Release Schedule (4 September)
Release Schedule / September 4, 2019

10 September: Life Is Short and So Am I: My Life In and Out of the Wrestling Ring by Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl! (Check out my review.) 3 October: Job Man: My Life in Professional Wrestling by Chris Multerer & Larry Widen 15 October: For Your Consideration: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson by Tres Dean 15 October: Wrestling Action Figures of the Early 1990s by Kevin Williams 29 October: Professional Wrestling and the Commercial Stage (Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies) by Eero Laine 5 November: WWE: Then Now Forever Vol. 4 by Dennis Hopeless and Brent Schoonover 26 November: Mayor Kane: My Life in Wrestling and Liberty by Glenn Jacobs 29 November: GLOW: Vs The Star Primas by Tini Howard 1 December: #WWE: Professional Wrestling in the Digital Age (The Year’s Work) 8 December: New Jack: Memoir of a Pro Wrestling Extremistby New Jack 28 January 2020: Smackdown Town by Max Nicoll & Matt Smith 6 February: Maximilian and the Curse of the Fallen Angel (Max’s Lucha Libre Adventures) by Xavier Garza 17 February: Professional Wrestling: Sport and Spectacle, Second Edition by Sharon Mazer 17 March: WWE Beyond Extreme by Dean Miller 31 March: Under the Black Hat: My Life…

Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks by Fred Blassie
Review / September 3, 2019

This is a great story, told well. It’s a particular treat for those used to official WWE material downplaying a wrestler’s career working elsewhere. Other than Jerry Lawler’s book, this is one of the few WWE-published autobiographies to give the majority of the book over to pre-WWE content. Indeed, while the book runs 269 pages, it’s not until page 169 that Blassie even makes it to New York aged 53. There’s plenty to tell beforehand though, from Blassie’s time on the carnival circuit (where he saw a performer with a slender neck biting the heads of animals, inspiring his “pencil neck geek” catchphrase), his work in the early days of wrestling on TV, his matches with Rikidozan, his involvement in the Muhammad Ali-Antonio Inoki bout and, most memorably, his bitter feud with John Tolos that culminated in a match at the LA Coliseum. Ghosted by Keith Elliot Greenberg, the book no doubt includes some of Blassie’s more colourful recollections of reality, but for the most part it appears accurate, with Greenberg having verified dates and times with historians such as Steve Yohe. Unless you have no interest whatsoever in the territory era and vintage Japan, it’s hard to imagine anyone not…

Mad Dog by Bertrand Hebert & Pat Laprade
Review / September 2, 2019

A comprehensive biography of Maurice Vachon, this will appeal to fans of the territorial era. The book, originally published in French, has been flawlessly translated by George Tombs. It’s well researched and, unlike some bios, the details that are included — particularly about Vachon’s youth — are there to give context and explain Vachon’s character, rather than shoehorned in for the sake of it. The detail is in the stories and accounts where it matters, rather than through excessive inclusion of dates and locations that don’t contribute to the narrative. It’s also very balanced, presenting Vachon as a rounded character and not being afraid to highlight shortcomings in his family life or his less successful spells in the wrestling business. It’s perhaps a step below the top-tier historical wrestling biographies such as those of Gorgeous George or Mildred Burke, though that’s more because Vachon’s career was less revolutionary or era-defining than it is the quality of the writing. Even with that said, it’s definitely worth a look if you have any interest in Vachon and his era. Buy on Amazon