Pro Wrestling Books

Wrestling with words

Pro Wrestling Books - Wrestling with words

WWE Official Book Of Rules (And How To Break Them)

If you don’t mind the fact you’ll probably never read this twice, it’s an amusing enough diversion.

It’s written under the pretext that, like the British constitution, the WWE rulebook is made up of a variety of official and unofficial documents that are never collated in one place. Covering both the in-ring ‘rules’ and the company policies, it’s effectively a cover for a barrage of in-jokes for wrestling fans including references to incidents and characters of the past.

The problem is that the execution rarely strikes the right balance. In some cases the gag is overplayed, such as a supposed memo from Vince McMahon to WWF referees dated 9 November 1997 pointing out that the chairman’s instructions are final. Left at that it would be mildly amusing, but instead we get a series of handwritten additions to the memo that spell out the reference and joke in full detail, killing any humour.

At the other end, some pages are breathakingly lazy. The final page is literally a print of a tax return defaced with the words “PAY YOUR TAXES! IRWIN R SCHYSTER”.

The book does have some genuinely neat insider references. There’s the first ‘canon’ acknowledgement of the rule that tag teams are allowed only one save in a match, something that wrestlers and referees have been told to follow for real, but yet is bizarrely never mentioned by announcers. There’s also a section of pages apparently torn out, leaving just enough legible to hint at a series of offences that would earn Vince McMahon’s ire.

While that’s a nice production trick, the book itself is produced to give the effect of a bunch of papers tied together. Artistic effect aside, it doesn’t fill you with confidence that it would stand up to multiple read-throughs, though as mentioned, that’s unlikely to be an issue.

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Category: Review, WWE

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