There’s No Such Thing As a Bad Kid: How I Went from Stereotype to Prototype by Titus O’Neil
Review / July 10, 2019

In no way a pro wrestling book, this might appeal to dedicated O’Neil fans. It’s half-autobiography, half-social science manual, but only deals with O’Neil’s childhood and university days. The wrestling references limited to a couple of paragraphs on his spectacular Saudi Arabia ring entrance and winning the tag titles, plus a page or two describing his entry into the developmental system. Instead the book is a well-written argument about the need to give children positive reinforcement rather than dismiss them as inherently misbehaved. Much of it is based around his own experience in a single parent family from a disadvantaged background and his time in a retreat camp for troubled teens. Considering most of the examples and arguments are simply elaborations on the theme of the title, it doesn’t become repetitive and certainly might interest those in the education and social care sector. There’s also some interesting takes on the college sports culture. However, it’s impossible to recommend this to anyone whose sole motivation in reading it is O’Neill’s wrestling status, other than his most devoted fans. Instead it’s a book that will appeal or not in its own right and those who still choose to read it with that…

Stu Hart by Marsha Erb
Review / July 10, 2019

This isn’t a book that gets a lot of talk, but it’s certainly one of the better wrestler biographies out there. Although a lawyer by trade, Erb was formerly a journalist and approached the project from that perspective rather than primarily as a wrestling fan. While there’s no shortage of wrestling material here, it’s far more of an individual life story than the territorial history of the also-excellent Pain and Passion by Heath McCoy. And what a life story that is. While most fans know the tales of Hart’s sprawling family in their Hart house and the infamous dungeon, many reading this will be shocked to learn of his impoverished childhood, at one stage living with his family in a tent during winters of -20C or below. There’s also plenty about his wrestling career before turning to promoting. Erb pulls off an impressive balancing act of including Hart’s recollections though first-hand quotes from interviewing him, but still keeping the book as an objective, independent account. It’s important to note that the book is predominately about Stu’s life and only contains brief mention of his many offspring’s time in wrestling, particularly outside of Stampede. That makes for a more focused book, but could…

Release Schedule (10 July)
Release Schedule / July 10, 2019

Two new entries this week starting with New Jack: Memoir of a Pro Wrestling Extremist by New Jack: You may have cheered for New Jack. You may have booed him out of the building. You may have even feared him at times. But until now, you’ve never really known The Most Dangerous Man in Wrestling. For the first time, the man born Jerome Young opens up about how he became one of the stars who enabled Extreme Championship Wrestling to make a permanent mark on the professional landscape. His crazed dives off balconies and scaffolds; his bloody, weapon-filled mat wars that trampled the line between reality and entertainment–this memoir reveals the perspective of the man at the center of them all and includes new disclosures about the infamous incidents with Mass Transit, Gypsy Joe, and the stabbing of a fellow wrestler in Florida. Beyond the gimmicks that united white supremacists and the NAACP against him and his fellow performers, New Jack candidly discusses the violence in his youth that nearly led him to a career in crime, his past as a bounty hunter, a near-fatal drug addiction, the last months of ECW, and his place in wrestling history. And Professional…