Ring Of Hell by Matthew Randazzo V
Review / June 23, 2020

This account of Chris Benoit’s life and time in wrestling has been described as a true crime story. It reads like the case for the prosecution. (Before going further, I must say that had I been reading this book for “pleasure” rather than a review, I would have quit when I reached the point where the author refers to a group of sex workers as “subhuman ogresses”.) There is nothing wrong with a book on Benoit being extremely negative about him and the wrestling industry — indeed, it would be bizarre for that not to be the case. It’s also not inherently wrong to write a book that seeks to make an argument and concentrating solely on examples that back up that point. Once you accept a book is effectively just a list of every shitty part of Benoit’s relationship with pro wrestling, you can concentrate on the inescapable truth that there sure are a lot of shitty parts to list. The problem with Ring of Hell, however, is the absolute lack of nuance or ambiguity that is a part of even the grimmest reality. Almost everything in the book is stated with absolute certainty, with no room for doubt…