Tod is God: The Authorized Story of How I Created Extreme Championship Wrestling by Tod Gordon & Sean Oliver
Review / March 8, 2023

Sometimes you want a comprehensive, chronological, fact-checked, revelatory account of a wrestling personality’s career. But sometimes you just want to laugh your backside off. Tod Is God falls very much into the latter category, likely reflecting its origin story. It’s ghostwritten by Kayfabe Commentaries host Sean Oliver and he and Gordon are open about the way its production involved 60 hours of conversations followed by Oliver putting the highlights together in a logical order. The result is much like an engaging shoot interview where every question gets an entertaining response. This isn’t to say the book doesn’t address key points: you’ll get Gordon’s take on the origins of the business and his personal and professional relationship with Paul Heyman. You’ll also get his side of the story with incidents such as the NWA title doublecross and his departure amid the “lockerroom mole” gossip. However, the bulk of the book, and the undisputed highlights, are the countless genuinely hilarious stories of the crazy characters involved in pro wrestling. Revealing details would spoil the effect, but it’s filled with ridiculous moments, the humour being enhanced by the way such incidents are considered perfectly normal in pro wrestling, unlike virtually any other business….

Flowers for Adrian: The Life and Death of Adrian Adonis by John Ellul
Review / March 2, 2023

You may ask “why write a biography of Adrian Adonis?” For John Ellul, the question was “why not?” As well as a chronological account of Adonis’s life and career, Ellul explores the question of how history remembers individual wrestlers. As he notes, Adonis had high-profile runs in multiple territories, was at once stage rated as one of the finest workers in the business, and had a particularly memorable run with a major match at the iconic WrestleMania III. Yet not only is he in no major Hall of Fame, but his absence has proven largely uncontroversial. Unlike many wrestling bios, Ellul does not have a unique selling point in telling the story such as access to a game-changing source or documentation. Instead it’s a wide-ranging approach that brings together video footage, publications, archive interviews and a range of original interviews with Adonis’s colleagues, family and industry insiders. It produces a multi-faceted account. No one interviewee is a game-changer, but each offers insight into a particular topic, be it future pro Terry Daniels on his noteworthy acceptance of Adonis’s shoot challenges to audience members or journalist Fumi Saito on Adonis’s leisure time at home in California or on tour in Japan….