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Super Leather

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I'd like to discuss the various books out there regarding the True Sport of Kings. Be it the biographies, histories, whatever. I've got most of the noteworthy books on the topic, but here's a start:

HAVE A NICE DAY: I didn't actually pick this up until years after it'd been published. By then, I'd already read several wrestler biographies, so it didn't have the same impact as it would have had I read it in 1999. A fine read, although Foley's constant self-deprecation borders on attention whoring after a while.

FOLEY IS GOOD: Not bad if you stop reading it after the episode with the Mickey Mouse girl at Disneyland. The epilogue in which Foley takes on the PTC and the other anti-WWF watchdog groups gets old quickly.

THE HARDCORE DIARIES: I wouldn't have bought this book myself, but a friend got it for me as a birthday present last year. Did we really need THREE volumes of the Mick Foley Memoirs? No. Although I'm a fan of the Foley/Edge vs. Funk/Dreamer match, Foley really needed to get over himself and get out of WWE.

IN THE PIT WITH PIPER: Piper either doesn't understand or doesn't care that we actually wanted to read an in-depth account of his life and career. Instead, what we got was an extended Roddy Piper promo with a ton of factual and historical errors. I was left wanting more out of one of my all-time favorite wrestlers. Check out his shoot interview with RF Video instead.

PURE DYNAMITE: Nobody ever seems to be able to find a copy of this book unless it's online. However, I came across it at a Barnes & Noble in Berkeley, of all places. Go me! I would have preferred to have seen things portrayed in a more positive light, but I can't help but laugh at some of the sadism displayed in stiffing other wrestlers or pulling ribs on them.

THE RISE AND FALL OF ECW: Little to no difference between the book and the DVD, although it's good to get the dates for particular cards as well as the rundown of what matches took place. Otherwise, I'd stick with Hardcore History instead.

RING OF HELL: I wrote a review of this one on my blog, and I'm going to say the same things about it here: If this were somebody's blog or a Wikipedia entry, it'd probably be okay. Unfortunately, it was a $25 hardcover book instead. If you ask me, that commands a higher standard of research and writing. But if Randazzo could get a wrestling book published using the research material that he has, all of us should be getting book deals any day now.

HITMAN: I'm reading this book again right now. It's safe to say that Hitman is my favorite of all the wrestler autobiographies. I think Bret Hart maintains a balanced perspective most of the time, and you can tell that he really did love the business and his fellow wrestlers. His post-Montreal/post-Owen attitude grated on me after a while, but this book gave me a new understanding of why that was. A fine companion to the Bret Hart DVD.
 

Mattdotcom

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Jericho's Around the World in Spandex is the best by far, but I say this without having read Bret Hart's book.
 

bps21

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"Did we really need THREE volumes of the Mick Foley Memoirs"

Stay tuned...his 4th one is being written right now.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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Mattdotcom said:
Jericho's Around the World in Spandex is the best by far, but I say this without having read Bret Hart's book.

Jericho's has displaced Have A Nice Day as my #1 wrestling book. The description of The Strange Kentucky People video and the part about Karl Moffat putting a bounty on Jericho's tag team partner (can't recall his name off the top of my head) and the ensuing result had me literally banging my fist on the table, laughing. It's rare for anything to induce that reaction in me but Jericho's book did it twice.

Bret Hart's book is very, very good but his narcissism is mildly annoying. I'd rank it a bit behind Jericho and Foley's first one. Foley Is Good is entertaining for the first two-thirds or so but as the original poster said, his ranting against the PTC gets extremely annoying really quick. The other three I've read are Ted DiBiase's first autobiography, Goldberg's book (given to me as a Christmas gift), and the first WrestleCrap book, all of which sucked to varying degrees. DiBiase (the only mildly interesting parts were when he was talking about his childhood) and the WrestleCrap ones (it basically just seemed like the site in book form...perhaps the moment when the site jumped the shark) were real letdowns but I was kind of expecting crap from Goldberg's book.
 

Adam

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I'm only three chapters into 'HITMAN' but already it's great. It's the little things Bret speaks with, like the mini-story about how Owen turned on his sisters when asked to move in with his brothers, was pure gold. I look forward to reading the rest of the book.

Also, I never found any trouble finding Pure Dynamite, its a great read too, although you do feel kind of sorry for the guy after you finish and you realise what happened to him.

This will be an odd call and probably nobody will agree with me, but Jerry Lawler's book was a fun read.

Edit: To Kamala, I found DiBiase's book very interesting, especially as I don't know much about the guy. I wasn't aware that he had potential in other sports like he did.
 

HTQ

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The first Foley book is great while the second is 'only' really good. Bret's book is both enthralling and disturbing at the same time; Bret's formative years in the business make it come across like such a sleazy and disgusting deal that you're left wondering why anybody would stick with it for more than five minutes.

I skimmed the Jericho book and it looked informative but I haven't read it in depth. I'd recommend people get a hold of Jim Cornette's recently released book in the Midnight Express.
 

Epic for the Summer

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I've only read a few but out of the ones I read, Foley's first book was indeed the best. I liked how Foley went in depth about his life before wrestling.

I've also read The Rock's book (which sucked since half the freakin' book is written in character), Stone Cold's (which was ok), Flair's (which was good), the Wrestlecrap book (which, like Kamala said is pretty much the website in book form), and the Death of WCW (which I enjoyed a lot).
 

King of Summer Kamala

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Has anybody read JJ Dillon's book? I bet he has some fascinating stories to tell given the fact that he was one of Vince's right hand men during one of the WWF's low points and a higher up with WCW in its final years (not to mention hanging out with Flair in the '80s)
 

KingPK

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Imagine if Jim Cornette wrote an autobiography about his entire career? Fucker would be about 2,000 pages. I might check out that Midnight Express book though.

I think Bret's and Jericho's are my favorites. Bret doesn't pull any punches and is pretty forthcoming about a lot of things while Jericho's is just a fun read. I tried to reread Shawn Michaels' book and couldn't get through it because I got sick of the whining and "it wasn't MY fault" crap I seem to have missed the first time.

I would be all over a Vince autobiography in a second.
 

Big Beard Booty Daddy

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I'm surprised there isn't more love on here for William Regal's book. It was an amazing read. He really didn't hold back anything. I have to find my copy of it and read it again after I reread Bruce Campbell's 2 books.
 

alkeiper

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Books I've Read and Give a Full Recommendation:
Have a Nice Day
Pure Dynamite
Hitman
The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels
The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams
National Wrestling Alliance
Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks

Mild Recommendation:
Foley Is Good
Bobby the Brain (Amusing, it's just 90% anecdotes. I get the feeling his co-author conducted the interview and did little to edit it.)

Did Not Like:
The Hardcore Diaries
Tonight, In This Very Ring
Andre the Giant

I can not say enough bad things about Andre's biography. It is seriously 80% articles from 1980s WWF magazine, written in kayfabe. Absolutely terrible, uninformative and uninteresting.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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Canadian Destroyer213 said:
I'm surprised there isn't more love on here for William Regal's book. It was an amazing read. He really didn't hold back anything. I have to find my copy of it and read it again after I reread Bruce Campbell's 2 books.

I've heard it's good but it wasn't really well-promoted. Hell, I didn't know it was out until months after it was released.
 

Scroby

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I've been pretty lucky with all the books I've read, I've really only hated the Rock's book. That book was horrible. So fucking horrible. It actually made me steer clear of Austin's and Angle's book in the fear that they would be like the Rock's book.

DDP: I liked this book mainly because of his time before he got into wrestling. His stories about running a club and other things is pretty interesting.

Chris Jericho: I really really liked this book but he sorta came off as egotistic in the book and that really bugged me.

Ric Flair, Freddie Blassie, Terry Funk, Bobby Heenan's books, Bischoff, The Death of WCW, Piper, Pure Dynamite are all really enjoyable books.

Bret Hart: I'm currently reading his book and I'm really enjoying it. The fact that it's so detailed and informative makes it one of the best books I've read yet.

Mick Foley: I liked all 3 books, even the Hardcore Diaries. Finding out how Vince McMahon or the writing team kaboshed Foley's ideas that were actually really good made the book really interesting for me.
 

bps21

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The only problem with that Bret Hart book is that every other chapter he makes sure you know that so and so told him he was the greatest wrestler of all time.

Other than that...it was probably my favorite book. That one or Pure Dynamite or Foley is Good. Those 3 are at the top.
 

Psycho Penguin

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Death of WCW - Utterly fantastic.

Edge - Solid.

Batista - Solid. Lots of funny stories, not as much wrestling stuff.

Stone Cold - Decent.

Rock - Terrible.

Chyna - Okay.

Mick Foley - Great, good, good.

Jericho - The best wrestler book.

Wrestlecrap Book of Lists - Okay.

Tonight In This Very Ring - Nice to get a history lesson and remember how much stuff sucked, but it sure is biased.

Wow, I've read a lot more than I figured I did.
 

Jingus

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One that never gets mentioned enough is Lou Thesz's book Hooker. (To explain, "hooker" was ancient-school carny lingo for a shooter.) It's been out of print forever and was never widely released anyway, so it's hard to find anywhere but on Ebay. It's not only Thesz's story, but practically a history book about the entire business of wrestling over the course of the twentieth century. Lou certainly has his own biases (damn he hated Antonio Rocca), but he doesn't seem to kayfabe anything and tells a shitload of old stories that you'd never hear anywhere else.

Co-sign on Jericho's book and Death of WCW too, both a whole lot of fun.

Scroby said:
Mick Foley: I liked all 3 books, even the Hardcore Diaries. Finding out how Vince McMahon or the writing team kaboshed Foley's ideas that were actually really good made the book really interesting for me.
This. I don't get the whining about Foley being whiny. Sure he complains a lot, but if the stories were all factual, he did have a lot to complain about. I actually liked it better than Foley is Good, which seemed like half a book's worth of wrestling stories padded out to interminable length with Mick rambling about roller coasters and the PTC and charity work and anything else that came to mind.

BTW, anyone ever read any of Mick's novels? I caught Tietam Brown, and damn that was dark. Foley has issues.

Psycho Penguin said:
Chyna - Okay.
LIES. Unless you just enjoyed getting a preview at how fucking crazy this woman is, long before her various public indiscretions.
 

mellow

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I think it's a crime that Heenan's autobiography gets largely ignored. Everything, from how he came up to working for the WWF during their peak in the 80's to jumping to WCW and so on was either informative, entertaining or an excellent mix of both.

His second book... not so much.
 

King Cucaracha

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bps21 said:
The only problem with that Bret Hart book is that every other chapter he makes sure you know that so and so told him he was the greatest wrestler of all time.

I can believe that. I'm reading a magazine interview with him now, where he's been asked one question, "what did you think of HHH/Orton at WM?" In three paragraphs, he's basically put over Bret/Owen WMX, put over Bret/Austin WM13 and called HHH a "Bret Hart wannabee". A Ric Flair wannabee? Sure. A Harley Race wannabee? I can buy that. A Bret Hart wannabee!? Where's he getting that one from!?


I'll add Goldberg to the list and shamefully admit to having bought it. I don't think I made it halfway through. I did like Shawn's and I thought Hardcore Diaries was interesting too.
 

Bigelow34

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I will agree that the best part of Page's book was his pre-wrestling stuff. His early wrestling stuff was good too, but once he got to 1997 or so he went kayfabe style and it went right down hill.

My favorites are the usuals: Bret, Jericho and Foleys. Dynamite's too.

Gary Michael Capetta's was a pretty fun read too.
 

Adam

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Bigelow34 said:
I will agree that the best part of Page's book was his pre-wrestling stuff.

This is the same with Dave Batista too.
 

Sabre

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Ive read both the original Foley books and they were great. Keep meaning to pick up #3 tho.

Ive read Austins book and its a nice read, but it doesnt tell us anything besides what we already knew.

Ive also got HBKs book, keep meaning to read it, but never got around to it.
 

atticus Chaos

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Chyna's is notable for her, of all people, calling Goldberg a crap wrestler, and accusing Sable of having an ego.
 

Youth N Asia

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1. Jericho
2. Foley's Have a Nice Day
3. Pure Dynamite
4. Hitman
5. Bobby the Brain's first book.

Foley's 3rd book was all kinds of nothing special.

Jericho's blew me away. Great storyteller.

DDP's book sucked. Sh#t like this was annoying to read. Plus I didn't care about his club days.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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Oh yeah---time for a mildly embarrassing confession, I forgot to mention I own an unauthorized biography of Chyna. I bought it for a buck or two on clearance at a book store near my camp. It was about as good as you'd expect an unauthorized biography of Chyna to be (which is not at all).
 

Bigelow34

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I have it too. My wife worked for a NPO in Stamford four years back. They had a fundraiser and WWE donated a box of stuff. They didn't need it all or there were some duplicates, so she brought that and the History of IC Title DVD home. I still havent read it. I do find it funny that Chyna had been gone for like four years and they still included it in the package.
 

oldskool

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King Kamala said:
Canadian Destroyer213 said:
I'm surprised there isn't more love on here for William Regal's book. It was an amazing read. He really didn't hold back anything. I have to find my copy of it and read it again after I reread Bruce Campbell's 2 books.

I've heard it's good but it wasn't really well-promoted. Hell, I didn't know it was out until months after it was released.

Regal was in town for a book signing and I didn't find out until a half hour after he left the store for RAW. There was absolutely zero promotion for the signing, let alone the actual book.
 

Damaramu

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I loved Hitman's book for the stories, but he sure was full of himself throughout the book. Especially when everyone constantly told him he was the best and the man and how he had to remind us he was loved EVERYWHERE.
Oh and I didn't get his constant bashing of Dave Meltzer before turning around and raving about how many stars he got in the WON or how he liked what was said about him.
 

Psycho Penguin

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Oh I forgot I read HBK's book. It has a lot of interesting stories but it's hard to know what's a lie and what's the truth.
 
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