Release Schedule (23 September)
Release Schedule / September 30, 2020

Dates are for US release and may vary in other countries. 5 October: A Man of All Talents: The Extraordinary Life of Douglas ‘Duggy’ Clark by Steven Bell 13 October: We Promised You a Great Main Event: An Unauthorized WWE History by Bill Hanstock 15 November: Professional Wrestling: Politics and Populism (Enactments) edited by Sharon Mazer, Heather Levi, Eero Laine and Nell Haynes 17 November: The Young Bucks: Killing the Business from Backyards to the Big Leagues 26 January 2021: Bump by Matt Wallace 16 February: Ragtag Team (Slamdown Town Book 2) by Maxwell Nicoll & Matthew Smith 2 March: A Diva Was a Female Version of a Wrestler: An Abbreviated Herstory of World Wrestling Entertainment by Scarlett Harris 6 April: Mat Memories: My Wild Life in Pro Wrestling, Country Music and with the Mets by John Arezzi and Greg Oliver 13 April: Training Day (El Toro and Friends) by Raul the Third 13 April: Tag Team (El Toro and Friends) 27 April: The Wrestlers’ Wrestlers: The Masters of the Craft of Professional Wrestling by Dan Murphy and Brian Young 8 June: WWE: The New Day: Power of Positivity by Evan Narcisse and Austin Walker

In Defense Of… Exonerating Professional Wrestling’s Most Hated by JP Prag
Review / September 25, 2020

Sometimes you don’t enjoy a book because it’s plain bad. Sometimes you don’t enjoy it because it just isn’t for you. This feels like more of the latter. “In Defense Of…” is an anthology of columns from the 411Mania site in the mid 2000s with a simple concept: to take the conventional wisdom of the “Internet Wrestling Community” and argue against it, in the form of a courtroom defense argument. Prag is open in the appendix of this book that what some readers will see as a weakness is a deliberate design choice. These aren’t meant to be balanced articles or to get involved in a back-and-forth of the style that would actually happen in courtroom cross examinations or a debate. Instead they are intentionally one-sided pieces that ape and almost mock the extended negative rants that were popular online at the time. The book is certainly wide in scope, covering all the major topics of the era from the Monday Night Wars to Montreal to the booking career of Dusty Rhodes. That means it will certainly appeal to those who like the idea of thought-provoking and unfamiliar takes. (That said, the piece on Owen Hart’s death – a topic…

Release Schedule (23 September)
Release Schedule / September 23, 2020

Two new entries this week: Mat Memories: My Wild Life in Pro Wrestling, Country Music and with the Mets by John Arezzi and Greg Oliver A man with three different names ties together the stars of professional wrestling, country music, and the New York Mets. John Arezzi was a lifelong Mets fan who dreamed of a job in baseball. In 1981, he took a job with the Mets Class A team in North Carolina. But Arezzi had another love: professional wrestling. He ran a fan club for the villainous “Classy” Freddie Blassie as a teenager, then progressed to wrestling photographer, and finally even stepped into the ring himself as John Anthony. Eventually he escaped to pursue a new life in altogether different world: country music. After adopting a new name, John Alexander, his many accomplishments include discovering both Patty Loveless and (decades later) Kelsea Ballerini. But wrestling is tough to shake … In the 1990s, Arezzi hosted the pioneering radio talk show Pro Wrestling Spotlight. He also ran the first major conventions, assembling a wrestling who’s who to meet with fans. He promoted shows, both at home and abroad, and was a key figure behind importing lucha libre into America. Mat…

Recent Release Roundup
News / September 22, 2020

The following recent releases did not get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule. Untold Legend: Sea-Side City by S.A. Ballantyne Between the ropes, Ian Stallion is a high flying phenomenon. Confident and charismatic the 6 foot, platinum locked wrestler impresses everyone who attends his shows. Unfortunately for Ian, the local wrestling promoter (and slime ball) Den, is more interested in promoting muscle men for a quick buck during the school holidays, than running professional wrestling shows. Ever since he could remember, Ian has dreamed of making it as a wrestler in L.A.W (Live Action Wrestling). But, despite all Ian Stallion’s potential, his real-world alter ego Ian Stally is on the brink of submitting to the intense physical, mental and logistical pressure of his boyhood dream… Get a backstage pass into the world of an aspiring independent wrestler! Tag up with Ian and experience the real world pressures he is grappling with behind the curtain. Will his dreams come true… or will they become an untold legend? Wrestling With My Mind by Roy Bevis and Neil Cameron This hard hitting book is a true rags to riches story. Going from a rundown council estate in Norwich to the…

Too Sweet: Inside The Indie Wrestling Revolution
Review / September 18, 2020

Like a stereotypical indy match, this has its impressive moments but occasionally loses focus while cramming too much in. The challenge of writing such a book is that it “independent wrestling” is a topic with almost unlimited scope. In turn that means having to find the right blend of a straight chronological history and a more themed approach with a focused story. For these reasons the first third or so of the book often feels a little scattergun, skipping from topic to topic and relaying a string of information about each but without really telling a story or making a clear point. In particular, several sections will have multiple short quotes from different wrestlers and personalities that don’t really add up to an overall insight. This changes once the book returns to a clear focus point of the first All In show and concentrates on how various developments from the PWG “workrate” era to the rebirth of the UK scene to the way New Japan used international stars to increase its worldwide appeal combined to create the circumstances that led to a 10,000+ seat arena selling out in minutes. As you’d expect from an author with Greenberg’s experience, it’s clearly…

Release Schedule (16 September)
Release Schedule / September 16, 2020

Dates are for US release and may vary in other countries. 29 September: WWE Encyclopedia of Sports Entertainment New Edition (The print version of this book is now showing as unavailable and the blurb refers to it as an e-guide.) 5 October: A Man of All Talents: The Extraordinary Life of Douglas ‘Duggy’ Clark by Steven Bell 13 October: We Promised You a Great Main Event: An Unauthorized WWE History by Bill Hanstock 15 November: Professional Wrestling: Politics and Populism (Enactments) edited by Sharon Mazer, Heather Levi, Eero Laine and Nell Haynes 17 November: The Young Bucks: Killing the Business from Backyards to the Big Leagues 26 January 2021: Bump by Matt Wallace 16 February: Ragtag Team (Slamdown Town Book 2) by Maxwell Nicoll & Matthew Smith 2 March: A Diva Was a Female Version of a Wrestler: An Abbreviated Herstory of World Wrestling Entertainment by Scarlett Harris 13 April: Training Day (El Toro and Friends) by Raul the Third 13 April: Tag Team (El Toro and Friends) 8 June: WWE: The New Day: Power of Positivity by Evan Narcisse and Austin Walker

Release Schedule (9 September)
Release Schedule / September 9, 2020

Dates are for US release and may vary in other countries. 29 September: WWE Encyclopedia of Sports Entertainment New Edition (The print version of this book is now showing as unavailable and the blurb refers to it as an e-guide.) 5 October: A Man of All Talents: The Extraordinary Life of Douglas ‘Duggy’ Clark by Steven Bell 13 October: We Promised You a Great Main Event: An Unauthorized WWE History by Bill Hanstock 15 November: Professional Wrestling: Politics and Populism (Enactments) edited by Sharon Mazer, Heather Levi, Eero Laine and Nell Haynes 17 November: The Young Bucks: Killing the Business from Backyards to the Big Leagues 26 January 2021: Bump by Matt Wallace 16 February: Ragtag Team (Slamdown Town Book 2) by Maxwell Nicoll & Matthew Smith 2 March: A Diva Was a Female Version of a Wrestler: An Abbreviated Herstory of World Wrestling Entertainment by Scarlett Harris 13 April: Training Day (El Toro and Friends) by Raul the Third 13 April: Tag Team (El Toro and Friends) 8 June: WWE: The New Day: Power of Positivity by Evan Narcisse and Austin Walker

Release Schedule (2 September)
Release Schedule / September 2, 2020

Fans of Big E, Xavier and Kofi will need to fight off the negative vibes as WWE: The New Day: Power of Positivity by Evan Narcisse and Austin Walker has been delayed until next June. Dates are for US release and may vary in other countries. 29 September: WWE Encyclopedia of Sports Entertainment New Edition (The print version of this book is now showing as unavailable and the blurb refers to it as an e-guide.) 5 October: A Man of All Talents: The Extraordinary Life of Douglas ‘Duggy’ Clark by Steven Bell 13 October: We Promised You a Great Main Event: An Unauthorized WWE History by Bill Hanstock 15 November: Professional Wrestling: Politics and Populism (Enactments) edited by Sharon Mazer, Heather Levi, Eero Laine and Nell Haynes 17 November: The Young Bucks: Killing the Business from Backyards to the Big Leagues 26 January 2021: Bump by Matt Wallace 16 February: Ragtag Team (Slamdown Town Book 2) by Maxwell Nicoll & Matthew Smith 2 March: A Diva Was a Female Version of a Wrestler: An Abbreviated Herstory of World Wrestling Entertainment by Scarlett Harris 13 April: Training Day (El Toro and Friends) by Raul the Third 13 April: Tag Team (El…