Mat Memories: My Wild Life in Pro Wrestling, Country Music, and with the Mets by John Arezzi
Review / February 19, 2021

Wrestling fans will enjoy the relevant sections of this book but it may not be enough to recommend the whole thing. Arezzi – also known as John Alexander and John Anthony as the book explains – has had a multi-faceted life. Largely a marketer and salesman, he’s worked in baseball, pro wrestling and country music. The wrestling sections of his life story are fascinating. In the space of a few years he produced the one of the first broadcast show (Pro Wrestling Spotlight on radio) to cover the business in a non-kayfabed sense, coinciding with the WWF drugs and sex scandals. He was partially responsible for Vince Russo’s entry into the business. He helped broker AAA’s stunningly successful expansion into the US in the early 90s. And he was a key player in establishing the wrestling convention circuit. All of this is covered in some detail, with honest and amusing recollections and a refreshing sense of perspective and reality on the ups and downs of the business.  The most notable anecdote involves Arezzi’s two match “career” in the ring in the early 80s when he blagged his way into appearing as a jobber on a WWWF taping with awkward results….

Ringman By Dave Dwinell
Review / February 16, 2021

An unusual take on wrestling in the past four decades, this is at its best when offering the author’s unique perspective. While you may not know the name Dave Dwinell, there’s a good chance you’ve seen him work. Between 1982 and 2015 he refereed shows for promotions including the WWF, WCW and ECW despite never actually working for them. That’s thanks to the odd set-up by which New York’s athletic commission, which in some ways treated wrestling as a legitimate sport, was in charge of assigning licensed referees to work on shows in the state rather than promotions solely using their own staff. Following some extreme persistence, Dwinell got on to the commission’s roster and found himself working at a WWF show despite having virtually no training and not being entirely certain about how wrestling actually worked. The strongest sections of the book are Dwinell’s experience as a referee working a diverse range of shows from Madison Square Garden to tiny indy shows, along with his memories of amusing incidents in matches. Those only familiar with today’s monster corporation WWE may be surprised to learn of the more bare-bones organization backstage in the 1980s, particularly from the perspective of somebody…

Site Update News
News / February 9, 2021

I’ve just transferred the blog and domain to a new host. As far as I can tell, everything should now be working as normal with the exception of most older images currently being missing.  (This includes those for reviews before around June 2020 and for other posts that are more than a month old). This will be fixed but will take a little while. Please do let me know if anything looks wrong or appears to be missing.