from his job as the clandestine stooge on hit TV show Ghostbusters UK, Elliott returns home to find his girlfriend missing. To make matters worse, Hapkido Valentine, the legendary 1980s wrestler, has returned from the dead and taken up residency in Elliott’s flat. Despite a voracious appetite for sausage sandwiches, Hapkido is convinced he has finally become the mystical Japanese warrior he once portrayed in the ring. Together they must undertake a dangerous journey to find out why the Universe created this most unlikely of partnerships. All that stands in their way is a medallion wearing TV psychic, a train-spotting assassin and the murderous intentions of the local over 75’s women’s group. If Elliott thought the day started badly, things are about to get a whole lot worse.


AWA Record Book: The 1970s Part 2 197579 by Mark James & George Schire

A record book that covers the entire AWA wrestling territory from 1975 through 1979. This book features the cards and results for hundreds of wrestling cards that took place throughout the mid-west wrestling promotion during the second half of the 1970s. This is the third book in the AWA series.Besides cards and results, this book features programs and photos.


The Road To The Show Of Shows 2017: How WWE Put Together The Biggest WrestleMania Of All Time by Aaron Varble

WrestleMania 33 was the most watched WrestleMania of all time. WWE really outdid themselves with the $5 million set, the stacked card, and the seven hours of showtime. Let’s take a look back at the events leading up to the Show Of Shows in 2017 and relive all of the amazing action along the way. Relive all of the injury drama, the anticipation, and the Hardy news that kept us on the edge of our seats. This book provides full play-by-play of the entire WrestleMania 33 card, 2017 Royal Rumble match, and 2017 Elimination Chamber match . Read never-before-read analysis from Still Real To Us writer Aaron Varble providing a retrospective look at how each big match on the card was set up. This is a can’t miss for any pro wrestling fan.


OCW Vol 1 (Finale): The Lethal Lotto by TL Brown

LETHAL LOTTO IS TONIGHT!! -Genuin defends against Sully Sphinx -Lita Walters finally gets to fight Key -Top contenders will be named in two devastating Lethal Lotto matches.


Four Horsemen: A Timeline History by Dick Bourne

 From the author of “Big Gold” and “Ten Pounds of Gold” comes a look back at the greatest faction in the history of professional wrestling: the Four Horsemen.

“Four Horsemen” is a complete month-by-month, year-by-year, linear timeline of the Horsemen, covering every version of the group and every member of each version over their thirteen years of existence.

From the glory days of Jim Crockett Promotions to the early WCW period to the Monday Nitro era, it’s all here in one concise timeline.

Every break-up and every reformation. All the championships. All the triumphs. All the betrayals. Month-by-month, year-by-year. It’s the ultimate reference guide to wrestling’s most infamous group, with clear timeline confirmations of keys dates and events.

Ric Flair, Ole and Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Lex Luger, Barry Windham, James J. Dillon, Sting, Brian Pillman, Steve McMichael, Dean Malenko and all the rest. Every wrestler, every manager, and every woman that walked the aisle with them.

Over 40 photographs, some rare, a few never published before.

They were pro wrestling’s greatest stable and the very foundation upon which every other great faction that followed was built.

They were the Four Horsemen!

 


Nature Boy: The Career of Buddy Landel by Lance Archie

“You know I’ve got dozens of friends and the fun never ends as long as I’m buying. When the money ran out, that’s when the people left me. God forgave me. My family forgave me. And everybody in Knoxville knows that Buddy Landel is a home cooking, hometown boy. I love Knoxville, Tennessee and I’m proud of it.” – Buddy Landel Buddy Landel was considered one of the biggest ‘what ifs’ in the world of professional wrestling before he died tragically after a car accident in 2015. In the mid-1980s, Landel seemed to be on the fast track to fame in becoming the heir apparent to “Nature Boy” Ric Flair’s top dog status in the NWA promotion. But Landel couldn’t steer clear of the fast life and would ultimately fade into obscurity for several years until a career resurrection in Jim Cornette’s Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Finally defeating his demons, he would turn his life around and become one of the feel good stories of wrestling before dying tragically after a car accident.

[Warning: This is only 36 pages long.]


Wildfire: The Career of Tommy Rich by Michael Cooney

Wrestling went through a Golden Era in the 1980s due to the advent of cable television. Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, and Ric Flair would become household names during this time. But the first wrestler to benefit from the change in the market would be none other than “Wildfire” Tommy Rich. Sporting shoulder-length bleached blonde hair and a good old boy personality, Tommy Rich would set attendance records in the Tennessee and Georgia areas before his star fizzled out almost as fast as he rose to the top.

[Warning: This is only 34 pages long.]


Tale of a Mad Dog: Wrestling Legend Buzz Sawyer by James Chaplin

Buzz Sawyer was considered one of the most athletically gifted wrestlers to campaign in the 1980s. Opinions vary on the man as most of the wrestlers who worked with him did not have a flattering assessment of his personality or character. All would concede, however, that he was a genuine bad ass in an era of tough guys. What was undeniable was his charisma and ability to entertain in one of wrestling’s Golden eras.

[Warning: This is only 38 pages long.]

 

 

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