Bodyslams! by Gary Michael Capetta

October 24, 2019

If you’re thinking the autobiography of a ring announcer doesn’t sound an enticing prospect, think again. Capetta — who spent more than 20 years announcing for the WWWF and WCW — probably saw more matches live then anyone else during his prime. He’s also got a lot of stories from life on the road and isn’t shy of sharing them.

The early sections of the book are fascinating, detailing Capetta’s transition from fan to WWWF employee, much of which involved bluster and blagging. Newer WWE fans will also learn a lot about the company’s setup in the 1970s with regional promoters running weekly shows in smaller venues and booking their own storylines.

The backstage stories are also great. The book includes a lengthy recollection of which wrestler crossed a young trainee who later became the Undertaker — and how he eventually paid for it. There’s some great insight into how the stresses of life on the road on European tours led to some unwelcome experiences for Bill Dundee, Mr Hughes and PN News. And there’s even a detailed ear-witness account of the infamous Sid vs Arn Anderson brawl in Blackburn.

Reading the book you’ll also learn what it’s like to be stripped in the ring by Jimmy Snuka, charged by Victor the Wrestling Bear, or left holding Mick Foley’s ear after a mishap between the ropes.

Even today when books detailing backstage antics are no longer a rarity, this remains one of the hidden gems in the wrestling book archives.

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