Archive for the ‘WWE Book’ Category

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Book Review : How To Become The World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps

January 25, 2011

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

In the opening foreward of Chris Jericho’s new book “Undisputed : How To Become The World Champion In 1,372 Easy Steps”  Mick Foley writes about how back in 2007 when Jericho’s first autobiography “A Lion’s Tale” was released, Foley found himself not only enthralled in the story Jericho was telling but worried that he was about to lose his title as the wrestling star with the best autobiography out there.

While Foley has never defeated Jericho in a wrestling ring (a point Jericho makes sure to point out numerous times throughout this book) Mick refuses to relinquish his title in the author’s squared circle but not before putting him over big time and basically admitting that if someone is the next Mick Foley in the wrestling author ranks, its Chris Jericho. If anything that is all you need to know before deciding whether or not to pick up Jericho’s new autobiography as Jericho delivers another awesome read.

Picking up where A Lion’s Tale left off, Y2J takes you through his WWE career to date beginning with the infamous debut segment on Raw where he interrupted The Rock turning out to be one of the most unique debuts in recent memory. Despite this fact, Jericho’s early days in the WWE were no different than many before him as he recalls the massive heat he developed backstage as he tried to adjust to the WWE way of doing things.

Jericho’s story is both intriguing and hilarious at the same time. Coming from WCW to the WWE was a major transition for Chris. In the first few weeks and months of his WWE career he managed to piss off  locker room leaders like The Undertaker and Triple H, developed a reputation of being green as grass and nearly had his “Walls of Jericho” finisher named “The Salad Shooter” of all things.  Yes that’s right, WWE’s creative team offered up some of the dumbest names one can think of, and Jericho includes the original email to prove it.

Reading the stories of Jericho’s interactions with boss Vince McMahon is a fascinating look inside the WWE that we rarely get. Any wrestling fan has heard the things the so called dirt sheets has had to say about McMahon and his rapport with his staff, but having it come straight from the mouth of someone who has spent a lot of time working for him and someone without an agenda of being bitter over a release or sucking up in hopes of a push, makes much of this book a truly awesome read.

Coming in at nearly 450 pages the book covers a lot but doesn’t seem anywhere near that long as its quite the pager turner. Amongst what will be the most talked about chapters is the one simply entitled Benoit.  It may be nearing 4 years since the tragic events of June 2007 but reading this chapter about Jericho’s interactions with Benoit in the weeks leading up to the tragedy and his reaction is truly captivating. Although Jericho doesn’t intend to offer up any sort of new information on the tragedy he indirectly does so when describing how hard it was for him to interact with Benoit during his final years due to Benoit’s anti social nature.  Much like he did during the few media appearances Jericho made during the media blitz that covered the tragedy, Jericho does what I consider the best job in telling the world how and what to separate when thinking of Chris Benoit the man versus Chris Benoit the murderer.

The other important aspect of this book is Jericho’s decision to chase yet another dream with the formation of his band Fozzy. The chapters about the adventures of Fozzy are sprinkled throughout the book and are just as interesting as the wrestling related chapters as you learn a lot about how the recording industry truly works and how hard it was for Fozzy to even get to the point they are today.

Overall, Undisputed is yet another great book from Chris Jericho. It’s honest, its entertaining and it’s insightful, I highly recommend it , and to Mick Foley I’d say watch out, Jericho could quickly become the “undisputed” wrestling author champion of the world.

Chris Jericho’s “Undisputed : How To Become The World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps” will be available February 16th in book stores everywhere.

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Book Review : Countdown To Lockdown : A Hardcore Journal By Mick Foley

September 11, 2010

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

The hardcore legend Mick Foley is back with his fourth book of memoirs entitled Countdown to Lockdown : A Hardcore Journal, hitting bookshelves this October. This time around Foley looks at the weeks leading up to his in ring debut with TNA at their Lockdown PPV in April 2009, but  alsotouches on a wide variety of important topics along the way as well.

Written in a similar format to his last book “The Hardcore Diaries”, Mick tells us the story of what was mostly self inflicted pressure that he dealt with In preparing for his in ring return against Sting at last year’s Lockdown. Foley has often set the bar high when it comes to what he hopes to get out of a program. I recall watching Beyond The Mat seeing Foley get stitched up following a brutal I quit match with The Rock at The Royal Rumble 99 while he questioned and hoped that the match had come off well enough ensuring the fans got their money’s worth, I realized it then, and reading Countdown to Lockdown made me realize it again, Mick Foley cares, If only everyone was like him nowadays, perhaps the wrestling world wouldn’t be in the slump it seems to be in.

Putting my state of the wrestling business rant aside, Foley’s story is told via a series of diary entries which gives you a interestling look into TNA’s backstage world, dealing with Vince Russo’s creative ideas, the budgetary issues that sometimes throw wrenches into the products direction and having Dixie Carter as a boss.

While Foley’s “Countdown To Lockdown” is a intriguing story in itself, there is plenty of other meaty subjects he has to touch on. This includes his departure from the WWE, The Chris Benoit Tragedy, Steroid Use in Pro Wrestling and Kurt Angle’s overly sensitive personality amongst many other topics.

Keeping with Foley’s writing tradition, he avoids any major burial of those he has disagreed with over the last few years. While his final days with the WWE and the weeks of problems he had with Vince McMahon yelling expletives in his ear while attempting to announce the weekly Smackdown matchups is covered, he decides not to provide the specifics of what was said, and offers only a small insight into some of the rules announcers in the WWE have to deal with, Apparently Vince hates pronouns so I hope he doesn’t read this review!

Meanwhile one of the chapters I found most capturing is one entitled “Kurt Angle, The Sensitive Olympian” Foley tells a story of a day where he and Kurt crossed paths with UFC star Mark Coleman, a former amateur wrestling rival of Kurts. Over the last few years we’ve heard many stories of Kurt’s mental and physical shape, and have also heard of the tough times he has dealt with in his personal life with the ending of his marriage.  The story told by Foley is from around the time Angle’s marriage was coming to an end, he was visibly upset, but would proceed to breakdown after Mark Coleman had a slight botch in memory saying he beat Angle at a championship meet in 1992, Foley tried to talk some sense into Angle but there was no stopping his breakdown, a saddening story to read, and makes one hope that Kurt is doing better nowadays.

Add in a touching appeal to the young up and coming wrestlers in the business to not go down the abusive road that so many in the past have and you have yet another great read from the hardcore legend.  I’d definitely recommend checking it out when it hits bookshelves in October.

Countdown To Lockdown : A Hardcore Journal will be available as of October 1st from Grand Central Publishing with a suggested retail price of $26.99. To get your hands on a copy check out your favorite online retailer or head on out to your local book store.

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Book Review : WWE Encyclopedia : The Definitive Guide to World Wrestling Entertainment

March 17, 2009

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Reviewed by : Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

The title of the book is a claim that is sure to leave many skeptical. In order to be the definitive guide to a company with 45+ years of history you need to work endlessly to make sure you don’t leave anything out. Vince McMahon’s forward to the book proclaims it to be the “first ever official documented history of the WWE”, Throughout the years we’ve all heard about superstars and events going down in the history books and now we have an officially recognized WWE history book, and quite frankly it’s an extremely impressive one.

Authored by former WWE employees Brian Sheilds and Kevin Sullivan (no not the taskmaster) and coming in at over 350 full colored pages, profiling nearly a 1000 superstars and utilizing over 1500 images from the WWE and PWI archives, the WWE encyclopedia is packed with more than enough information for you to become an expert on the who’s who and the what’s what of the WWE.

As with any encyclopedia, the book runs from A to Z. The majority of entries are the profiles of the superstars of the WWE. This includes the obvious big names such as Stone Cold, John Cena, Taker and Michaels, but also includes the names you possibly never heard of or tried to forget such as the Battle Kat, Mystery Man and Friar Furgeson, It even includes those you probably didn’t even expect to be in the book. I speak of course of the names WWE chooses to forget sometimes, the most obvious being Chris Benoit who is recognized with a half page bio with no mention of the 2007 tragedy. Those who have crossed Vince McMahon, those who have sued him and those that are currently working against him in TNA are all recognized as well, which to me was a sign that for once the WWE was not going to censor a product because of a grudge they have with someone, which scores it bonus points in heading towards the goal of being the definitive guide.

A title history for every single WWE title is featured in the book. From little known titles such as the Woman’s Tag Team Championship or the World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship to the most obvious WWE Championship, every single champion is recognized. The one odd thing is that the WWE officially recognized the entire US title history while in WCW but did not recognize the World Heavyweight championships history prior to their adopting of it in 2002

Pay Per Views and Television is also recognized. A complete history of Wrestlemania caps off the book, while other PPV’s include a recap of the main events of said shows. 30 years of WWE television is also documented with a short explanation of each show. Spotlghts on WWE merchandise, Video Games, Fan signs and superstars in themovies are also included.

The book has a suggested retail price of 45$ American but is available via Amazon for 30$, The book is hardcovered and sports large 12 by 9 pages. I was legitimately impressed with the presentation of the book and its wealth of information, For those wondering for the most part the book is kayfabed. No real names, identities of masked superstars or post WWE career information is included, but nonetheless this book is a must for any true WWE fan and can be a reference tool for those who write or speak about the company as you can certainly learn a lot about the company’s history. Is it the definitive guide to the history of the WWE? It’s pretty darn close, I would definitely consider this the definitive guide to the kayfabe side of the WWE, while the definitive guide to the business side of the company and how it evolved through the years could easily fill another book, and or has been covered in an array of other books over the years.

The WWE Encyclopedia is available now, You can order it via amazon via http://www.amazon.com/WWE-Encyclopedia-DK-Publishing/dp/075664190X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237312553&sr=8-1 or check out the publishers official website via http://us.dk.com/ . To read my previous book and dvd reviews head on over to wrestlingdvdreviews.vze.com or add the myspace via myspace.com/wrestlingdvdreviews