My Life Outside The Ring By Hulk Hogan and Mark Dagostino
Review / February 28, 2020

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 in this book that seemed suspicious, but that topic’s been addressed much better by writer Stuart Millard, and my list of points to check ran onto three pages. Suffice to say there are some real classics here. The best know is the lengthy explanation of how Hogan would regularly fly back and forth between the US and Japan and that the time zones and international date lines meant he wrestled on 400 days a year. Some claims at least make sense on the surface but don’t stand up to scrutiny such as Hogan wrestling in Tokyo the night after WrestleMania III at the start of 29 straight days. That might have been more plausible had he not stopped touring New Japan nearly two years earlier and had the WWF…

Owen Hart: King of Pranks by James Romero
Review / February 25, 2020

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 Hart’s ribbing. The entries are organised in chronological order, with each section introduced by a brief but detailed installment of a more traditional biography of Hart’s in-ring career. The book also includes several drawings that imagine the scene of some of the more outlandish incidents. While the prank stories are well retold, the attempt to be comprehensive there’s an element of repetition and the level of context and impact certainly varies from tale to tale. Perhaps the most striking aspect of the book is that the sheer volume of stories gives a different impression of Hart’s humor than the naturally celebratory tone of accounts after his tragic death. Many of the incidents are genuinely amusing and creative, most notably the way he took advantage of his ability to impersonate other people’s voices…

New Philosophy Book Coming
News / February 6, 2020

A new book on philosophy in wrestling is due for release in June. Philosophy Smackdown by Douglas Edwards has the following advance notice: From its carnival origins to its current status as a global phenomenon, pro wrestling has a unique presence in popular culture. Part sport and part theatre, the impressive antics of its larger-than-life characters have captured the imaginations of generations of fans, and prompted endless speculation about behind-the-scenes machinations. Philosophy Smackdown is a study of pro wrestling as distinctive as pro wrestling itself: it is the first philosophical look at this major cultural spectacle. Philosopher and fan Douglas Edwards takes both philosophy and pro wrestling to parts unknown. With liveliness, humor and insight, he shows that pro wrestling is fertile ground for reflection on fundamental human issues, such as reality, freedom, identity, morality, justice, and meaning. He explores these through pivotal events in pro wrestling, from the eighties heyday of Hulkamania to the recent emergence of AEW. Philosophy Smackdown is a read that will delight philosophers and pro wrestling fans alike. It’s time to ask yourself: Whatcha gonna do when Philosophy Smackdown runs wild on you? I’ll have a full review in due course.