Appropriately enough this is a no holds barred view of pro wrestling from an outsider. The first half of this book (Rousey’s second volume of autobiography) covers her final two MMA bouts (both defeats) and the beginnings of her relationship with Travis Browne. It’s largely soul searching and won’t necessarily appear to wrestling fans, though her claims about the long-term effects of her repeated concussions raise some serious q...

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Not just an biography, this is a remarkable insight into the psychology and mental element of working as a professional wrestler at every level of the business. Lynch’s career path is an unusual one, grinding on the independent circuit for several years then getting completely out of the business before returning via a WWE tryout and going straight into the new-look developmental system. This comes across in the book as a different perspect...

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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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An Important Site Note
News / March 14, 2019

I recently moved this blog to a new web host and it would be an understatement to say it went badly. In short, the site (and backups) was pretty much destroyed and I’ve had to rebuild it from scratch. The good news is that although the actual post archive was irretrievably corrupted, I was able to extract the text of the reviews. With that in mind: Starting next week I’ll resume posting the weekly release schedules for wrest...

Wrestling With The Truth by Bruno Lauer
Review / March 14, 2019

Downtown Bruno, aka Harvey Whippleman, was a gruff, angry, vociferous little so and so. And his book is not much different. While a manager (and occasional referee) rather than grappler, Lauer had an interesting career path that lends itself to an autobiography with wide appeal, covering the smallest independents, the territorial era and the WWE in both peaks and troughs. Large parts of the story here are about the rough and ready natur...

Inside Out By Ole Anderson
Review / March 14, 2019

Not everyone who reads this book is going to like or agree with what it says, but you certainly can’t accuse it of being inauthentic. A Crowbar Press publication, this is arguably the best example of Scott Teal’s prowess as a ghostwriter. He’s put together a book that’s engaging, focused and flows in a logical order, but still comes across as the genuine voice of Anderson. It’s 382 pages in print and certai...

Pure Dynamite by Tom Billington
Review / March 13, 2019

1999 is something of a year zero in wrestling books thanks to the stunning success of Mick Foley’s Have A Nice Day proving to the publishing industry that wrestling fans could indeed read. But it also marked the publication of the autobiography of the Dynamite Kid, a book that remains among the small selection of genuine must-reads. Originally published in a limited print run by the company behind the UK’s Power Slam magazin...

Blood Red Turns Dollar Green Volume 2 by Paul O’Brien
Review , Uncategorized / March 13, 2019

Paul O’Brien’s debut novel, published last year, received high praise: in the pages of FSM we described it as “the first truly professional novel about professional wrestling.” Volume two answers the question of what happened next and does so in a stylish manner. Without spoiling too much of the plot, the new book deals with the immediate fallout of a battle between rival promoters that spilled over from control ...