An Important Site Note
News / March 14, 2019

I recently moved this blog to a new web host and it would be an understatement to say it went badly. In short, the site (and backups) was pretty much destroyed and I’ve had to rebuild it from scratch. The good news is that although the actual post archive was irretrievably corrupted, I was able to extract the text of the reviews. With that in mind: Starting next week I’ll resume posting the weekly release schedules for wrestling books on Amazon. News posts and new reviews will go up as and when they are available. I’ll repost an old review roughly once a day until everything’s back up. Apologies for long-term readers for the duplication. Hopefully, as the reviews date back four years, they’ll be of interest to most readers. Aside from a few design changes (which I may be tweaking for a few days), the site/blog should otherwise work as normal. There’ll now be a single Amazon affiliate link at the top of the review (as an image link, which may be blocked by Adblockers) and at the bottom of the review (as a text link, which shouldn’t be blocked.) In both cases it should default to the relevant…

The Professional Wrestling Trivia Book by Robert Myers
Review / March 14, 2019

This isn’t an information piece but rather a quiz book. It’s serviceable enough but with little reread value. Published in 1988, it’s made up of nothing more than 500 multiple choice questions, grouped as “Heroes and Villains”, “Tag Teams”, “Legends of The Past” and the not entirely politically correct “Women, Blacks and Midgets.” The questions aren’t inherently difficult, but in some cases the age of the book makes them a little more challenging now. To give some random examples of the tone and difficulty: He is America’s hero A) Hulk Hogan B) Sergeant Slaughter C) Ric Flair D) Dusty Rhodes (Answer: B, presumably because it was a specific nickname he used at that time.) … was responsible for the initial success of the Fabulous Ones. A) Jackie Fargo B) Ernie Roth C) Lou Albano D) Jimmy Hart (Answer: A) Ronnie Garvin hooked up with… to create the Risky Business Boys. A) Dusty Rhodes B) Steve Regal C) Rick Morton D) Scott Hall (Answer: A)   The book has a few minor problems. One is that some questions don’t have a clearly objective answer, such as one asking which wrestler “experts consider to be the top black athlete in pro wrestling.”…

Wrestling With The Truth by Bruno Lauer
Review / March 14, 2019

Downtown Bruno, aka Harvey Whippleman, was a gruff, angry, vociferous little so and so. And his book is not much different. While a manager (and occasional referee) rather than grappler, Lauer had an interesting career path that lends itself to an autobiography with wide appeal, covering the smallest independents, the territorial era and the WWE in both peaks and troughs. Large parts of the story here are about the rough and ready nature of the territory scene with hustle and BS as important as performance in making sure you always had somewhere to work. Territories as diverse as Hawaii, Memphis and the Continental area are all covered here, along with Lauer’s journey from total mark to teacher. It’s an understatement to say Lauer is direct and to the point here (ghostwriter Scott Teal has done an excellent job of capturing his unique voice.) Those he feels deserve praise get it, while those he did not take to get their criticism with unrelenting force, often to a shocking degree, though always with Lauer’s personal justification for his views. The peak of this comes in a couple of incidents where he shows no interest in the maxim of not speaking ill of…

Inside Out By Ole Anderson
Review / March 14, 2019

Not everyone who reads this book is going to like or agree with what it says, but you certainly can’t accuse it of being inauthentic. A Crowbar Press publication, this is arguably the best example of Scott Teal’s prowess as a ghostwriter. He’s put together a book that’s engaging, focused and flows in a logical order, but still comes across as the genuine voice of Anderson. It’s 382 pages in print and certainly won’t leave anyone disappointed by a lack of depth. As far as accuracy goes, while there are always limitations in perspective and memory, this is reminiscent of Bob Holly’s book in that reading it you get the impression this is Anderson’s honest belief and opinion and — for better or worse — he’s not varnished over anything for the sake of winning friends or boosting his own image. Thanks to Anderson’s career this also serves as an excellent insightful guide into both the territorial era as a whole, and the relatively unusual position of “homesteading” in a particular territory (specifically Mid-Atlantic and later Georgia) for an extended period, both as a wrestler and booker, rather than travelling around the country. Perhaps the only disappointment for some fans…