Main Event by Roberta Morgan

August 29, 2019

Published in 1979, this used to be one of the regular results when, in a pre-Internet age, you’d sheepishly ask bookshop owners to search their catalogues for “wrestling.” That’s no longer the case and thus this is no longer a must-read.

It’s a fairly standard format with brief sections on promoters, match types and wrestling histories, but the bulk of the book being profiles of wrestlers of the day. It’s clear the author set out to try to put the profiles together in a similar way to “legitimate” sports coverage and has included detailed quotes from most of those covered.

The drawback is that either Morgan has made the quotes up in the style of certain wrestling publications of the era, or that the wrestlers she interviewed remain entirely in character. Either way, there’s little insight for modern readers.

Perhaps the most amusing part of the book is discussing the formation of the NWA, with Morgan (or at least the promoters she spoke to) arguing that the territorial system was needed because promoters running in other promoter’s territories was “a form of unfair competition with other promoters who were then not able to get wrestlers in their own areas.” Oddly on the very next page, we learn that the AWA breakaway was good for everyone involved because it created “a more vigorous and competitive atmosphere  in which promoters are all intent on bringing the best possible bouts to the fans.”

It’s not a bad title for the hardcore collector, with plenty of good quality posed and action shots, but there’s little here in the way of entertainment or information.

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One Comment

  • Jason Presley October 10, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    I just found a copy of this book for $1 at a local antique mall/junk shop. The excellent photography makes it an great companion to Nikita Bresnikov’s recent book “When It Was Real”, about WWWF in the 1970s.

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