This concoction has a nasty aftertaste of cash-in. It’s doubtful whether it’s possible to produce a good wrestling-themed cookbook, but this certainly isn’t one. It’s nothing more than a bunch of very basic, unappetising recipes which appear to have been randomly assigned to wrestlers with little pretense the superstar in question either cooks or eats the meal. The unlucky buyer will learn how to make Stone Cold’s Cinnamon Ice Cream, Mi...

This is a good example of the type of books that were available before the boom inspired by the success of Have A Nice Day and the growth of self-publishing and eReaders. It’s a 112-page collection of pictures by George Napolitano, arguably tied with Bill Apter for the best-known wrestling photographer of his era. There is a fair bit of accompanying text, though nothing with any real insight and it’s mainly made up of kayfabe capsule profile...

This is a wrestling book like no other. It’s also one of the most undersung titles around. It’s a format few would have expected to see from Heenan: a self-help manual. Rather than the usual wishy-washy new age content you’d normally see in such books, this is effectively a series of serious points for living a successful live used as pegs for genuinely hilarious stories from Heenan’s career. Unlike with his autobiography, there’s no a...

American wrestling as most Brits know it arguably began on 23 January 1984 when Hulk Hogan beat the Iron Sheik at Madison Square Garden to capture the WWF title and kick off the national expansion era. But New York wrestling has a rich heritage, explored in this book which appropriately enough ends on that very day. Capitol Revolution begins its tale just after the first world war when the likes of Jack Curley and Tex Rickard battled to revive wr...

The niche of people crying out for a Chavo Guerrero comic book is presumably quite small, but this should certainly satisfy their needs. The first in a planned series, referred to in publicity as Warriors Creed, this is very much a taster with little storyline development. All we really discover in the 24 page debut instalment is that Guerrero retires through injury but is pursued by mysterious powers seeking to capture a particular ability he h...

Well regarded in its own right as a children’s book, this will particularly appeal to wrestling families. It’s the first in a series of books set in the same street, though the only one dealing with wrestling. It was picked as book of the month by British TV channel CBBC and is listed as being aimed at 9-11 year olds, though I’d suspect it would be suitable for a wider range. It tells the story of a father who secretly wrestles on a low-lev...

Back when wrestling books were few and far between, this was one of the titles that was worth tracking down through bookshop ordering systems. Even today, it’s still a remarkable insight into a particular aspect and era of the business. Freedman is an anthropologist who taught at the University of Western Ontario for 26 years, during which time he wrote Drawing Heat. It’s a study of wrestling in Ontario, partly of the main NWA territory opera...

It’s perhaps unfair to compare this to what might of been, but sadly this isn’t as good as you might imagine. Rhodes’s death in 2015 led to many reflecting on his stardom and career and how it far outweighed the lowpoints when he overpromoted himself in the dying days of the Crockett territory. He lived a hell of a life, but this book doesn’t really capture it. The upside of NWA promoter Howard Brody ghostwriting the book is that the fact...

This book is a real two-for-one deal: a great story, and a fun game as a bonus. The great story comes from Barrett having a true globetrotter career: as well as several US territories including the WWWF, he worked in the UK, continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. He covers his various exploits in the ring along with plenty of colour about experiencing different locales. The book doesn’t outright talk about wrestling...

Between the wrestling book boom sparked a decade ago by Mick Foley and the growth of the e-reader making self-published titles ever more viable, numerous wrestling “novels” have appeared in recent years. Sadly most have been badly written and poorly researched, the worst examples being little more than poorly hidden sexual fantasies about real-life wrestling performers. That run has come to an end with Blood Red Turns Dollar Green, the first ...

Recent Release Roundup
News / April 9, 2019

The following recent releases did not get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule. To Be The Man: Evil Ain’t Good: Chapter 4 by Jared Davis & Josh Taylor It’s true that nothing makes wrestling great quite like a loud and rowdy crowd, but most nights out at the matches don’t end with a mob of pissed-off hellions jumpin’ the guardrail! Unfortunately for Hazard and Grimes, the Devil’...

Everybody Down Here Hates Me by Pat Barrett
Review / April 9, 2019

This book is a real two-for-one deal: a great story, and a fun game as a bonus. The great story comes from Barrett having a true globetrotter career: as well as several US territories including the WWWF, he worked in the UK, continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. He covers his various exploits in the ring along with plenty of colour about experiencing different locales. The book doesn’t outright talk about...

Blood Red Turns Dollar Green (Volume 1) by Paul O’Brien
Review / April 5, 2019

Between the wrestling book boom sparked a decade ago by Mick Foley and the growth of the e-reader making self-published titles ever more viable, numerous wrestling “novels” have appeared in recent years. Sadly most have been badly written and poorly researched, the worst examples being little more than poorly hidden sexual fantasies about real-life wrestling performers. That run has come to an end with Blood Red Turns Dollar Green, ...

Banner Days by Penny Banner with Gerry Hostetler
Review / April 4, 2019

Whether you find this book worthwhile depends on your interest in female wrestling history and your attitude to books that maintain kayfabe. As a historical recollection, it’s got a lot to offer. In terms of first-hand accounts, Banner is arguably the biggest name female of her era who wasn’t  part of the Fabulous Moolah troupe, so makes for an interesting counter perspective It’s as much a life story as a wrestling book — th...

At Issue: Professional Wrestling
Review / April 3, 2019

Part of a series that covers everything from Anti-Semitism to UFOs, this is designed to be a research tool and study guide for social studies students. It’s an anthology, which brings the benefit that you get a slightly wider range of viewpoints than usual in such books (including entertainment and sports writers alongside professors) but the drawback that some pieces are extremely short and have little substance. Most of the topics h...

Release Schedule (3 April)
Release Schedule / April 3, 2019

6 April: Convergent Wrestling: Participatory Culture, Transmedia Storytelling, and Intertextuality in the Squared Circle (The Cultural Politics of Media and Popular Culture) by CarrieLynn D. Reinhard (Editor), Christopher J. Olson 7 May: Self Help: Life Lessons from the Bizarre Wrestling Career of Al Snow by Al Snow & Ross Owen Williams 7 May: WWE SmackDown 20 Years and Counting by Dean Miller & Jake Black 7 May: An Encyclopedia of Wome...

Arn Anderson 4 Ever by Arn Anderson
Review / April 1, 2019

The subtitle of this book is “A Look Behind The Curtain” but that’s one thing you most definitely will not get from this book. This autobiography was published in 2000 by the “Kayfabe Publishing Group”, an appropriate title given its nature. As those who’ve seen Anderson speak in interviews or in talking head segments on documentaries, Arn continues to maintain that wrestling was a legitimate contest and the on-screen produc...

Are You Hardcore by Matt Hiller & Joe Lisi
Review / March 29, 2019

There was a point at the turn of the millennium where it seemed any book related to wrestling could find a publisher. This is one of those books. It’s pretty much an internet forum thread come to life, with the first half being nothing more than 316 (geddit?) ways to tell you are obsessed with pro wrestling. A random selection should give a flavour of what’s on offer: 46: When delivering a eulogy, you don’t see the problem in equa...

Are We There Yet by Robert Caprio
Review / March 28, 2019

This is an official WWE book made up of a collection of road stories from wrestlers on the crew in the mid-2000s. It’s a fun read, albeit with everything showing the wrestlers in a good light. The stories are all a page or two at most, so it’s perfect for bathroom reading or dipping into. To give an idea of the subject material, a random selection throws up Ivory and Jacqueline staying in the motel from hell; Rico helping subdue a ...

Andre The Giant: Closer to Heaven by Brandon M Easton & Denis Medri
Review / March 27, 2019

A wrestling star might get one graphic novel written about their life. Andre the Giant, a wrestling legend in every sense, now has two. I’ve not had a chance to read Box Brown’s Andre the Giant: Life and Legend yet, though other reviews suggest it may be more of a surface read, recounting some popular tales (some likely as tall as Andre.) This new take from Easton and Medri feels like a rounded biography, or as much as can be cove...