While not everyone will find the entirety of this ghostwritten autobiography interesting, it’s a must for people with an interest in the territorial era.
It’s a worthwhile story from a wrestler who was once at the very top of the business and then walked away right as the WWF was beginning its national expansion, making him one of the few wrestlers to quit while still healthy and able to perform at a strong level. The manner of his departure — simply turning around while changing flights and heading on the first plane back to Florida — is addressed here.
The first 50 pages or so cover Brisco’s amateur career, culminating in the NCAA championship. This section is a little dry and may struggle to hold the interest of those who don’t follow amateur wrestling closely, but its well worth persevering.
What really makes the book is Brisco’s account of his time as NWA champion. Rather than merely recount dates and opponents, he goes into great detail about the pros and cons of working the schedule — making great money, but rarely being home. His recollections of the sharp contrast of leaving the ring after a main event only to be alone in the dressing room, or the confusion of waking up in an identikit motel and having to rifle through airline tickets to work out what city he was in are striking and really help bring a perspective that only the handful of wrestlers who had runs with the world title can share.
The book comes across as particularly honest, for example detailing Brisco’s decision to “sell” an unauthorized title reign to Giant Baba, including the fact that he secured a $25,000 payoff to do so — exactly the amount he had deposited as a bond with the NWA and risked losing if Baba didn’t live up to his word of dropping the title back.
There’s also plenty of detail about the decision of he and brother Jerry to sell their stock in Georgia Championship Wrestling to Vince McMahon, a cloak-and-dagger exercise that allowed the WWF to take over the prestigious TBS Saturday night timeslot.
With the book now in a second printing and available on Kindle, it’s definitely one for the hidden gem list and worth picking up.