Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review: Pro Wrestling FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the World's Most Entertaining Spectacle by Brian Solomon


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Sport? Entertainment? Art form? Perhaps a bit of all three, with a certain intangible extra something thrown in for good measure, making professional wrestling a truly unique entity unto itself. From its origins in carnivals and sideshow attractions of the 19th century, right up to the multimillion-dollar, multimedia industry of the present day, and all the bizarre, wild, and woolly points in between, Pro Wrestling FAQ delves into the entire history and broad scope of one of popular culture's most enduring yet ever-changing spectacles.
With chapters devoted to the many fascinating eras in the history of the business, as well as capsule biographies of some its most memorable and important figures, this book will serve as the ultimate one-volume reference guide for both long-time wrestling nuts and initiates to the grappling phenomenon.
Revisit the legendary 1911 “Match of the Century” pitting World Champion Frank Gotch against archrival George Hackenschmidt, “the Russian Lion”; experience wrestling's TV golden age in the 1950s, a time of such colorful personages as Gorgeous George and Antonino Rocca; relive the glory days of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, when WWF impresario Vince McMahon took the business mainstream; and get the lowdown on recent favorites, such as John Cena, CM Punk, and others who have taken the business boldly into the 21st century.

MY TAKE:
Whether you're a casual fan like me or a more hardcore fan of professional wrestling, you should definitely read this book.

In Pro Wrestling FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the World's Most Entertaining Spectacle, readers learn about the history of professional wrestling (inside and outside North America), read up on the most memorable matches and scandals, and get to know more about their favorite wrestling personalities, both past and present.

I was amazed at how thorough this book was. There was information and pictures from matches that happened in the early 1900s, for example, plus pictures as well. The book also covered Japanese, Canadian and Mexican professional wrestling, which I was pleasantly surprised to see in a book that I thought would focus mostly on the WWE.

As you would expect from a book about professional wrestling, WWE and the McMahons figure prominently. To its credit, though, the book gives as much space as it can to ECW, WCW and other wrestling organizations throughout the years. Since most of my wrestling knowledge is gleaned from recent years, the wrestlers I recognized in the book were from the '90s to the present, with a few '70s and '80s wrestlers and personalities I recognized from my previous job captioning old wrestling shows. The book helped clear up to me the relationship of WCW, ECW and WWE.

While there are a lot of interesting information in this book, my absolute favorites were the lists (scandals, gimmicks, tag teams, matches, etc.) and the wrestler profiles. I was happy to see two of the current wrestlers I liked discussed in the book: Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. Daniel Bryan, as you would expect from a fan favorite, was mentioned a lot in the book. Well, as much as could be for a relatively recent WWE wrestler. Roman Reigns was featured too, although this book appears to have been finished prior to the controversial Royal Rumble match that Reigns won. I wonder if it'll be edited again before publication. Given how fast things are progressing in angles these days, editing and updating would be an endless process. On the bright side, there could be a volume 2 or second edition to this book. Definitely worth the purchase.

Thanks to NetGalley and Backbeat Books for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's very comprehensive.
  2. It will appeal to new wrestling fans, casual fans, and hardcore fans.
  3. It's written in a way that doesn't feel boring at all.  

THE BAD:

  1. If you're only interested in the newer WWE or TNA information, you'll end up skipping through several chapters of the book. 

READ IT IF:

  1. You're a professional wrestling fan.
  2. You want to reminisce about your favorite '70s, '80s, '90s and early 2000s wrestlers.
  3. You want to learn more about professional wrestling.

RATING:
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