Zbyszko’s biography, Adventures in Larryland! takes the reader on a trip through the highlights of Zbyszko’s three decades in pro wrestling, minus the bad stuff. His wrestling idol, Bruno Sammartino, plays a huge role in the beginning of the book—Zbyszko starts off stalking him and the two end up feuding for the cameras.
Zbyszko tells about how in the 1970s wrestling was considered real to the general public and that outsiders needed to be dealt with in order to keep the secret alive. This resulted in wrestlers seriously injuring wannabes. Zbyszko was so hated by the fans for turning on his hero that fans would chant “Larry sucks!” One fan went farther, stabbing him in the right butt cheek four inches deep.
Zbyszko tells his side of his World Wide Wrestling Federation career and holds nothing back when talking about his dealings with the McMahon family. Zbyszko had his ups and downs with Vince McMahon Sr., but when it comes to Vince Jr. he recalls a conniving crybaby who always started off conversations with maniacal—not to mention moronic—laughter. Zbyszko also takes credit for helping Hulk Hogan change from a jobber to one day becoming a wrestling god with Hulkamania.
Following his scandalous departure from WWF, Zbyszko found success in WCW and the American Wrestling Association. In the AWA Zbyszko became a world heavyweight champion for the first and only time—with the title victory he finally got to live out his life-long dream.
In retirement, Zbyszko found more success—he became an employee of Ted Turner’s, working as part of Turner Broadcasting. Zbyszko ended up creating a whole new fan base as a commentator and was paid handsomely for his opinion. Zbyszko came out of retirement twice and managed to get on two WCW pay-per-views with some of their highest recorded buy rates.
The road stories that Zbyszko puts in the book are at times funny and emotionally charged. From being a pilot in a plane that was about to crash, to making fun of young wrestlers for using too many clotheslines, wrestling fans get to read about the “New Living Legend” in a whole new light.
Zbyszko’s belief in standing by his booking commitments is somewhat hypocritical—he threatened to miss wrestling shows since he thought he should be WWWF champion and paid more, but when AWA champion Jerry Lawler was not paid by AWA, Zbyszko criticizes Lawler stating that it was “the most unprofessional act in the business.”
For fans wanting to read about Lawrence Whistler, the real-life Zbyszko, you’re out of luck. Zbyszko keeps his private life to a bare minimum—Zbyszko’s born name is only mentioned on the back of the book. Wrestling fans that do not like to read long books are in luck—Zbyszko kept it under 200 pages and keeps chapters short. His opinions on love in wrestling is a mere sentence. Overall, the biography is a unique perspective from a Polish émigré who battled tough wrestling politicians and came out alive.
Adventures in Larryland!
by Larry Zbyszko