While Ken Shamrock’s life has already been covered via Inside The Lion’s Den, that book was hampered not just by only covering his early MMA career, but also by being a far from complete and rounded account of his life. To say Snowden’s work is a different prospect would be a spectacular understatement. The biggest strength of this book is that it is utterly comprehensive. Not only does it cover every fight of his career, but vi...

Dates are for US release and may vary in other countries. 29 June: S is for Suplex by Ryan L Schrodt and Nicholas Camia 13 July: Philosophy Smackdown by Douglas Edwards (Pro Wrestling Books review.) 1 September: Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Wrestling Revolution by Keith Elliot Greenberg 29 September: WWE Encyclopedia of Sports Entertainment New Edition 13 October: We Promised You a Great Main Event: An Unauthorized WWE History by Bill Hanstock 15 ...

One of those titles long-term collectors will recognise, this turns out to be a pleasant surprise. Originally published in 1974, this was a familiar sight when searching book catalogues in the pre-Have A Nice Day era, but wasn’t always easy to track down. Lewin is the brother of the better known wrestlers Mark and Donn. While he had the odd match later on, the bulk of his career came in the mid-sixties on the WWWF circuit. He wrestled mainl...

This is that rarest of beasts: an academic book about wrestling from which wrestling fans might actually learn something. With most philosophy essays and books on wrestling there’s a familiar pattern: start by citing Roland Barthes, raise the revolutionary point that pro wrestlers are performers rather than athletes competing to win a match, then discuss how the whole thing is a cipher for morality/ethnography/society/homoeroticism, making ...

Profiling the subject of the tallest of tall tales, this extensive biography strives for truth without sacrificing readability. Between graphic novels, a WWE published bio and two documentaries, the story of Andre’s life has been covered multiple times but never in such depth. Running nearly 400 pages it covers the familiar stories but also lesser-covered parts of his career including his time in Europe and Mexico and his importance to the ...

This is very much a book of two halves with a big decline midway through. The first half covers both the Stampede promotion and Hart’s own career and is a definite thumbs up. While Hart is almost always portraying himself in a positive light, there’s some good insights into the establishment and operations of the territory and the unusual world of dealing with pro wrestlers and their egos. It all goes off a cliff when the book gets to...

This is quite the example of the boy who cried wolf. Released seven years after his initial autobiography, the first half of this book covers largely similar ground. There doesn’t seem much point in this unless Hogan’s going to take a different approach, for example speaking more honestly and openly than was possible under the WWE Books banner. This book is copyright Eric Bischoff, LLC. I’d initially planned to cover everything ...

Certainly a unique concept for a book, this — perhaps unintentionally — provides a more rounded biography of Hart than some more conventional approaches. King of Pranks was inspired by a offhand comment by Sean Waltman who suggested that somebody should put together a collection of Hart’s infamous pranks. James Romero took on that challenge, poring through books, interviews and newsletters to collect more than 150 anecdotes of H...

I would say this book was worth the wait, but frankly nobody ever expected to see it in the first place. Nagasaki/Thornley had arguably protected his character more than any other wrestler in the English-speaking world with the possible exception of The Undertaker. He’s finally broken that silence and gone beyond the character, reasoning it was best to tell his story properly in a book designed as a fundraiser for a charity in the memory of...

This isn’t quite as billed, but it’s all the better from it. Both the title and blurb imply the focus here is on life lessons and philosphy, supported by events from Snow’s career. It’s a format that worked well with Bobby Heenan’s second books, Chairshots and Other Obstacles, but realistically this is a straight autobiography. It has the occasional “life lesson” but it’s usually just an unnecessary...

Release Schedule (15 May)
Release Schedule / May 15, 2019

15 July: Cody Heart of the Mountain (The Elite Team) by Cody Runnels & Sam Weisz 16 July: 100 Things WWE Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Bryan Alvarez 6 August:  There’s No Such Thing As a Bad Kid: How I Went from Stereotype to Prototype by Thaddeus Bullard (Titus O’Neill) & Paul Guzzo 6 August: Jim Cornette Presents: Behind the Curtain – Real Pro Wrestling Stories by Jim Cornette & Brandon Easton 6 August: The Pro Wrest...

Wrestling by Frank Gotch, World’s Champion
Review / May 14, 2019

This is definitely one to collect rather than read, but given its age it’s surprisingly attainable (in the US at least.) Showing the prestige and perception of pro wrestling at the time of its 1913 publication, this is part of a series of sports and fitness books published by Richard K Fox of the National Police Gazette which, despite its title, was the original boxing and sports magazine of its day. The book starts with a brief bio o...

Coming Soon From Crowbar Press
News / May 14, 2019

Some exciting releases here and on the way from Crowbar Press. The highlight is a new reprint of Fall Guys by Marcus Griffin, a 1930s expose behind the scenes of the pre-war machinations and doublecrosses. While the book is excellent, some of its claims are questionable or exaggerated, with a strong theory that Toots Mondt was a key, but unreliable, source. That’s addressed in this new edition which includes detailed annotations f...

Wrestling Babylon by Irv Muchnick
Review / May 13, 2019

Some valid and important points in this book are let down by some fundamental limitations. Muchnick is a professional news writer who has made his name over the years by writing mainstream outlet articles on the darker side of the wrestling business, covering topics often ignored by “real” media on the irrelevant grounds of wrestling being “fake.” There’s absolutely no debating that Muchnick — the nephew of legendary St Loui...

Wrestling at the Chase: The Inside Story of Sam Muchnick and the Legends of Professional Wrestling by Larry Matysik
Review / May 10, 2019

Every wrestling fan should read at least one of Larry Matysik’s books about St Louis wrestling. If you’re only going to read one, this is probably the best bet. As well as books on the 50 greatest wrestlers of all time (with a definite St Louis flavour) and Bruiser Brody, Matysik has written three books specifically on St Louis. At one extreme is From the Golden Era: The St Louis Wrestling Record Book, an e-book which is no longer a...

Recent Release Roundup
News / May 10, 2019

The following recent releases did not get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule. Unscripting Professional Wrestling by Anthony Campana Professional wrestling resonates with millions of people around the world but is also greatly misunderstood by many others. Pro-wrestling has a strong parallel with the worlds of sports and entertainment. However, for every similarity drawn to an avenue of sports or entertai...

Wrestling Fan’s Book by Sid Feder
Review / May 9, 2019

Published at the tail of the first national TV wrestling boom, this is an excellent memento of the period and is a genuinely informative read rather than just a collectible historical item. The heart of the book is a series of profiles of around 250 wrestlers, ranging from full-page pieces on the top stars to capsule bios. Naturally it’s entirely in kayfabe, but there’s a fair bit of detail on backgrounds and career histories, most ...

Wrestling Is For Me by Art Thomas
Review / May 8, 2019

Don’t buy this. When it arrives sight unseen from an online auction site you’ll discover it’s not by 60s pro wrestler Art Thomas but rather a high school amateur wrestling coach of the same name. You’ll also discover it’s a children’s book, heavily illustrated with pictures of very young kids in singlets locking up and looking inexplicably happy. You’ll also discover that even in the context of having a wrestling book coll...

Release Schedule (8 May)
Release Schedule / May 8, 2019

One new entry this week, an updated re-release of a 1998 title, Professional Wrestling: Sport and Spectacle, Second Edition by Sharon Mazer Professional wrestling is one of the most popular performance practices in the United States and around the world, drawing millions of spectators to live events and televised broadcasts. The displays of violence, simulated and actual, may be the obvious appeal, but that is just the beginning. Fans d...

Wrestling Part III (1926) by Billy Sandow and Ed “Strangler” Lewis
Review / May 7, 2019

A reprint of a book now in the public domain, this is a nice novelty but doesn’t really have any collector value. Despite the name given to this release, it’s actually part 7 of 8 of a series originally published as “The Sandow-Lewis Kinetic Stress System of Physical Training.” With earlier volumes covering the basics of bodybuilding and self defense, this is the second of three parts dealing with wrestling itself. That most lik...