WrestleTalk Presents: The New War: WWE vs AEW
Review / August 22, 2023

The book is not an attempt to give a chronological history of the “war” to date. Instead it’s made up of 10 articles reproduced from the WrestleTalk magazine between May 2021 and August 2022, plus brief linking chapters adding context. Each article explores a particular topic either relating to one of the two promotions or to the conflict itself. These include the reimagining of NXT, Tony Khan’s Twitter posting habits and the changing nature of TV ratings. As you’d expect from a newsstand magazine, they are all well-written, with Katrina Waters (WWE’s Katie Lee Burchill/TNA’s Winter) giving particular insight into the psychology of WWE-contracted wrestlers considering their alternative employment options. The main drawback is that some articles have only the lightest of arguments and conclusions, while others haven’t stood the test of time. For example, the question of Vince McMahon’s succession is addressed in several chapters but, to a reader in 2023 has yet to become a meaningful outcome. Another piece heavily speculates that early AEW signings of the likes of Big Show and Christian could be in preparation for a head-to-head TV battle on Monday nights. While it’s at least honest to leave these conclusions unedited from the original…

Booker T: From Prison to Promise: Life Before the Squared Circle by Booker T Huffman with Andrew William Wright
Review / August 10, 2023

As long as you know what you’re getting, this is a great insight into what made Huffman the man he is. The subtitle and blurb make the point, but some would-be readers may overlook the fact this is not a wrestling autobiography. The only wrestling content is the final 15 percent or so, covering Booker’s time in the Texas independent circuit before getting a WCW tryout. Instead it’s the story of a troubled childhood, some poor life choices, a spell in prison, and a period of drifting before finding wrestling. It’s certainly a very open account, with plenty of detail but no complaining or refusing to take responsibility. While it’s very readable, the book is clearly ghostwritten and doesn’t appear to be an attempt to capture the subject’s voice. While Booker Huffman may well speak in a different way to the on-screen character of Booker T, it’s hard to imagine him reading this for an audiobook and it not sounding clunky and unnatural. There is a second volume covering Booker’s wrestling career. If you’re going to read that, don’t skip this as it gives great context into Huffman’s early life and the differences that would have come with fame and money.