Two new entries this week. First is an anthology, Professional Wrestling: Politics and Populism (Enactments) edited by Sharon Mazer, Heather Levi, Eero Laine and Nell Haynes.
No official blurb yet but the original call for submissions sought” a wider range of perspectives and voices to weigh in on the question of how professional wrestling might be implicated in the current resurgence of populist politics, whether Trump-inflected, right wing and reactionary, or indeed leftist and socialist.”
The first and only in-depth look at the indie wrestling revolution
In 2017, after being told that no independent wrestling group could draw a crowd of more than 10,000, a group of wrestlers took up the challenge. For several years, these gladiators had been performing in front of rabid crowds and understood the hunger for wrestling that was different from the TV-slick product. In September 2018, they had the numbers to prove it: 11,263 fans filled the Sears Centre Arena for the All In pay-per-view event, ushering in a new era. A year later, WWE had its first major head-to-head competitor in nearly two decades when All Elite Wrestling debuted on TNT.
Acclaimed wrestling historian Keith Elliot Greenberg’s Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Wrestling Revolution takes readers back to the beginning, when a half century ago outlaw promotions challenged the established leagues, and guides us into the current era. He paints a vivid picture of promotions as diverse as New Japan, Ring of Honor, Revolution Pro, Progress, and Chikara, and the colorful figures who starred in each. This is both a dynamic snapshot and the ultimate history of a transformational time in professional wrestling.
(Dates are US releases and may vary elsewhere.)
17 March: WWE Beyond Extreme by Dean Miller
29 September: WWE Encyclopedia of Sports Entertainment New Edition