This may not be the book you were expecting, but is still well worth your time.
Ghostwritten by Bertrand Hebert (who co-authored the excellent Montreal history Mad Dogs, Midgets & Screwjobs), the book’s focus is very much on Patterson’s life as a gay man and a love story of he and his late partner Louie. It’s fascinating to read not only of the obstacles the pair faced (Patterson notes the parallel of the secrecy of his sexuality and the secrecy of maintaining kayfabe in the territorial wrestling days) but also the many occasions on which it simply wasn’t a big deal to other in the business. The story also gives a better understanding into the personal significance for Patterson of “coming out” in the final episode of WWE Legends House, something many would naturally have dismissed as far from a revelation.
The book doesn’t short-change the reader on wrestling content, both as a performer and on the creative side, but it’s very much about the big picture and working relationships such as with Vince McMahon rather than specific details of particular incidents. It’s by no means the booking encyclopedia that some might have hoped for, and Patterson admits he remains uncomfortable about revealing some behind-the-scenes aspects of wrestling, but there are a handful of points where he provides more useful insight into the business in a single sentence than some manage in an entire volume. While it’s by no means a “dishing the dirt” affair, Patterson is open about the times he disagreed with Vince or was unhappy with an aspect of his career.
All in all, as long as you are able to put aside expectations of what the book might have been for the most hardcore of wrestling enthusiasts, it’s a worthy combination of wrestling autobiography and personal journey.