Basically the best pro wrestling book I've ever read. Randazzo pulls absolutely no punches in characterizing the pro wrestling industry as a traveling ground zero of debauchery, one which completely consumed a decent guy (albeit one with deeply buried psychotically destructive tendencies) and made him bear witness to his best friends dying, his opponents suffering life-threatening injuries at his hands, and his principles ridiculed all for a buck someone else really made.
As a bonus, it probably has ten or fifteen of the funniest stories I've ever read in a wrestling book, easily; had I not read this book, for instance, I would have never known that Antonio Inoki bought an island off the coast of Cuba from Fidel Castro with the promise that treasure was buried on it, let alone that he would later rename it "Inoki Friendship Island" and try to entice his pals into digging for gold thereabouts. It is also wall-to-wall fucked up, largely because, if this book is even halfway to be believed, pro wrestling is basically the foulest, vilest, most brutal, banana-raping-est environment known to man. I wanted to read this book a lot faster than I actually managed to, mostly because I had to keep going back and rereading stuff.
The best part is that the author gets hell of dudes to actually go on the record, no mean feat w/r/t the notoriously obdurate subject matter. As with all wrestling books, it's worth questioning what you're being told, but considering how most of the author's sources are ex-writers hired for their entertainment pedigrees it's hard to believe many of them have a ton of interest invested in protecting the BIZZZZZZ~. and, as previously mentioned, what's there is absolute dynamite.
basically, buy this book.
― jamescobo, Monday, 26 May 2008 06:38 (twelve years ago) link
― MPx4A, Monday, 2 June 2008 15:26 (twelve years ago) link
― libcrypt, Monday, 2 June 2008 16:26 (twelve years ago) link
oh don't get me wrong, if this book needed me to hold its weed, I would gladly do so
but it's really good!
― jamescobo, Monday, 2 June 2008 21:36 (twelve years ago) link
Scott Keith beaten by six months, amirite?
― King Boy Pato, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 13:22 (twelve years ago) link
more like Scott Keith beaten with hammers. sample line:
"Violent "falls count anywhere" fights became a frequent event at the Sullivan household"
― jamescobo, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 02:07 (twelve years ago) link
Pro wrestling is especially addictive because it combines the competitive high of sports with the intoxicating power trip actors feel when they manipulate their audience's emotions. There's also the "carny" values system within wrestling that teaches a wrestler that he is at the height of his craft when he gets paid the most for doing the least, so there are many broken down, barely mobile wrestlers who return to wrestling with this image of themselves as retired bank robbers making that one last great swindle -- Kevin Nash comes to mind.
― MPx4A, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 11:47 (twelve years ago) link
Also like that there is a link saying "check out our sexy list of delicious divas" straight below the brutally frank interview alleging that pro wrestling is the most insanely warped, depressing industry on earth
― MPx4A, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 11:53 (twelve years ago) link
The guy who wrote this book had an entertaining piece in a recent issue of Power Slam. Makes me curious about reading more (though I haven't even got around to the Bret book yet).
― MacDara, Friday, 4 July 2008 13:02 (twelve years ago) link