Indestructible by Chris Michaels
Review / August 30, 2022

One for fans only, this is all breadth and little depth. Michaels has wrestled since the late 80s, chiefly around the East Tennessee and Kentucky areas. While he’s worked for everyone from WWF and WCW to Smoky Mountain and TNA, this doesn’t really have the level of detail you might hope for in a book from an experienced journeyman. Take out the photo section and there’s under 100 pages here, due partly to the fact that most of the incidents he covers are more a statement of fact than a story. It’s not uncommon for a topic to get just a couple of paragraphs, such as his run as a booker for an independent group. Most of the detail involves Michaels’ colourful private life and whether this interests a reader will largely determine their response to the book. A few stories, including those involving his mentor Tracey Smothers are entertaining enough but beyond that there’s not much in the way of insight here to recommend it to the general reader. Read on Amazon

Gorpp The Grappler by D R Feiler
Review / August 9, 2022

While the audience for this may be a small sliver of a Venn diagram, it’s surprisingly readable and doesn’t outstay its welcome. Regular readers will know many, if not most, wrestling novels fall into a common theme: a fictionalised version of the territorial era of the 70s and 80s, with (sometimes thinly) veiled versions of the NWA and its touring champion model. Occasionally you’ll have an extra genre in the mix, usually crime, sometimes romance. This follows that pattern but the genre is science fiction. The story is based around Gorpp, an alien on an advance mission for an invasion of Earth who sees a televised wrestling show and, misunderstanding the description, believes he must defeat the World Heavyweight Champion to take over the planet. It’s not exactly the most plausible of situations, but the book works by playing it straight and sticking to as much internal consistency as the pretext allows. The whole “main character is an alien” deal doesn’t get in the way of the story and instead is a useful logistical device for overcoming situations where time and distance would otherwise derail the book’s pace. Perhaps the biggest compliment is that it often doesn’t feel like a…