WWE 50 book review

9781465419231Jam-packed with powerful, funny, emotional, and sexy photography on nearly every page best describes WWE 50, the new read from DK Books chronicling the vast history of the sports entertainment empire.

Written by Kevin Sullivan (not the wrestler) with large photos and quotes from WWE staff and Superstars from all the eras to tell the tale. Sullivan does a considerable amount of storytelling when introducing key moments in WWE history. The Early Years, National Expansion, Hulkamania, Wrestlemania, The New Generation, and so on. The pictures are visually stunned with over 1,000 Superstars. All WWE Pay-Per-View posters until Extreme Rules 2013 are shown on the first and last pages.

Special graphics are featured in certain sections. There is a ratings timeline graphic for the entire Monday Night Wars. Cards of the 1960s with results to the shows included. A tribute page is given for Owen Hart. Chris Benoit and the tragedy with his family is also surprisingly mentioned with Pat Patterson commenting on it. Each WrestleMania is retold with all the results given with at least one quote from someone involved with that particular show.

This is not your usual WWE history book as there is a lot of Thence moments addressed. The steroid scandal where Linda McMahon was scared for her husband’s safety. “Vince said, ‘If I go to prison, I’ll never come out alive. They’ll kill me when I’m in there.'” A-Team star Mr. T getting an employee fired from WWE. “In my opinion, and I’ve told him this to his face, Mr. T was the most unprofessional piece of work I have ever had the displeasure of being associated with,” says Mean Gene Okerlund. This is only just a taste of shocking comments you will discover.

A great backlog of WWE memories for long-time fans and educational for newer fans. If you have watched the WWE 50 Blu-ray or DVD you will find a lot of the same material covered, but there’s a different feeling watching and reading about WWE. Personally find this a great way to rekindle interest in WWE matches or segments before trying to find them and relive it again on the WWE Network, when that finally comes to Canada.

Disappointed there was not a section for Superstars of the early 2000s and Superstars of today. I, like many, wish certain Superstars and certain aspects were highlighted, however, the amount of quality and quantity is so great it is difficult to complain. In the end this is a great buy for any wrestling fan, casual or smart.

WWE 50

DK Books

Written by Kevin Sullivan

226 pp.

$26.00

Find it here

 

 

 

 

Wrestling With the Devil by Lex Luger

 

bookOnce a role model for children across America, pro wrestling star Lex Luger nearly destroyed his career and himself in a cesspool of drugs, alcohol, narcissism, women, he was Wrestling With the Devil.

Born Lawrence ‘Larry’ Pfohl, Luger starts his autobiography off explaining his childhood. In the fourth grade he was the fastest kid in school and the best all-around athlete. He came from a strict family, although he got into a lot of trouble. One day when he was caught stealing, his father wanted him locked up in a cell and for the key to be thrown away.

Despite his father’s demands of him not playing football in high school, he did so anyways and was highly touted as a top prospect for college ball, ended up in Penn State. After getting transferred to Miami, Luger’s wild attitude ended up catching up to him and he was kicked off the team. He eventually ended up playing in the Canadian Football League for the Montreal Alouettes.

Luger had a tremendous physique throughout his early life, but the downtime he suffered forced him to take steroids for the first time in order to get his weight up in time for the CFL season. After being released on waivers, Luger kept pushing to get into the National Football League, but suffered an injury training with the Green Bay Packers.

After a meeting with Bob Roop, Luger began his wrestling training. Luger does skip through a lot of his career only highlighting key moments, such as his first match, joining the Four Horsemen, his World Championship wins, and his feud with Yokozuna in WWE. As a wrestling fan you’ll be left wanting more, his feud with Tantanka, his feud/tag team with Paul Wight aka Big Show, explicit details on his affair with Miss Elizabeth that cost him his marriage.

However, you still get a lot of amazing stories. Hulk Hogan yelling at him for breaking character when he jumped from WWE to WCW, Bret Hart getting him addicted to a drug, telling Sting that he keeps his shape by taking vodka and M & M’s, and much more is told. Sting’s foreword makes a lot sense after reading that.

For all the negative dark stories Luger tells, the last few chapters he finally finds redemption. With help from his friend Sting and others with faith, Luger is able to battle through his addictions, getting arrested for steroids, and a spinal stroke that nearly ended his life. Luger believes his faith kept him alive and keeps him going to this day.

Luger’s story is one that is difficult to put down as he has lived an extraordinaire life, filled with excitement, comedy, sadness, conflict, he tried to live life to it’s fullest and kept striving for greatness. For wrestling fans this will feel a lot like Brock Lesnar’s book Death Clutch, great stories but incomplete. If you don’t know anything about Lex Luger this read is highly recommended, it’s a story that should be known.

Wrestling with the Devil; The True Story of a World Champion Professional Wrestler – His Reign, Ruin, and Redemption

by Lex Luger with John D. Hollis

Tyndale Publishers

248 pp.

Released on Aug. 13, 2013

Johnny North

Wrestling The Hulk: My Life Between The Ropes by Linda Hogan book review


Wrestling superhero Hulk Hogan gave his side of the nasty divorce he and his wife Linda went through and now Linda strikes back in a shocking and revealing autobiography, Wrestling The Hulk: My Life Between The Ropes.

Wrestling The Hulk: My Life Between The Ropes, details Linda’s first encounter with The Hulkster, how he wooed her by coming out of the bathroom completely naked, their wild sex each time Hogan came back from the road, and the paranoia Linda went through when Hogan became distant and always away on long workouts or trips.

Linda opens up on The Hulk cheating on her during his WCW run where Hulk was being accused of sexual battery of Kate Kennedy, who was involved in Hulk’s short-lived PastaMania business. Linda explains how Hulk kicked out her parents and sat her down on the couch and blew smoke in her face. Hulk turned the anger he was venting towards her as she believes in order to make him not look so terrible when he revealed that he cheated on their marriage. A belief that Linda suspected for quite some time, but never had any proof up until that point.

While Linda does talk a bit about her childhood upbringing and losing her virginity when she was a young teen, her most interesting stories are the ones she shared with Hulk. The book is primarily explaining how her relationship destroyed her in many ways and how she fought through Hulk’s controlling ways. Even with children and a reality show on VH1, the marriage could not be saved due to their differences.

Linda does give Hulk his dues when to came to being the best in the squared circle and being a dad at times, but for the most part she believes Hulk was out to destroy her by the end, forcing her to go to rehab and turning her own children against her. She believes Brutus The Barber Beefcake was a horrible influence because he had a new stripper with him almost all the time. Following a second relationship that Hulk started before they even got divorce, Linda decided that it was time to finally move on with her life and a new younger man.

Considering how terrible of a person and a mother Hulk made Linda look in his 2009 book, it is no wonder that Linda was going to fire back and tarnish the image of Hulk. Was the book a lot of revenge or was it a way to vent out all the frustrations Linda was putting up with for the majority of her adult life? Linda comes off as scared, but is also able to turn around and wipe her emotions clean when need be. Clearly Linda wanted to get back at a lot of Hulk’s damaging statements, but there is so much emotional anigush she went through that it is hard to belive Hulk was a saint to her.

Money starts to pay a big factor as they aged and stopped sleeping in the same bed as each other. Linda complained that even when they were together it was just sex no love-making. The inability to talk to her husband eventual pushed her into the arms of another man who was willing to listen and care for her.

Wrestling fans can piece together a fair idea of what went wrong in the Hogan family with both books from Hulk and Linda. The remains of a once powerful empire can find a home in the laps of those looking for juicy, shocking and dramatic couple splits.

Wrestling The Hulk: My Life Between The Ropes

By Linda Hogan

HarperCollins

Released on Jun. 20, 2011

256 pp.
Wrestling the Hulk: My Life Against the Ropes

 

Wrestling The Hulk: My Life Against The Ropes by Linda Hogan book review

Wrestling The Hulk: My Life Against The Ropes

Wrestling superhero Hulk Hogan gave his side of the nasty divorce he and his wife Linda went through and now Linda strikes back in a shocking and revealing autobiography, Wrestling The Hulk: My Life Against The Ropes.

Wrestling The Hulk: My Life Against The Ropes, details Linda’s first encounter with The Hulkster, how he wooed her by coming out of the bathroom completely naked, their wild sex each time Hogan came back from the road, and the paranoia Linda went through when Hogan became distant and always away on long workouts or trips.

Linda opens up on The Hulk cheating on her during his WCW run where Hulk was being accused of sexual battery of Kate Kennedy, who was involved in Hulk’s short-lived PastaMania business. Linda explains how Hulk kicked out her parents and sat her down on the couch and blew smoke in her face. Hulk turned the anger he was venting towards her as she believes in order to make him not look so terrible when he revealed that he cheated on their marriage. A belief that Linda suspected for quite some time, but never had any proof up until that point.

While Linda does talk a bit about her childhood upbringing and losing her virginity when she was a young teen, her most interesting stories are the ones she shared with Hulk. The book is primarily explaining how her relationship destroyed her in many ways and how she fought through Hulk’s controlling ways. Even with children and a reality show on VH1, the marriage could not be saved due to their differences.

Linda does give Hulk his dues when to came to being the best in the squared circle and being a dad at times, but for the most part she believes Hulk was out to destroy her by the end, forcing her to go to rehab and turning her own children against her. She believes Brutus The Barber Beefcake was a horrible influence because he had a new stripper with him almost all the time. Following a second relationship that Hulk started before they even got divorce, Linda decided that it was time to finally move on with her life and a new younger man.

Considering how terrible of a person and a mother Hulk made Linda look in his 2009 book, it is no wonder that Linda was going to fire back and tarnish the image of Hulk. Was the book a lot of revenge or was it a way to vent out all the frustrations Linda was putting up with for the majority of her adult life? Linda comes off as scared, but is also able to turn around and wipe her emotions clean when need be. Clearly Linda wanted to get back at a lot of Hulk’s damaging statements, but there is so much emotional anigush she went through that it is hard to belive Hulk was a saint to her.

Money starts to pay a big factor as they aged and stopped sleeping in the same bed as each other. Linda complained that even when they were together it was just sex no love-making. The inability to talk to her husband eventual pushed her into the arms of another man who was willing to listen and care for her.

Wrestling fans can piece together a fair idea of what went wrong in the Hogan family with both books from Hulk and Linda. The remains of a once powerful empire can find a home in the laps of those looking for juicy, shocking and dramatic couple splits.

Wrestling The Hulk: My Life Against The Ropes

By Linda Hogan

Harper Collins

Released on Jun. 20, 2011

256 pp.

Click here to order the book

Jesse James American Outlaw autobiography review

Cheating on Sandra Bullock, a troubled childhood, security work for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, being a reality TV star and so much more explored in the autobiography, Jesse James American Outlaw.

While James is descriptive and detailed on many of his early life experiences, breaking the heart of ‘American’s Sweetheart’ is short and mostly vague on the reasoning.

James starts off the book taking his children to school trying to shield them from the paparazzi. James quickly reminisces on how growing up in a troubled abusive home made him into a young thief that eventually started to steal cars and rob stores. James did not let anyone walk over him as he nearly beat to death the senior quarterback when he first joined the squad. James was not a bully, but his friend Bobby pushed him into evil deeds.

After winning the heart of the first love of his life, Rhonda, James was slowly on his way to making to play football in college. However, Bobby sold out James on one of their heists and James went to juvie instead, losing all his scholarships and acceptance opportunities. James went through a dark period in this time. However, he battled on and used the skills he learned in life to survive.

Following meeting the right people, James was doing security work for punk bands and alternative bands like Nirvana. After meeting his first wife Karla, James soon found his true passion–making choppers and creating a business of it.

James became too involved in his reality show, Monster Garage, and soon lost his marriage. James did find love again with porn star Janine Lindemulder and added another child to the two he had with Karla. However, his marriage with Lindemulder was highlighted with screaming matches, lies and a tragical violent end. Although James said he was not looking to marry for a third time, when Bullock stepped into his life he could not stop thinking about her.

Fans of James’ reality TV show career and those interested in his troubled early life will love this book as the real dirt and shocking material is focusing on those subjects. Fans looking for why he ruined his marriage to Bullock will be disappointed as in the end he gives poor excuses in order to repair his damaged reputation. No details or conversations are mentioned with the first or other women he slept with. The lack of information at the end is very surprising considering how in-depth he is on the rest of his life and how he seemed to mature from his rebellious ways.

Jesse James American Outlaw

By Jesse James with Sam Benjamin

Simon and Schuster

www.simonandschuster.ca

Released on May 3, 2011

368 pp.

$29.99

Click here for more info

Brock Lesnar Death Clutch book review

Manhandling Frank Mir “like a bitch,” overcoming student hardships to win an NCAA title, and not letting Vince McMahon treat him like “a low-life jerk-off,” are reasons why Brock Lesnar is the Baddest Dude on the Planet.

For the first and perhaps only time, Lesnar opens up with Paul Heyman co-writing on his personal life in his memoirs Death Clutch: My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival.

Lesnar explains how it was tough growing up poor on a farm in South Dakota. Lesnar dispels the rumours that he grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, however credits his parents a lot for helping him early in life. Lesnar explains how he changed from a scrawny kid to a larger than life heavyweight in his college days.

Following his spectacular double overtime victory for the NCAA Heavyweight Championship in amateur wrestling, WWE talent scout Gerald Brisco saw Lesnar and signed him to the biggest WWE development deal of all-time, or at least from what they told him. After telling the WWE that “If you want me to get better, then you need to put me in the ring with better people!” WWE brought Lesnar to the main roster where he went on a path of destruction with Heyman.

The difficult road schedule and the politics of the WWE environment eventually started to wear down “The Next Big Thing.” Lesnar admits to drinking a bottle of vodka a day and taking a couple hundred pills of Vicodin became his only way to numb the pain he was going through, especially after he got a concussion from the Shooting Star Press at WrestleMania 19. Lesnar openly says that WWE pushed him to do the move even though he thought it was a dumb idea.

Lesnar did not want to become like Curt Hennig or Ric Flair, he wanted out and he wanted to move on. A major motorcycle accident stopped him from going further in his NFL career, but after a bitter contract dispute with WWE, Lesnar jumped the barricade at an Ultimate Fighting Championship event and got Dana White’s attention. Right away Lesnar said he wanted to face the best and he got to face the best. To those tradition MMA fans that believe he got a title shot too quickly he says, “Screw them.”

A lot of stories especially when it comes wrestling are not mentioned because Lesnar cannot remember thanks to all the drug and alcohol abuse he went through. While Lesnar is brief with a lot of his stories, fans still get an honest and aggressive opinion from the former UFC Heavyweight Champion. Bullying around the Big Show, questioning the honesty of The Rock and Kurt Angle, and criticizing Vince McMahon for the way he treats his superstars. Wrestling fans get more than enough shocking and bunt opinions from Lesnar.

Haters of Lesnar will only look at this book and find they were always right about how he was born with a wicked spirit. Lesnar sums himself up quite nicely though, “You can call it ego, or cockiness, or arrogance, or anything else you want, but I’m used to being in control. Some people were meant to lead, others were meant to follow. I was born to take charge. It’s not only what I do, it’s who I am.”

Death Clutch: My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival

By Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman

HarperCollins Canada

224 pp.

The George Carlin Letters: The Permanent Courtship of Sally Wade review

“July is all-naked month, within one year she was straddling him and showing him her tits, to the sweetest, loveliest, sexiest, tallest woman I have ever had the pleasure of tongue-kissing.”

Fans of the late comedian George Carlin get a personal, chaotic and a few trips to their personal Jupiter with his widow’s memoirs of their life together in The George Carlin Letters: The Permanent Courtship of Sally Wade. Wade has compiled a scrapbook of love letters between her and Carlin and provided a mini-autobiography.

Wade playfully describes how her dog Spot helped her meet Carlin. Although Carlin still needed time from his previous wife’s passing, Wade was going through her own divorce proceedings. Four months later ended up being enough time for both of them. Spot did have issues with Carlin, but Wade believes they eventually came to an understanding.

“How this woman moves my soul and rearranges my crotch I will never know. Hormones come and go but true love lasts forever. Someday when we’re working like this in your bedroom, remind me to come over and fuck you.” Just a few examples of the sexually charged notes Carlin gave Wade. Quite apparent throughout the whole experience that they were both madly in love with each other 24/7.

There were not always happy days though; Carlin had his paranoia issues, Wade was on antidepressants, Carlin is constantly farting almost every few chapters, Wade confronting Carlin about his drug issues completely changes the ‘wild sex party’ of the memoirs at least for three pages. Despite any problem that came up their love always stayed strong.

Wade ends off with poetry and artwork Carlin made for her and their last time together before he passed on. Wade writes passionately and filled with heartfelt emotion as she believes her and Carlin will always be connected and will one day be together again in their Jupiter.

Fans of Carlin should be prepared to see a side of the comedian they are not use to. Yes there are the offensive and outlandish jokes you would expect from him, but the outpouring of feelings he expresses to Wade through his letters shows a tender vulernable human side of Carlin that the public eye did not see before.

If you’re looking for a detailed description of Carlin and Wade’s relationship you will be disappointed. Wade’s passage are few and short. There are pages filled with just letters Carlin and Wade wrote, some translated and others not. The book showcases how photos and words on pieces of paper gives readers a true appreciation of lovers who cared about each other more than anything in this world and after it.

The George Carlin Letters: The Permanent Courtship of Sally Wade

By Sally Wade

Simon and Schuster

304 pp.

$29.99

Released on Mar. 8, 2011

 

The Ovechkin Project: A Behind-the-Scenes look at Hockey's Most Dangerous Player book review

A physical specimen at age 18, destroying Sidney Crosby in their rookie season for the scoring title, and countless highlight reel goals, are just a few highlights in Alexander Ovechkin’s professional hockey career.

In the designed unauthorized autobiography on Ovechkin’s life off the ice and on it, authors Damien Cox and Gare Joyce admit there was difficulty making the book. The authors state in the acknowledgments that the Ovechkin family decided not to take part in this publication although Ovechkin is quoted with the public interviews he made.

Numerous times throughout the bio the authors give an idea on what is going through Ovechkin’s head since they did end up talking to a number of reliable sources like Washington Capitals’ management. members of the media and Ovechkin’s teammates helped supplement Ovechkin’s state of mind.

The Ovechkin Project reads much like an action adventure story with Ovechkin excelling in amateur hockey in Russia as he came from a family that was seemingly born to play the sport. Losing his 24-year-old brother Sergei in 1995, hit him hard but did not stop him from the game he loved. Three practices a day at age 10, and always wanting to run instead of standing around showed his parents and scouts that he was going to be a special athlete.

Ovechkin’s rivalry with Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sid The Kid is well documented—Ovechkin charging room service in an NHL commercial, Ovechkin blowing past Crosby’s rookie numbers, and so on. Crosby is always well received for being the Canadian prodigy of Mario Lemieux, but when it comes to rivalries like Gretzky-Lemieux, Ovechkin is considered the Wayne Gretzky of the duo.

While Crosby does have greater team accomplishments with a Stanley Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal, Ovechkin has more impressive individual accomplishments with Hart trophies, Lester B. Peterson, Art Ross and more. The authors did make an excellent point how the Ovechkin-Crosby is far more exciting than the Gretzky-Lemieux one as Ovechkin and Crosby are in the Eastern Conference and already have a heated playoff series included in their battles. 

Montreal Canadiens fans will enjoy how the book wraps up in last year’s playoff series between the Caps and Canadiens. Former Habs goalie Jaroslav Halak is the bane of Ovechkin’s 2010 playoffs as Halak helped shut the door on Ovechkin being the main threat in the best-of-seven series. The teasing Ovechkin pulled on Halak over his hand shaking when he drank some water is turned against Ovechkin after Halak made a 53-save performance. The question became ‘who’s shaking now?’

At times the author are extremely high on the abilities of Ovechkin, but they also admit when he has difficulty adjusting to the North American lifestyle or when he comes up short in some of his efforts. It is a little difficult to believe that Ovechkin felt a certain way without his input at all in the book. However, the authors did do a great job of resourcing with the Capitals organization to bring a book that may not give you an in-depth look at Ovechkin, but does give you an idea of how he came to be the superstar he is today.  

The Ovechkin Project: A Behind-the-Scenes look at Hockey’s Most Dangerous Player

By Damien Cox and Gary Joyce

Wiley Books

Released in Fall 2010

320 pp.

WWE: Big Apple Takedown review

WWE superstars battle terrorists in a covert black-ops mission where they have to go undercover and ultimately fight villains in hand-to-hand combat in the world of the WWE novel Big Apple Takedown.  

In this version of the WWE Universe, a near fatal limo accident to Vince McMahon in 2001 opened up the opportunity for the U.S. government to question the WWE Chairman on the idea of using WWE talent in top secret government assignments. Fans who know McMahon can imagine the over-the-top outburst McMahon gave to a government official for causing the accident.

While the novel starts off with a typical night at a Monday Night RAW event, the novel does not feature much action in the squared circle. HHH is the WWE Champion in the novel, but is also the senior superstar on covert ops missions.

HHH discovering the illegal activities of a methyl-amphetamine plant requires McMahon to get assistance in the form of John Cena, Torrie Wilson, Batista and Chavo Guerrero. With the novel originally publishing in 2006, there are mentions made on how HHH and Batista still have a grudge over their Evolution days and how Cena knows how evil HHH can be. Trust is a huge issue throughout.

While cheesy catchphrases are not used by the superstars there is a bit of familiar character traits. HHH does use a sledgehammer to defeat an enemy and Batista’s size and strength does help on more than one occasion. However, Batista’s fear of small spaces and Cena not believing in waking up before noon seem to be added in to help add drama and a bit of humour. Wilson having to seduce one of the bad guys adds a sexual component thanks to her seductive ways and thoughts. 

This novel is far from a PG experience. Expect quite a bit of coarse language from not just the antagonists but also Cena, Batista, HHH and the eventual arrival of Stone Cold Steve Austin. The book is 277 pages but there is not many words per page.

While the storyline seems extremely far fetched, there are some interesting and fun reads along the way. Guerrero appreciating Batista due to the respect shown during Eddie’s passing, HHH bonding with one of the villains and finding common beliefs with them does fit with the characters at that point in time.

Big Apple Takedown stands out among other WWE books as WWE superstars have never been written in this spy-like environment. The novel is made for mature fans that like watching WWE performers in movies, game shows and other forms of entertainment.

WWE: Big Apple Takedown 

By Rudy Josephs

Simon and Schuster

Re-released on Apr. 2 , 2011

Also available in E-book

$21.99