The Woman Who Would Be King: The MADUSA story by Debra Miceli

January 20, 2023

Definitely more of a life story than a wrestling book, this should still appeal to Miceli’s fans.

While the wrestling career of Madusa is well-known and fondly remembered by many, it’s only part of a live lived to the full, reflected in this story. The book occasionally skips around from subject to subject rather than being a traditional chronological autobiography, but the wrestling section makes up around a third of the content.

If you’re purely interested in the wrestling itself, you may be disappointed as most specific on-screen moments are covered only in passing and there’s very little about individual matches. However, there’s plenty of insight into the life of being a wrestler in different eras and settings, in particular the contrast between being a rare female on the roster in the US and being part of an all-female crew in Japan.

Almost as much of the book covers Miceli’s love of motorcycles and her monster truck career. Some parts may be a little technical for non-fans, but there’s certainly some interesting parallels with the business side of pro wrestling including the promotional elements and the fine line between competition and camaraderie.

As noted, it’s also very much a life story, with Miceli not glossing over a harsh upbringing and some challenging personal experiences throughout her life. Across all topics, it’s somewhat reminiscent of Jeanie Clarke’s autobiography in the way that it feels extremely honest and unflinching while not verging into aggressive character assassination.

Co-writer Greg Oliver has clearly taken the approach of researching topics to bring up rather than trying to shape the book into a particular rigid format. It reads a distinct voice and at times feels almost like a well-steered “shoot interview”.

There’s maybe not quite enough material and depth to make this a recommend to those solely interested in the wrestling content, but it’s certainly worth your time if you want to know more about Miceli the person.

Disclaimer: The publishers provided a review copy.

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