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24.10.14 1959
The W - Pro Wrestling - Let's Talk Books
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geemoney
Scrapple








Since: 26.1.03
From: Naples, FL

Since last post: 3 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.55
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?
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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 4 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.66
I;ve wanted to get the Dillon book for quite some time.

The Jericho book was a great read, there were times when I was laughing out loud when reading it.

I had ordered the Bret Hart book, but was told I was getting it for Xmas, so canceled the order, only to NOT get it. So, now I have to find it again.


The other book I enjoyed, was the Vince Russo book. It's just a shame he's born again and wouldnt spill the beans on who did what.
Redcumo
Bauerwurst








Since: 3.11.02
From: BC Canada

Since last post: 83 days
Last activity: 56 days
#3 Posted on
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.
mskj
Summer sausage








Since: 10.1.02
From: Tennessee

Since last post: 969 days
Last activity: 728 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
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.

Edit: link to the match in question http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/rock+vs+mankind+i+quit/video/x9udj_wwe-mankind-vs-the-rock-99-i-quit-m_sport

(edited by mskj on 26.1.08 1106)


Go Bucks.
Spank E
Kolbasz








Since: 2.1.02
From: Bournemouth, UK

Since last post: 127 days
Last activity: 15 hours
#5 Posted on
    Originally posted by mskj
    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.


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.



djp
Morcilla








Since: 16.2.07
From: 3rd Floor, NW window

Since last post: 131 days
Last activity: 17 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.09
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.

Can't wait for Warrior's book.
StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 4 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.66
I liked the Michaels book a lot, but it was a drag at times. The stories about the Mid South territory was fun, since I remember those days being my favorite as a wrestling fan.

I just bought HARDCORE HISTORY: THE EXTREMELY UNAUTHORIZED STORY OF ECW today, and plan on starting it this week.

Mayhem
Scrapple








Since: 25.4.03
From: Nashville, TN

Since last post: 1 day
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.77

I loved the Jericho book ... I read some blurb at a wrestling site the other day that mentioned a follow-up had already been planned.
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 1 day
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.03
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.



www.allcitynewyork.com
Dawg
Chourico








Since: 2.6.03
From: Detroit area

Since last post: 156 days
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#10 Posted on
Friends 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?
geemoney
Scrapple








Since: 26.1.03
From: Naples, FL

Since last post: 3 days
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.85
    Originally posted by Dawg
    Friends 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.

(edited by geemoney on 2.2.08 1238)
InVerse
Bierwurst








Since: 26.8.02

Since last post: 11 hours
Last activity: 2 hours
#12 Posted on
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.)
geemoney
Scrapple








Since: 26.1.03
From: Naples, FL

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 1 min.
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.85
    Originally posted by InVerse
    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.)

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.
DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

Since last post: 47 days
Last activity: 11 hours
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.60
All I need is a belt to prove it and I'll be set!


    Originally posted by geemoney
    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.
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.



CLICK OR DIE
The Thrill
Banger








Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

Since last post: 191 days
Last activity: 37 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.25
Welcome home, men of the 2nd Bn, 127th Inf, 32d "Red Arrow" Brigade, WI Army Nat'l Guard! Good luck to those down south.

Allow me to add to the love for The Death of WCW. Terrific book; I just recommended it to somebody yesterday.

It holds a place of honOR on my toilet tank.




NWAWisconsin.com...Live, Local Pro Wrestling!

britishiles
Head cheese








Since: 22.7.05
From: Tulsa, OK

Since last post: 27 days
Last activity: 26 days
#16 Posted on
I really enjoyed Dynamite's book. I had just finished reading William Regal's book so the British slang was fresh on my mind.

The Death of WCW and Wrestlecrap were both fantastic.

I just ordered Wrestlecrap Book Of Lists



www.oklafan.com


"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.
Shem the Penman
Toulouse








Since: 16.1.02
From: The Off-Center of the Universe (aka Philadelphia)

Since last post: 265 days
Last activity: 63 days
#17 Posted on
If you want to get old skool, I can definitely recommend Freddie Blassie's Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks and Superstar Billy Graham's Tangled Ropes as good reads.



"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?"
CEOIII
Boudin rouge








Since: 25.7.02
From: Franklin, PA

Since last post: 27 days
Last activity: 18 hours
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.00
    Originally posted by Shem the Penman
    If you want to get old skool, I can definitely recommend Freddie Blassie's Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks and Superstar Billy Graham's Tangled Ropes as good reads.


Does 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'm Charlie Owens, good night, and good luck.
Shem the Penman
Toulouse








Since: 16.1.02
From: The Off-Center of the Universe (aka Philadelphia)

Since last post: 265 days
Last activity: 63 days
#19 Posted on
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?"
InVerse
Bierwurst








Since: 26.8.02

Since last post: 11 hours
Last activity: 2 hours
#20 Posted on
    Originally posted by CEOIII
    Does 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.
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No idea. If that's true, then it obviously should've been taken as a positive and built upon. Even though the match had a good build up throughout the show, that would've been a good sign.
- TheLurkingHorror, WWE signs Paul London! (2003)
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