Pro Wrestling Books

Wrestling with words

Pro Wrestling Books - Wrestling with words

Self Help by Al Snow

This isn’t quite as billed, but it’s all the better from it.

Both the title and blurb imply the focus here is on life lessons and philosphy, supported by events from Snow’s career. It’s a format that worked well with Bobby Heenan’s second books, Chairshots and Other Obstacles, but realistically this is a straight autobiography. It has the occasional “life lesson” but it’s usually just an unnecessary line reiterating the preceding story.

As an autobiography this is a winner, however, with a bit of everything. The early years have plenty of fun tales about struggling to break into the business, with Snow’s tryout with the Andersons a story that never gets less jawdropping even for those who’ve heard it before.

The WWF and ECW years are told in detail with lots of behind the scenes insight, including the relative lack of creative process for those lower on the card, with Tough Enough also getting a fair bit of attention.

The book then ends with some brief accounts of life as a trainer in OVW and TNA (the latter feeling somewhat abrupt) and some entertaining tales from returning to the independent scene incorporating tasers and midgets.

Written with Ross Owen Williams, who also worked on the Bob Holly autobiography, Self Help does a good job of telling Snow’s side of the story and reviewing his career with the perspective of hindsight.

One notable element is that although Snow makes a repeated point of not complaining or being overly critical, it does occasionally feel he goes over the top in stressing that a particular incident or unsuccessful storyline was not his fault.

For the most part all the subjects you’d expect to be covered are checked off. However, I’d have liked to have seen a little more detail on the Bob Holly-Matt Capotelli incident on Tough Enough. Snow has discussed in previous interviews how it should never have happened, but that he opted against intervening as a wrestler who really was assaulted in such a way during a match would have to figure out how to deal with it. It’s an interesting and nuanced stance that isn’t really conveyed in the book.

Overall it’s an easy and engaging read and certainly worth checking out.

Pre-order on Kindle (Amazon.com)

Pre-order on Kindle (Amazon.co.uk)

(Disclaimer: The publisher provided a review copy.)

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