Ask Him Again Ref! by Dale Storm

November 26, 2019

More of a conversation than an autobiography, this is still an interesting insight into some of the more under-covered elements of the British wrestling business.

Storm was a Scottish wrestler who divided his time between Joint Promotions and the independent circuit, two factors which meant he didn’t have television exposure or national attention. However, he did have a lengthy career working with some top stars and in a way his status lends to the appeal of the book.

It appears to have been adapted from an initial draft as a stage or screenplay and is presented in the form of a fictionalised conversation with a journalist set in 1984. It’s a device that’s sometimes a little strained: the Storm of 1984 has some remarkable foresight at times, while the conversation seems exceptionally long.

That said, it does allow Storm to cover many elements of his career and experiences in wrestling without having to group it by theme or chronologically, and it certainly conveys what it must be like to listen to him holding court.

Some parts of the story are specific to the Scottish scene, particularly the independents in more remote venues. However, there’s also some fascinating insight into the wrestling business, in particular the dangers of wrestlers having the ability to generate heat without the instincts and skills to bring a crowd back down when necessary.

It’s a lengthy read and not one that will leave you feeling short-changed, though could have used a little tighter editing as some stories and memories are repeated.

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