This is well-written and extensively detailed, though it’s unclear if it’s the right fit for its target audience. The most notable element is the sheer length and depth of the book. At nearly 400 pages, it covers virtually every significant aspect of Johnson’s in-ring career and plenty more detail that a writer could have been forgiven for overlooking. As with Romero’s first book, Owen Hart: King of Pranks, it reads smoothly enough. There...

Described by the author as a “loosely chronologized cultural criticism of World Wrestling Entertainment’s herstory”, this may not be what some readers expect but is certainly worthy of your attention. Rather than a chronological account aiming to cover the entire development of womens wrestling, this is more a series of essays on the different ways womens wrestling, particularly in WWE, intersects with wider culture. It goes far deeper than...

This book makes the best of a concept with arguably limited potential, which is pretty much the opposite of what happened in the match it covers. It’s automatically an impressive feat to get a full book out of a match where famously almost nothing happened. Even with a literal blow-by-blow account (Gross bravely becoming sure the only person in history to watch the match multiple times), the core of the book is inherently limited in drama. Unfo...

Pro wrestling in Douglas Clark’s era was an often muddled blend of reality and fictionalised drama, as indeed is this book. Clark certainly had a life worthy of chronicling. He was among the pioneers of rugby league, winning numerous championships with Huddersfield and England, and is among just 25 members of the sports Hall of Fame. While a rugby professional, he was also a perennial top contender in Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling, a leg...

Sometimes you don’t enjoy a book because it’s plain bad. Sometimes you don’t enjoy it because it just isn’t for you. This feels like more of the latter. “In Defense Of…” is an anthology of columns from the 411Mania site in the mid 2000s with a simple concept: to take the conventional wisdom of the “Internet Wrestling Community” and argue against it, in the form of a courtroom defense argument. Prag is open in the appendix of thi...

Like a stereotypical indy match, this has its impressive moments but occasionally loses focus while cramming too much in. The challenge of writing such a book is that it “independent wrestling” is a topic with almost unlimited scope. In turn that means having to find the right blend of a straight chronological history and a more themed approach with a focused story. For these reasons the first third or so of the book often feels a lit...

While it’s a hugely exaggerated fictionalisation of the real British wrestling world, this novella is unexpectedly timely. At first glance this seems purely in the world of outlandish fiction, with the central storyline being a Muslim wrestler beaten to death as he attempts to detonate a suicide vest in the ring. However, while the plot may be far-fetched, the setting is very true to life. The descriptions of a small-time independent wrestl...

An in-character account by “The Animal” would have been a short read, but this attempt to capture his true voice disappoints. The book is presented as a first-person account in the words of Jim Myers (the man who portrayed Steele in the ring), but several style choices mean that even if this is how Myers speaks, it doesn’t feel natural. One problem is the repeated inclusion of extraneous facts that nobody would include in normal...

This account of Chris Benoit’s life and time in wrestling has been described as a true crime story. It reads like the case for the prosecution. (Before going further, I must say that had I been reading this book for “pleasure” rather than a review, I would have quit when I reached the point where the author refers to a group of sex workers as “subhuman ogresses”.) There is nothing wrong with a book on Benoit being ex...

While Ken Shamrock’s life has already been covered via Inside The Lion’s Den, that book was hampered not just by only covering his early MMA career, but also by being a far from complete and rounded account of his life. To say Snowden’s work is a different prospect would be a spectacular understatement. The biggest strength of this book is that it is utterly comprehensive. Not only does it cover every fight of his career, but vi...

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: The People’s Champion – From WWE to Hollywood by James Romero
Review / January 21, 2021

This is well-written and extensively detailed, though it’s unclear if it’s the right fit for its target audience. The most notable element is the sheer length and depth of the book. At nearly 400 pages, it covers virtually every significant aspect of Johnson’s in-ring career and plenty more detail that a writer could have been forgiven for overlooking. As with Romero’s first book, Owen Hart: King of Pranks, it reads smoothly eno...

Release Schedule (20 January)
Release Schedule / January 20, 2021

Dates are for US release and may vary in other countries. 26 January: Bump by Matt Wallace 16 February: Ragtag Team (Slamdown Town Book 2) by Maxwell Nicoll & Matthew Smith 2 March: A Diva Was a Female Version of a Wrestler: An Abbreviated Herstory of World Wrestling Entertainment by Scarlett Harris (Check out my review.) 16 March: Austin 3:16: 316 Facts & Stories about Stone Cold Steve Austin by Michael McAvennie 6 April: Mat Memories:...

Release Schedule (13 January)
Release Schedule / January 13, 2021

Dates are for US release and may vary in other countries. 26 January: Bump by Matt Wallace 16 February: Ragtag Team (Slamdown Town Book 2) by Maxwell Nicoll & Matthew Smith 2 March: A Diva Was a Female Version of a Wrestler: An Abbreviated Herstory of World Wrestling Entertainment by Scarlett Harris 16 March: Austin 3:16: 316 Facts & Stories about Stone Cold Steve Austin by Michael McAvennie 6 April: Mat Memories: My Wild Life in Pro Wr...

British Wrestler Portrayed In New Book
News / January 11, 2021

1930s British wrestler Chick ‘Cocky’ Knight is the subject of a new biography, London’s Loveable Villain, by Andy Scott published this month: Born in Hammersmith, West London in 1903 (Chick later lived in Castelnau, Barnes SW London where he passed away at home in 1967) Chick was a champion Wrestler, Boxer and Fencer in the Army (1st Suffolk Battalion Regiment), and then both an amateur and pro-Boxer, and a professiona...

A Diva Was A Female Wrestler by Scarlett Harris
Review / January 8, 2021

Described by the author as a “loosely chronologized cultural criticism of World Wrestling Entertainment’s herstory”, this may not be what some readers expect but is certainly worthy of your attention. Rather than a chronological account aiming to cover the entire development of womens wrestling, this is more a series of essays on the different ways womens wrestling, particularly in WWE, intersects with wider culture. It goes far d...

Release Schedule (8 January)
Release Schedule / January 8, 2021

Dates are for US release and may vary in other countries. 26 January: Bump by Matt Wallace 16 February: Ragtag Team (Slamdown Town Book 2) by Maxwell Nicoll & Matthew Smith 2 March: A Diva Was a Female Version of a Wrestler: An Abbreviated Herstory of World Wrestling Entertainment by Scarlett Harris 16 March: Austin 3:16: 316 Facts & Stories about Stone Cold Steve Austin by Michael McAvennie 6 April: Mat Memories: My Wild Life in Pro Wr...

Recent Release Roundup
News / December 31, 2020

The following recent releases did not get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule. Pro Wrestling For Marks by Anthony Campana Professional wrestling is a staple genre of story telling in human history. It continues to evolve with society, and this book not only takes you on the journey from its inception to now, but it chronicles the evolution of professional wrestling in the last few years. There has been a ...

Release Schedule (30 December)
Release Schedule / December 30, 2020

Dates are for US release and may vary in other countries. 6 January 2021: Ringman by Dave Dwinell 7 January: WWE: The New Day: Power of Positivity by Evan Narcisse and Austin Walker 26 January: Bump by Matt Wallace 16 February: Ragtag Team (Slamdown Town Book 2) by Maxwell Nicoll & Matthew Smith 2 March: A Diva Was a Female Version of a Wrestler: An Abbreviated Herstory of World Wrestling Entertainment by Scarlett Harris 16 March: Austi...

Release Schedule (23 December)
Release Schedule / December 23, 2020

Dates are for US release and may vary in other countries. 6 January 2021: Ringman by Dave Dwinell 7 January: WWE: The New Day: Power of Positivity by Evan Narcisse and Austin Walker 26 January: Bump by Matt Wallace 16 February: Ragtag Team (Slamdown Town Book 2) by Maxwell Nicoll & Matthew Smith 2 March: A Diva Was a Female Version of a Wrestler: An Abbreviated Herstory of World Wrestling Entertainment by Scarlett Harris 16 March: Austi...

Release Schedule (16 December)
Release Schedule / December 16, 2020

One new entry this week,Austin 3:16: 316 Facts & Stories about Stone Cold Steve Austin by Michael McAvennie with an appropriate US release date of March 16th: 316 facts about WWE legend Stone Cold Steve Austin. What’s “3:16 Day”? It’s a day when someone gives you a load of crap, and you give it back with a certain one-fingered gesture. “3:16 Day” is a day when you can open up a can of whoop-ass on anybody you want. A day whe...