Whatever Happened To Gorgeous George by Joe Jares
Review / November 6, 2019

This 1974 book is one of the better titles by an “outsider”, albeit one with legitimate credentials. Author Joe Jares was a Sports Illustrated Associate Editor who, in the 1960s, wrote two articles on wrestling, one on how his father performed as “The Thing” and the other on the decline of Gorgeous George. Jares later decided to expand the subject into a book, with the articles making up the first two chapters. He then explored the wrestlers of the day, with chapters on the wackiest characters, women wrestlers, leading villains, promoters, fans and the travel and injuries of life on the road. He concludes with a series of appendices covering topics such as real names, a capsule history, the world title, wrestling footballers, and bouts featuring wrestlers against boxers.  Given his real sports background, Jares doesn’t buy in to kayfabe, but the book isn’t written in a mocking tone. Aside from a fun recap of some of the explanations wrestlers give for why their matches must be real, he largely asks carefully worded questions and gets intelligent answers that don’t insult anyone’s intelligence. Paul Boesch in particular is the source of many comments that protect the business while still giving…

Release Schedule (6 November)
Release Schedule / November 6, 2019

22 November: Wrestling in Britain: Sporting Entertainments, Celebrity and Audiences by Benjamin Litherland 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) 4 December: Professional Wrestling and the Commercial Stage (Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies) by Eero Laine 28 January 2020: Smackdown Town by Max Nicoll & Matt Smith 30 January: New Jack: Memoir of a Pro Wrestling Extremist by New Jack 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 in the Wwe and Beyond by Jim Ross 28 April: The Eighth Wonder of the World: The True Story of André the Giant by Bertrand Hebert & Pat Laprade 19 May: WWE Kicking Down Doors: Female Superstars Are Ruling the Ring and Changing the Game! 25 August: UNREAL: Inside the Crazy, Fun Show Business World of WWE by Stephanie McMahon

WWE Legends by Brian Solomon
Review / November 5, 2019

Something of an undersung title, this should interest historians and newer fans alike. It’s a series of profiles of (W)WWF stars between the creation of the promotion’s main title in 1963 and the start of the Hulkamania era. While much of each profile may be familiar to more avid fans, each comes with a series of trivia facts that will be new to almost everyone. It’s well-researched, drawing on a combination of previous wrestling books from inside and outside the country (including a lot of quotes from the hugely underrated Fred Blassie autobiography) and interviews with figures from the time including Vince McMahon, Sgt Slaughter and Tony Garea. For the most part it appears largely accurate with only a couple of apparent errors such as Mr Fuji being The Undertaker’s original manager and Ken Patera being in the WrestleMania IV tournament. Neither does it have many glaring omissions, though writing a lengthy section of Billy Graham’s health problems without mentioning steroids is awkward to say the least. There’s also a slight inconsistency as to how wrestling is portrayed. It openly acknowledges performers taking on gimmicks such as Canadian Oreal Perras posing as Russian Ivan Koloff, but at points it’s a…

Recent Release Roundup
News / November 4, 2019

The following recent releases did not get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule. Battle Volume 1 – A Timeline of Combat Sports & Sports Entertainment: The Results of the Biggest Matches from 1885 to 1992 Battle Volume 2 – A Timeline of Combat Sports & Sports Entertainment: The Results of the Biggest Matches from 1993 through 1999 Battle Volume 2 presents the early years of results, interesting facts, shocking moments, crossovers, and much more.Battle Volume 2 covers some of the most historical years in combat sports & professional wrestling. The timeline starts with 1993. Not only does 1993 feature the birth of the UFC, but also the debut of the legendary K-1 World Grand Prix tournament. Beyond those two iconic events that would lead to a rise in MMA & kickboxing, but the year also was the birth of Japanese Mixed Martial Arts due to the formation Pancrase. As UFC was running into problems with being banned in the United States, Pride Fighting Championships became extremely popular in Japan thanks to the pro wrestlers such as Nobuhiko Takada battling the legendary Rickson Gracie. Another Japanese pro wrestler by the name of Kazushi Sakuraba would take Japan…

Stephanie McMahon Autobiography Back On The Books
News , Uncategorized / November 4, 2019

After a previously abandoned book titled “Ladyballs”, Stephanie McMahon once again has an autobiography on the schedule, this time set for August 2020 and titled UNREAL: Inside the Crazy, Fun Show Business World of WWE An entertaining, empowering and revealing memoir packed with never-before-told stories from Stephanie McMahon, the daughter of Vince McMahon, wife of Paul “Triple H” Levesque, and the Chief Brand Officer of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), one of the most powerful brands in entertainment today. In the ring as one half of the powerful “Authority,” Stephanie McMahon’s on-screen life is full of drama, villains, heroes, romance and scandal. However, Stephanie’s on-screen life pales in comparison to the real story of the family behind the global entertainment powerhouse WWE. This revealing memoir exposes her life growing up behind the scenes in WWE as the daughter of WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. It also uncovers the secrets of her tumultuous romance with her husband Triple H, the frightening FBI investigation that threatened her family, and the reasons Stephanie rose above the rest to become the company’s global brand ambassador. Stephanie shares never-before-told stories of what it was like growing up in the shadow of the ring, and of…

Smoke & Mirrors and Steven Seagal: The Burning Pants of Popular Culture by Stuart Millard
Review / November 1, 2019

Millard peels back the curtain on the peddlers of tall tales and fantastical bunk, in those subcultures where the nature of truth is subjective. From pro wrestling’s funhouse mirror world of kayfabe, there’s the method-acted insanity of Brian Pillman, and the mad lies of Hulk Hogan. Martial arts gives us super-spy movie stars, deadly men like Count Dante, who can explode your heart from fifty paces, and the strange, forgotten story of James Hydrick, telekinetic Kung Fu cultist; the man no prison could hold. In the paranormal realm, we’ve Derek Acorah, and the spectacular rise and lurid public fall of Most Haunted. Plus, the BBC’s Ghostwatch, a hoax that became the cultural bogeyman for an entire generation of Brits. And could Bill Murray really be putting headlocks on the strangers of New York? And just what is his connection to Purple Aki? This isn’t a wrestling book as such, but pro wrestling makes up a key part of it, both directly and tangentially. It’s a collection of accounts of a variety of celebrities and other public figures who, for one reason or another, have engaged in bending or breaking the truth. Two chapters deal directly with wrestling. One attempts to…