Professional Wrestling books
December 26, 2010 7:01 AM   Subscribe

Give me some suggestions for good books about professional wrestling.

Back when I was a kid in the early 90s I used to watch a lot of WWF and WCW. I was young enough that I didn't even accept it as being fake. I haven't watched it in years, but I'm kind of curious about how everything works behind the scenes. Are there any good books about the inner workings of professional wrestling? Preferably concentrating on pre-1995 stuff? I've already watched (and enjoyed) "Beyond the Mat".

posted by AlexanderPetros to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I really liked Mick Foley's book "Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks". It's got some of what you're looking for (though it's specific to Mick Foley).
posted by inigo2 at 7:06 AM on December 26, 2010

Try out the autobiography of Jerry Lawler, titled "It's Good to be the King... Sometimes". I haven't paid any attention to professional wrestling since I was a kid, and I still found his story to be incredibly engrossing and entertaining.
posted by browse at 7:13 AM on December 26, 2010

I second "Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks". I'm not a wrestling fan, and hadn't heard of Mick Foley, but saw an interview with him where he was talking up the book. He seemed interesting, so I bought it, and enjoyed it.
posted by Flunkie at 7:52 AM on December 26, 2010

I enjoyed A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex.
posted by emmling at 9:38 AM on December 26, 2010

I liked Bret Hart's book Hitman.

I haven't read all of it but The Death of WCW has a lot of inside information but it's mostly about 1997-2001.

Dynamite Kid's autobiography Pure Dynamite is both fascinating and deeply disturbing. It mostly deals with the 1980s.
posted by maurice at 9:46 AM on December 26, 2010

I really enjoyed Steel Chair to the Head.
posted by bdk3clash at 10:12 AM on December 26, 2010

not really pro wrestling, but american gladiator nitro wrote a batshit insane book
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 2:22 PM on December 26, 2010

Former NWA/WCW ring announcer Gary Cappetta wrote about his career and goings-on behind the scenes in a book that seems well regarded (it's one that I've yet to read myself).

And while it's not a book, Power Slam magazine is pretty much the best periodical for the novice (or even long-time fan) to get their smart mark fix.
posted by macdara at 3:19 PM on December 26, 2010

It's also worth hitting up Wikipedia for good straight-forward explanations of the people and goings-on behind the scenes, such as the bookers (match-makers and story-planners) and agents (match planners, direct liasons between bookers and the wrestlers), and the Gorilla position (the bit just inside the entrance curtain, where the bookers/agents give wrestlers/announcers their cues).
posted by macdara at 3:33 PM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

A guy I know wrote Headlocks and Dropkicks. Not only did he interview people involved in different aspects of the wrestling world, but actually trained with some to get a little more insider view.
posted by vagabond at 4:06 PM on December 26, 2010

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