Short but sweet, this may be too brief for some buyers. Lying somewhere between an extremely extended blog post and a very concise book, Amazon estimates a print version of this e-Book only title would be around 30 pages, something that’s important to remember if you’re considering a purchase. Unlike some less reputable titles such AI-generated “biographies”, this is an appropriate length for the subject matter: a detailed...

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A third volume of autobiography is always a challenge, but the gimmick here doesn’t really hit. As the likes of Mick Foley and Chris Jericho have shown, later chronological volumes usually prove diminishing returns with too short a period to cover. The alternative is a fresh format, something that works well in some cases (Bobby Heenan) and not so well in others (Jericho again). Here the gimmick is 50 short chapters, each based around an in...

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This is a well-researched and often illuminating biography, but for a WWF superstar subject, his time in the promotion is the weakest aspect of the book. This is the closest thing to an authoritative biography of Savage thanks to brother Lanny Poffo being a key source before his own passing. It also brings together quotes from a wide variety of figures both inside and outside the business, usually – though not always – commenting on topics wh...

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Somewhat a mirror image of its predecessor, this works as an overall collection of articles, even if some pieces feel a little flat. The second compilation from WrestleTalk, this follows The New War: AEW vs WWE. I found that while individual pieces were intriguing, it didn’t necessarily hang together as an overall narrative or history of a time period. The situation is reversed here, with a much broader topic, namely wrestling’s cross...

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Something of a mixed bag, this takes a while to get going but provides some useful insight. The ghostwritten format works well when sharing the first-hand accounts of Dewey Robertson, the man behind the gimmick. However, in what could be either an attempt of completeness or a touch of padding out, the book does occasionally fall into extensive lists which are neither informative nor entertaining. Unfortunately this is particularly prevalent in th...

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In a just world this would be an autobiography. We’ll have to settle for an entertaining and informative biography. A good wrestling biography will do one of three things: adequately document a wrestler’s in-ring career, give some insight into their life outside the ring, and share some engaging stories. This manages all three, thanks largely to its authorship. It’s not quite the same as when Scott Teal steers the recollections ...

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Feiler’s third wrestling novel shifts genre but remains an easy read that should hold your interest. Ambush At The Palace is set in the same universe (a fictionalised late-70s Florida territory) as his previous books on Gorpp The Grappler, but puts less emphasis on the sci-fi element. Instead this is a crime thriller kicked off by a robbery of the man returning the night’s takings from a wrestling show. The wrestling element is more o...

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Proving you can tell a story based on research, this is something of an undersung title. As we’ve covered in many reviews, historical wrestling books often fall in to a couple of traps. One is to conduct meticulous research and then be so afraid to let any of it go to waste that you bombard the reader with irrelevant detail, drowning out any narrative. The other is to concentrate on wrestling storylines or to rely on a wrestler’s reco...

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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 ...

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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 li...

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Bruiser: The Worlds Most Dangerous Wrestler by Richard Vicek
Review / September 19, 2023

Proving you can tell a story based on research, this is something of an undersung title. As we’ve covered in many reviews, historical wrestling books often fall in to a couple of traps. One is to conduct meticulous research and then be so afraid to let any of it go to waste that you bombard the reader with irrelevant detail, drowning out any narrative. The other is to concentrate on wrestling storylines or to rely on a wrestler...

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 h...

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, so...

The Last Real World Champion: The Legacy of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair by Tim Hornbaker
Review / July 26, 2023

This is the most comprehensive written account of Flair’s life and career, but feels less than the sum of its parts. As readers of Hornbaker’s previous books on the NWA, the territories and the early years of the WWF will know, he is meticulous in his research but has tended to favour detail over narrative. That’s certainly the case with the sections here about Flair’s family history and life before wrestling. There are so many ...

Between the Ropes: Wrestling’s Greatest Triumphs and Failures by Brian Fritz and Christopher Murray
Review / June 6, 2023

There’s nothing wrong with this but it’s not a necessary read in 2023. Between The Ropes was a radio show broadcasting in Orlando, kicking off at the height of the Monday Night Wars. (Several years after this book’s publication it transitioned to an online presence and is now a podcast.) The bulk of this book is four overview histories covering WWE, WCW, ECW and TNA, with a particular emphasis on the period from the mi...

The Canvas, Volume 1: The Shine by DA Edwards
Review / May 30, 2023

Originality always helps books, but sometimes lifting from reality can be entertaining. Novels about pro wrestling tend to fall into a couple of categories. Some use it as a backdrop for genre fiction such as crime (Blood Red, Dollar Green) or romance (The Cruiserweight). Many of the rest cover fictionalized careers based heavily on the US territory era. The Canvas certainly falls into the latter category, but in this case the obvious i...

Living The Dream: Memphis Wrestling by Randy Hales
Review / May 3, 2023

My high hopes for this were not borne out, but it may be worth a look for Memphis completists. In the early years of wrestling on the internet, Hales wrote several fascinating pieces on his booking experiences and philosophies, particularly the Memphis flavour. Unfortunately those didn’t really get as much play in this book. Hales notes the focus changed midway through the writing process to switch from a history of his time runni...

Best Seat In The House by Justin Roberts
Review / April 24, 2023

This is an unusual book in that it’s hard to criticize but also hard to recommend. As a ring announcer’s biography, the natural comparison is to Gary Michael Capetta’s Bodyslams, which is largely a collection of fun stories about the weird world of pro wrestling. This is a more focused memoir about chasing a dream, finding it lacking and yet still celebrating the achievement. The early parts of the book cover Roberts&#...

Ringmaster: Vince McMahon and the Unmaking of America by Abraham Riesman
Review / April 21, 2023

It would be unfair to call this half-assed, but a substantial chunk of this book is missing in action. Marketed as a “definitive biography”, it suffers from the major shortcoming that it effectively ends in 1999 with the angle of the revelation of Vince McMahon as “Greater Power”. The subsequent 24 years of his life and career is covered in a whistlestop “coda” chapter where, for example, WWE becoming...

First Names: Dwayne (‘The Rock’ Johnson) by Lisa Williamson
Review / April 20, 2023

While there’s nothing new here for serious fans, this is a fun biography for young readers (the stated target age is 7 to 9). It’s part of a series title “First Names”, the idea being that the reader will feel like they are on a first name basis with a curious mix of historical and contemporary figures, placing Johnson alongside Greta Thunberg, Nelson Mandela and Elon Musk. The book is simply a repackaging of Johnson’s life st...