Ali vs. Inoki: The Forgotten Fight That Inspired Mixed Martial Arts and Launched Sports Entertainment by Josh Gross
Review / November 20, 2020

This book makes the best of a concept with arguably limited potential, which is pretty much the opposite of what happened in the match it covers. It’s automatically an impressive feat to get a full book out of a match where famously almost nothing happened. Even with a literal blow-by-blow account (Gross bravely becoming sure the only person in history to watch the match multiple times), the core of the book is inherently limited in drama. Unfortunately the lack of cooperation from the key players involved means the book doesn’t reveal too much about the match, in particular the process by which a potential worked finish was set aside, a legitimate contest decided on (or reached by default) and the rules negotiated. Even with the book’s explanations, it still reads somewhat unclear exactly what each man could and couldn’t do and whether it’s fair to criticise Inoki for not taking down and submitting Ali, or whether the rules meant this really wasn’t a boxer vs grappler affair at all. Within these limitations, Gross does an excellent job of putting the match into context. Without ever losing the thread that keeps everything on topic, he covers everything from the development of…

Buddy Rogers Bio Coming Soon
News / November 16, 2020

Crowbar Press is soon to publish Master Of The Ring, a biography of Buddy Rogers by Tim Hornbaker. (We’ve previously reviewed his books National Wrestling Alliance, Capitol Revolution and Death of the Territories.) It will initially be available in print direct from Crowbar Press with a Kindle version scheduled for December.

Unofficial Rock Biography On The Way
News / November 3, 2020

James Romero, whose book on Owen Hart I previously reviewed, will soon be publishing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: The People’s Champion – From WWE to Hollywood c. Here’s the blurb: FINALLY… from the author of the highly regarded Owen Hart: King of Pranks comes the wrestling biography every WWE fan and the millions… and millions of Rock fanatics around the world have been waiting for! Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: The People’s Champion – From WWE to Hollywood charts the personal life and wrestling career of ten-time WWF/WWE/WCW Champion and movie megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in-depth for the very first time. Along with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vince McMahon and the concept of “Attitude”, the emergence of The Rock was instrumental in turning the languishing World Wrestling Federation, on the brink of downsizing, into a billion dollar entity within two years. With The Rock at the forefront, the WWF routinely broke viewership, box office and ticket sales records. In 2000, The Rock became the most well-known mainstream professional wrestler in the world and in 2001 Dwayne entered the Guinness Book of Records as the highest paid debuting lead actor for his star-making turn in The Scorpion King. After several years…