Pro Wrestling Books

Wrestling with words

Pro Wrestling Books - Wrestling with words

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.


Asheville Wrestling 1930 – 1973 by Jason Freeman

Asheville Wrestling results and clippings. 1930 through 1973


The Greatest Matches and Rivalries of the WrestleMania Era by Chad Matthews

What are the greatest matches and rivalries of the WrestleMania Era? It has never sat particularly well with long-time pro wrestling columnist and podcaster, “The Doc” Chad Matthews, the blanket statement that pro wrestling greatness is completely up to each individual, period, end of sentence. In fact, he strongly disagrees, having long posited that professional wrestling is reasonably objectifiable, like modern college football rankings in the Playoff Era. In America’s gridiron pastime, the college game relies on a select few, organized into a committee, to choose the best four teams worthy of competing for the championship each season. Though the decisions are also considered subjective, the Playoff committee rankings are reasonably objective too. It is not as if Alabama is picked because their crimson jerseys are pretty or USC is chosen because the President of the United States has an affinity for Los Angeles. There are basic criterion used to evaluate the resumes of each viable candidate. Breaking down wrestling’s greatest is no different. Utilizing something he calls “objective subjectivism” – a euphemism that acknowledges pro wrestling as obviously somewhat subjective but petitions for acknowledgment of pro wrestling also being inescapably capable of objectification (like Hollywood and College Football) – Matthews has mined the annals of WWE and NWA/WCW lore to discover the specific traits that define the greatest matches and rivalries and, having pinpointed these elements, has found a logical way to separate the truly great from the very good, to compare the totality of stories like Daniel Bryan vs. The Authority or Stone Cold vs. Vince McMahon to overall rivalries like Triple H vs. The Rock or Edge vs. Undertaker to iconic matches like Steamboat vs. Savage or Angle vs. Michaels in order to construct the ultimate historical countdown.


George South Record Book: Highway Run into the Midnight Sun by Jason Freeman & George South

The George South Record Book: Highway Run in Midnight Sun is a year by year break down of every match. Pro Wrestling legend George South has wrestled over 6,000 matches in his career. Starting in 1982 and he will be in a ring somewhere weekend. George has held every job in the wrestling business. Wrestler, ring crew, referee, promoter, popcorn salesman, trainer and more.


Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson: The Life, Lessons & Rules for Success

If you’re looking to be inspired by someone who has truly made the most of life’s opportunities, then read this remarkable story of one of today’s most well-known celebrities. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is best known as a former professional wrestler that later came to dominate Hollywood with a series of blockbuster movies. His powerful on-screen presence and strong physique give the impression that he effortlessly reached global success, yet Dwayne faced a series of challenges and setbacks as he rose to the top. From being homeless as a child and later having little more than $7 in his pocket to facing the reality that his dream career in football was over, Dwayne’s life hasn’t always been a linear track of successes. However, rather than let this bring him down, he never gave up and pushed himself to be the best he could in everything he applied himself to. If you want to discover what’s the story behind Dwayne’s extraordinary success, this book takes you on a journey from his childhood to how he became one of Hollywood’s most well-known action figures. Strip away the glitz and the glamor and you find a remarkable story of persistence, commitment, and deeply ingrained work ethics that kept Dwayne moving forward to where he is today. If you want proof that success is rarely served on a silver platter and the majority of successful people have to sweat blood and tears to reach their goals, then Dwayne’s life story will give you exactly that. In this book of ‘Dwayne Johnson: The Life, Lessons & Rules of Success’, you will find:

  • The story of Dwayne’s childhood and how it shaped the strong core values he lives by today.

  • Why his football dreams came to an end and how he became one of WWE’s greatest wrestlers.

  • How he moved into Hollywood and became a successful A-list actor – even without any acting background, experience, or qualifications.

  • The main lessons he learned throughout his life.

  • Dwayne’s 10 rules of success and how you can apply them too.

(Note that this book is 59 pages.)


Unscripted: Fake Wrestling is Real by Anthony Campana

Professional wrestling resonates with millions of people around the world but is also greatly misunderstood by many others. Pro-wrestling has a strong parallel with the worlds of sports and entertainment. However, for every similarity drawn to an avenue of sports or entertainment, there is a key difference between the two. The biggest wrestling company, the WWE, is filled with complex and topical ideas that have highs and lows. From the contentious subjects of steroids, racism, sexism, death, and crime to the revolutionary ideas, unforgettable moments, and long-lasting pop-culture icons; this book not only takes you on the professional wrestling roller-coaster but also sharpens one’s mind in sports entertainment relationships.


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Inside the Lion’s Den by Ken Shamrock and Richard Hanner

Inside The Lion’s Den, released in 1998, is written in two sections. The first 123 pages are a look at Ken Shamrock’s life and no-holds barred career, while the remaining 78 sides give instruction in the Lion’s Den fighting techniques.

To the pro wrestling audience, it is the former section that will prove more interesting. In September 1993, Richard Hanner, a Stockton, California newspaper reporter, was sent to cover local submission fighter Ken Shamrock’s participation in the first Ultimate Fighting Championship. He found the assignment so captivating that he went on to follow Shamrock from match to match, while researching his background. The result is the biographical portion of Inside The Lion’s Den.

The book describes Shamrock’s upbringing, including his days on the street, living in abandoned cars, spells in prison, and his adoption by Bob Shamrock It then follows his no-holds barred fighting, including the creation of Pancrase, and the success of UFC, along with its controversies. There’s even a brief account on Shamrock’s little known spell as a table-top dancer.

Of particular interest to pro wrestling fans will be the brief account of his days in the South Atlantic Pro Wrestling group as Vince Torelli, along with the infamous hotel room sneak attack by the Nasty Boys (who are not named).

The pace of the biography makes for entertaining and engrossing reading, following a chronological account, but breaking away for a chapter at a time to take a look at a particular aspect of Shamrock’s life, be it his relationship with his family, or a look at the no-prisoners-taken attitude in tryouts for the Lion’s Den.

The use of description is also extremely effective, making for a fascinating look at the development of the UFC.

Shamrock’s own contribution is perhaps of more practical use to the martial arts enthusiast, but does give a comprehensive insight into his training methods, nutrition and fighting techniques.

This section (as with the rest of the book) is illustrated in detail, and all but a couple of the manoeuvres shown can be easily followed. The training manual also demonstrates how submission fighting systems need to constantly develop, with Shamrock readily admitting that he has made mistakes in fights, pointing to the need to learn from his errors. The UFC I loss to Royce Gracie is one such case, with Shamrock later adjusting his fighting methods to account for opponents wearing a gi. Of course, looking back 18 years later, it’s clear how much the MMA game has changed in the meantime.

Read on Kindle (

Read on Kindle (

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Release Schedule (10 October)

One new entry this week, An Encyclopedia of Women’s Wrestling: 100 Profiles of the Strongest in the Sport by LaToya Ferguson:

A comprehensive and fascinating illustrated look at women’s professional wrestling, including 100 profiles of superstars from around the world.

Women’s pro wrestling has existed in the USA since the 1930s, and this colorful encyclopedia references the fashion, fun, and drama of the sport through the years and around the world. Focusing on 100 competitors—from current faves Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair, to Germany’s Jazzy Gabert, Japan’s Io Shirai, and Canada’s LuFisto, to legends like The Fabulous Moolah, Sable, Ivory, and Lita—it includes relevant stats and each one’s compelling story. Written by noted authority LaToya Ferguson, this engaging history is great for anyone interested in powerful women, fantastic costumes, and pro wrestling itself.

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

30 October: WWE: Then, Now, Forever Vol. 2 by Dennis Hopeless

6 November: WWE Original Graphic Novel: Undertaker

9 November: The Elite Team: Young Bucks Stand Tall by Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson

18 December: WWE Vol. 4: Women’s Evolution by Dennis Hopeless

18 December: Gene Kiniski: Canadian Wrestling Legend by Steven Verrier

19 February 2019: Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It by Diamond Dallas Page

5 March: WWE Greatest Rivalries

5 March: Tito the Bonecrusher by Melissa Thomson

19 March: WWE: The Official Cookbook by Allison Robicelli

19 March: WWE: Then. Now. Forever. Vol. 3

7 May: WWE SmackDown 20 Years and Counting by DK

7 May: Self Help: Life Lessons from the Bizarre Wrestling Career of Al Snow by Al Snow and Ross Owen Williams

7 May: An Encyclopedia of Women’s Wrestling: 100 Profiles of the Strongest in the Sport by LaToya Ferguson

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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.


Gotch vs. Hackenschmidt: The Matches That Made and Destroyed Legitimate American Professional Wrestling by Ken Zimmerman Jr

In 1908, World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion George Hackenschmidt wrestled American Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Frank Gotch for Hackenschmidt’s world title. Three years later they rematched for Gotch’s world title. After building interest in legitimate wrestling with the first match, the rematch brought back all the doubts about pro wrestling’s legitimacy. If the first bout built the sport, the second wrecked it.


KB’s Complete 2003 Monday Night Raw Reviews by Thomas Hall

And now, we reach the dark ages. There’s a reason you don’t hear much about Monday Night Raw in 2003 and that’s going to become very clear. It was a very dark time for the company as there was almost nothing positive going on. The question wasn’t when it would get better but rather how much worse could it get. In this book, I’ll be breaking down each episode of the year and looking at each one match by match and segment by segment. Included will be analysis and ratings for the shows to see what worked and what didn’t.


Wrestling School Dropout by Oliver Williams

Wrestling School Dropout is the true story of one man’s hilarious attempt to learn the art of professional wrestling.

When Oliver Williams set out to become a pro wrestler, he never anticipated the level of pain, anxiety, and insanity that would ensue. This book chronicles his journey from aspiring professional wrestler to wrestling school dropout.


A Fan’s Perspective: How My Lifelong Dream Turned Into A Nightmare by Oliver Newman

2008 was a historical year in Professional Wrestling. Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels contested one of/if not the best pro wrestling feuds of all-time. I continued writing & reporting on the UK scene, my lifelong dream (attending a Wrestlemania – Wrestlemania 24 live) came true and I met my Childhood Hero – Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart. 2008 is the year WWE could have catapulted Paul London to the main event (they didn’t, so I fantasy booked him there). 2008 also had some great matches – I share my thoughts on some of the best, lastly 2008 was a big year in terms of the women’s wrestling evolution we are now living through in 2018 (I explain how we have got here) and as a special bonus I share my thoughts on the beginning of 2009.


The 100 Greatest Wrestlers of 2002-2010: Ranking the Best Wrestlers of the Ruthless Aggression Era in TNA and WWF/WWE by Jonathan Johnson

After rising to the heights of a mainstream entertainment giant during the Monday Night War, the WWF/E were suddenly the only wrestling game in town in 2002. While a little upstart company named TNA emerged as a second option to the WWE giant, veterans and rookies alike vied for fan and media attention from 2002 to 2010. Here are the one hundred greatest superstars of the Ruthless Aggression era and the stories that made them sports entertainment immortals!

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Tough Guys: The Birth Of An American Sport by Bill Viola Jr & Dr Fred Adams

This history of the original MMA promotion is unfortunately a classic case of ignoring the policy of “show, don’t tell.”

It’s the tale of CV Promotions which, in 1979 and 1980, ran several combat events in Pennsylvania under the Tough Guys banner. They appear to have been the first formalized shows that combined multiple martial arts into a single sport. While the events are described as the forerunner to UFC, their setup — complete with weight divisions, extensive list of banned moves, and a 10-point must scoring system — is a lot closer to UFC as we know it today than the free-for-alls of the mid-1990s.

(From a pro wrestling perspective, this isn’t purely a book with crossover appeal: there are also a few direct references such as on athletic commission regulation or Bruno Sammartino being included among debates over the true toughest guy around.)

The gist of the book is covering the promotion’s struggle with athletic regulators before an eventual ban, and highlighting the lack of attention paid to it when people give an account of MMA’s history that starts with UFC. Unfortunately the balance of the content is very much for the benefit of the writer rather than the reader.

The actual descriptions of the planning of the promotion and the events themselves are engaging but too short. It then feels like almost the final third of the book is solely dedicated to reiterating the point about the media ignoring the company and painting UFC as the originators of mixed martial arts.

While it’s perfectly understandable that the writers — one of whom is the son of a Tough Guys promoter — want to right this historical wrong, but it soon becomes a tedious read. There’s also not enough use of the original source material to which the writers had access, in particular only a segment of the original rules being included and being almost illegible on the Kindle edition.

(Note: This is a re-release of a book originally titled Godfathers of MMA with the new title being to match a Showtime documentary on Tough Guys.)

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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.

The Road To The Show Of Shows 2018 Ultimate Edition: How WWE Pulled Off A Loaded WrestleMania With Even More Of The Controversy, Steroid Allegations, And Rusev Day Celebrations by Aaron Varble

This edition of the book includes everything the regular one does and so much more. Now you can get every single aspect of what it took to pull off one of the greatest WrestleManias of all time including way more details and in-depth chapters focusing on some of the biggest stories during the time such as Ronda Rousey’s journey to WWE, Daniel Bryan’s journey to being medically cleared, Paige’s journey to retirement, the evolution of Rusev Day, what happened to Enzo Amore, and so much more. This edition also includes a special chapter focusing on the steroid documentary that threatened to derail Roman Reigns’ ascension to the top and how he narrowly escaped it just before the Show Of Shows. This edition includes all of the wit and reference material as the first but the Ultimate Edition is definitely the one any real fan needs to have. Bonus Chapters ONLY Included in this Ultimate Edition: • Complete play-by-play for Raw’s Christmas Episode and Raw 25 • The 2nd Destruction Of The Shield • The Jon Bravo Factor • Another Tragedy For Paige • What Happened To Enzo Amore? • The Ever-changing WWE Cruiserweight Division • How Ronda Rousey Met WWE • The Great Daniel Bryan Saga • The Raw After Mania • The SmackDown Live After Mania • And much more

The Ring Walk by Brett Simenson

The Ring Walk is a stunning new coming of age novel about forbidden love, a great heist caper, and Andre the Giant. Set in Philadelphia in late 1979 and early 1980, this book features a number of characters from history as well as one of the most original and compelling young narrators since Holden Caulfield. If you’ve got Wrestlemania mania this weekend, there is no better treat for you or the fans in your life. A rare book that treats the matches of your youth with the joy and passion that they deserve, the Ring Walk is essential for any fans of pro wrestling, both modern and historical. When Flex Italiano and his charming hustler of a father show a little moxie and get involved in a scheme to steal a priceless ancient vase, they get drawn into a world of gangsters, con men, and carnies. Through his father’s job with the state athletic commission, Flex meets some of the his television idols, including the legendary champion Bruno Sammartino and the iconic Andre the Giant. He also explores Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood, the Spectrum, and the pain and pinfalls that happen to every teenage boy. Fans of “Red Green Turns Dollar Blue” and “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” the novels of Dennis Lehane will love this new book by Brett Simenson.

WWE: How To Become A WWE Referee by Ahab Goldberg Mesmar

Just Released – A WWE Book for the WWE Universe teaching you How To Become A WWE Referee. So much information and Step by Step Action to tell and teach you how to become a wwe referee. Filled with amazment everywhere, packed with everything you need to know about WWE Referees is this amazing book. Check out its chapters on preview and get ready to get stunned. This Mad Book contains pictures to help you and show you the process of becoming a WWE Ref and Facts you never knew about the daily life of a WWE Referee. We also included our first time ever female referee Jessika Carr and we dig deep behind closed curtains and closed doors as we share with you the inside stories and the inside scoop if your interested in becoming a WWE Referee. We also get to show you what WWE Refs do and what they are in core level, stuff you wouldnt normally know about including the things that WWE Refs are allowed to do including their immense Power in the ring. You thought WWE Superstars have all the power in the ring, well .. think again, because what your about to find out will shock you and your perception of the WWE will change once you know the roles WWE Refs play, because its not only a 1..2..3.. and all is all. Its actually MUCH more than that because they actually control the flow of the Match, The Timing, The Silent information they recieve from the back curtain to their ear piece to quietly tell WWE Superstars on what they need to do next in the ring and so much more. Once you crack open this Book, you will have new eyes and So much respect for WWE Referees that you’ve never had before, Dont Miss out on this – Order Your copy NOW & Find Out !!!

To Be The Man: Evil Ain’t Good: Chapter 2 by Jared Vaughan Davis (Author), Josh Taylor (Illustrator)

The boys are gonna need more than the Five Moves of Doom to get outta this one! With “The Gargoyle” and “Fabulous” Frank surrounded by a horde of zombie rednecks, the boozy bruisers will have to break out their movesets to get out of the graveyard and back on the road. But before they can hit their finishers and count the “1-2-3,” Grimes and Hazard have a bigger opponent to contend with… There’s evil afoot, and it wants championship gold!

Family Bacon Rasslin’ by Scottie Richardson


Mike Mooneyham (Professional Wrestling Columnist for The Post and Courier. Co-Author of Sex, Lies, and Headlocks. Member of the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame) “Family, Bacon, Rasslin’ is a nostalgic look at pro wrestling as seen through the eyes of a longtime fan who takes the reader from his childhood to the present day. If you’re wondering just how the bacon fits in to the title, you’ll have to get a copy to find out. This fun read will strike a resonant chord with mat followers who couldn’t wait to tune in to their favorite sixty minutes each week!” Jim Valley (Professional Wrestling Podcast Host, Author, Master of Ceremonies, and Radio Personality) “I found Family, Bacon, Rasslin’ very relatable as I had similar experiences with my fandom especially the magazines. All in all, it’s very good, easy to read, and captures the feeling of being a fan in our era.” The Duke from Duke Loves Rasslin’ (Host of Duke Loves Rasslin Podcast, Twitter @DLovesRasslin,, New episodes of the Duke Loves Rasslin podcast can be heard after 11pm EST every Thursday on YouTube, ITunes and most other leading podcast apps) “Family, Bacon, Rasslin’ is a collection of hilarious stories involving a dedicated pro wrestling fan, Scottie, and his cast of interesting characters aka family. The book chronicles various twists and turns that occurred in the lives of Scottie and his family from before he was even born to present day. The work is more than a wrestling book. It’s really a family book with some wrestling stuff thrown in ~ better than a wrestling book!”

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