January 9, 2007
After the controversy I created with my thoughts on Eric Bischoff’s book “Controversy Creates Cash” I’ve been inundated with emails asking my thoughts on various wrestling Biographies. I figured I could discuss the Biographies I’ve read thus far and give all my answers in one full commentary.
As I’ve mentioned before I don’t read that many wrestling Biographies. I find that a lot of them aren’t all that honest and I seldom learn things I don’t already know. Wrestlers are self-promoters and “workers” in the truest sense of the word and many autobiographies become an attempt you self promote and rewrite a person’s own history. If you’ve ever watched any wrestler’s “Shoot Interviews” you no doubt know what I mean. There are a few exceptions out there and some of the boys do tell it like it is and I try to sort out between the good and the bad and find the wrestling books I think might be entertaining or truthfully informative. Here are the ones I’ve read and my thoughts on them.
Have a Nice Day, Mick Foley: I think this is largely considered the best wrestling Bio out there and deservedly so. Mick is a great writer and he has lead an interesting life, so his book not only tells a good story but the story is also told very well. This was a very entertaining read, and I didn’t feel like Mick was trying to sell an objective at all while reading this book. This is a must read book and I really should pick up “Mick Foley is Good”.
On Edge, Adam Copeland: We did this book for Book Marks, and to date Edge is the only author who has stood me up and not submitted author comments. Despite this the book is very good. Like Foley, Edge actually wrote this book himself, unlike all those who used a ghostwriter. Edge’s career story wasn’t as interesting as Foley’s but he did tell it very well, which made this book very entertaining. I remember laughing out loud several times while reading. I also read this book in one sitting. I started it one night before bed and finished it at 4am that night. A very good read.
To Be the Man, Ric Flair: I read this book in one sitting too. I thought this was a great read and not only read like the history of Ric Flair but the history of Pro-Wrestling. Flair’s career covers such a huge part of this industry that you really got a history lesson while reading. I like the fact that they inserted comments from other wrestler to support Ric’s story while he told it. This was a great book only slightly hampered by 2 very out of the blue blatant cheap shots at the careers of Bret Hart and Mick Foley.
Walking a Golden Mile, William Regal: This wasn’t as big of a release as other WWE biographies, but it was one I just had to pick up. William Regal is one of the greatest storytellers in the business and has lived a very interesting life. I was so anxious to read this book. I think primarily due to length The Publisher decided to focus on one aspect of Williams career, which was his battle with drug addiction. This made the book a little less entertaining but extremely interesting. Regal is completely open and honest with the accounts of his life and paints a rather shocking picture as to how bad of shape he was in at one point in his life. This book should be a must read for people getting into this business so that they can better avoid some of the pit falls of this business. Regal deserves so much credit for turning his life around and being willing to share his story.
Pure Dynamite, The Dynamite Kid: I was a huge Dynamite kid fan so this was a must read for me. I think this was the first wrestling bio I ever read. I loved this book and found it very interesting. The fact that I broke in in Calgary and also worked in Japan I found I could really relate to the book. I did find it frustrating that he went in and out of Kayfabe somewhat in the book but on the whole found it a great read. I think this was likely a fairly honest book as well, because I may have been less of a fan after reading it than I was when I started. You certainly couldn’t call it self-promoting.
Pain and Passion, The History of Stampede Wrestling, Heath McCoy:This book isn’t a biography exactly but it deserves a plug just the same. This is a fantastic wrestling book and not only tells the history of Stampede Wrestling but covers the careers of most of the great talent that went though it’s doors. This may be the best book of the bunch.
Till next week,