So during the holiday season, I was able to catch up by reading three wrestling autobiographies: Bret Hart's, JJ Dillon's and Chris Jericho. I'd say all three could be placed in the top five of all-time wrestling autobiographies.
I just got Dillon's ("Wrestlers Are Like Seagulls"), despite it being written in 2005. His is great because he kept such meticulous records of everything and it really shows in the book. He really comes across as a guy with no axe to grind who doesn't care if he works another day in the business. I don't mean to make that sound like he didn't enjoy his time, because it seems he did. But he also doesn't seem to "need" the wrestling business like so many others.
For someone like me who wasn't alive during the territory days, I found that part of the book the most fascinatin. JJ seemed to work at least a weekend shot for every promoter around. He's very detailed in his payoffs and things of that nature. The other interesting part was his description of being Vince's #2 man for so long. Lots of good stories there. He also personally autographs each book, which is a nice touch.
Chris Jericho's book, "Around The World In Spandex," was a very easy read and quite enjoyable. He has a similar self-depricating humor as Mick Foley. Of course, the book only takes you up to his WWE debut, but it's still quite interesting. His take on his days in WCW were pretty fun and it's quite clear he has no use for Eric Bischoff. Some great road stories too.
Finally, Bret Hart and his "Hitman: My Real Life In The Cartoon World Of Wrestling" for me, has unseated Foley's as the best of all-time. Like Dillon, he kept detailed records of everything. He goes into great detail about his time in the WWF and the problems within his family. I've never been the biggest Bret Hart fan, but I think I gained some respect for him after reading the book.
"Humble" isn't a word in Bret's dictionary, and if you tried to count how many guys he described coming up to him after a match and thanking him with tears in their eyes, you'd lose count quickly. However, he's brutally honest about pretty much everything, and it was surprising that even up to his Survivor Series match with Shawn Michaels, the two were quite cordial to each other, despite their run-ins. The only thing I question is whether Vince's actions toward him later in his career has clouded his opinion of him prior to that.
All three books are worth checking out, no matter what kind of fan you are. Anyone else have any thoughts about these books?
Jericho's book is incredibly funny. My favorite part was the Thrillseekers autograph signing at the furniture store. "The kid wilted under Lance's fuck-off stare". I'm disappointed it ends in 1999. He was probably thinking early on that he would write another one about the WWF/E years.
Bret's is incredible. Highest recommendation as a chronicle of his life and career.
One thing of note is that Keith Hart was one of the few siblings that Bret didn't have anything negative to say about. Contrast that with the "training" story in Jericho's book.
Well if Bret's book is better than Foley's first I have to find it somewhere.
I never read Foley's second book either. Does anyone know if he goes into any more detail about the I Quit match with The Rock? The one where he took about 20 unprotected chair-shots? There has to be some story to that but Foley skimmed over it within a single paragraph in his first book. Rock and Foley created my love for wrestling but that match was sickening to watch. It is strange that neither of them spoke about it in their autobiographies.
Originally posted by mskjDoes anyone know if he goes into any more detail about the I Quit match with The Rock? The one where he took about 20 unprotected chair-shots? There has to be some story to that but Foley skimmed over it within a single paragraph in his first book.
I actually read this a few days ago. He dedicates about a chapter or so to the match, including the original plan for it, the de-railing of said plan, his kids' reaction to the match and his disappointment that The Rock didn't check on his well-being afterwards. According to the book, he held onto his resentment for a few years to use it as motivation for a heel turn that never happened.
The only one I've read is the Chris Jericho book (and Mick Foley's first), but I'm only 2/3 through it. I, too, have laughed my ass off on just about every other chapter, and I don't laugh at nothin'.
He's a great storyteller and he knows what is interesting. Not a good storyteller/knows what's interesting: Shawn Michaels. The guy had a very interesting career in wrestling but you may never get to that part of the book because the first few chapters are SO DREADFULLY BORING. If you can make it past the 55 relocations, 107 phone conversations with Mom about nothing, and 1,298 uninteresting people he met along the way, the wrestling part is a good read.
Jericho and Foley mention the growing up stuff and how it related to their respective careers or personalities, but Shawn's book would veer off onto the giant beltbuckle that some kid he knew had when he was 12.
Oh man - am I the only one who thought Bret Hart's book was kind of boring? Not in a "bad storyteller" way, but in a "Wow, this is, to a word, EXACTLY what I was expecting Bret Hart to write," kind of way? It was almost like his wrestling character - the very best that generic can get. Then again, I read the Diana Hart book, so my "crazy stories about the Hart family" barometer was set kind of high.
In my mind, there's really no wresting book that even comes close to "Have a Nice Day" (and that includes the other two Foley books), partially because every other wrestling book is basically covering the same, or only marginally different stuff, but partially because every other autobiography is so obviously ghost written: they don't really have a distinct style or personality shine through like Foley does (maybe Jericho's will, which I haven't read yet), they all kind of excude "generic ghostwritten bio book." The only one I actually wouldn't be that surprised to find isn't ghostwritten is Bret's - because, like I've said, "the ultimate in regularness" is kind of his character.
The only other bio that was really worth reading for me was Flair's (although I havne't read Jimmy Hart's which I hear is good), mostly because Flair was pretty much a part of everything noteworthy in wresting from the mid-70s until he wrote the book. Rock, Chyna, Michaels and Goldberg's aren't even worth the time to read them, let alone any money.
Originally posted by DawgFriends have always told me to read the Dynamite Kid book, which I haven't yet. They said it's better than Foley's first book and it's not ghost written like all the others...
Has anyone here checked it out and would recommend it?
I bought it, and it's been quite some time since I read it. From what I remember, Dynamite comes off like a dick, and quite bitter. So, pretty much like he was/is in life I guess. Whoever told you it was better than Foley's deserves a punch in the gut, probably.
While not autobiographies, I have to recommend RD Reynolds' first two books. WrestleCrap, The Book is just plain fun and The Death of WCW is well written and an interesting read. I read both via the library, but I intend to pick up The Death of WCW as a guide of what not to do when I start my own company. (RD also has a new book called The WrestleCrap Book of Lists but I haven't read that one yet.)
Originally posted by InVerseWhile not autobiographies, I have to recommend RD Reynolds' first two books. WrestleCrap, The Book is just plain fun and The Death of WCW is well written and an interesting read. I read both via the library, but I intend to pick up The Death of WCW as a guide of what not to do when I start my own company. (RD also has a new book called The WrestleCrap Book of Lists but I haven't read that one yet.)
I do have the WrestleCrap book, and it's not bad. A fun look at some old gimmicks, and it was worth the price alone for the one quote RD got from someone inside WWE about the Kane necrophilia angle.
As for his Death of WCW book, I haven't read it, but have read some reviews, and it sounds like there's no real new info in there that hasn't been discussed/talked about online or whatnot.
Originally posted by geemoneyAs for his Death of WCW book, I haven't read it, but have read some reviews, and it sounds like there's no real new info in there that hasn't been discussed/talked about online or whatnot.
I have the Death of WCW book and I really liked it. There were a lot of day-by-day decisions that went on that I did not know about previously, as well as ratings & attendance figures, and a step-by-step breakdown of which booking moves and which poorly attended/watched events really started to put them in the hole that I didnt know about previously.
"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go backstage. I'm proud of myself, I just beat Brad Armstrong!" - Arn Anderson on WCW Saturday Night in 1992, in the classiest display I've ever seen of someone putting over an underrated mid-carder that everyone in the locker room knew deserved better than the push he got.
I bought the trade paperback edition of Blassie's book new, and no CD. The Amazon description of the hardcover edition doesn't mention a CD either, so it sounds like your friend might be having you on.
"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?"
Originally posted by CEOIIIDoes Freddy's book come with a CD single of his singing debut, also titled Pencil Neck Geek? I have a friend that says it does, but he lost his copy. (Of the CD, not the book.)
I bought a Heroes of Wrestling DVD for $1 at Wal-Mart that featured Blassie doing a live performance of the song. It also included Nikolai Volkoff performing. There were 2 DVDs in the series, I think the songs were on #2. I would check, but I gave them to my sister immediately after watching them and I can only hope she had the good sense to destroy them.
Not that I can come to the conclusion that WWE even really wants anyone to watch ECW, but if they ever started caring about the brand again, perhaps a good place to start would be no more freakin' matches ending by disqualification and countout.