Damn! Why Did I Write This Book?
Jason (JTG) Paul
Synopsis: The first autobiography of former Cryme Tyme member JTG.
After our backstage segment with Booker T, I decided to watch the rest of the show with a few of the other wrestlers on the monitor in the talent viewing area. Out of nowhere, this Legend (and childhood hero of mine, one who I adored so much, in fact, that I used to dance around the house to his theme song wearing nothing but my Ninja Turtle underwear) was in my face, with his finger pointed centimeters away from poking me in the nose, screaming at the top of his lungs!
"Not only did I warn you once, I warned you twice! And the third time, you did it on national TV! You have NO RESPECT for me or this business!!!"
Then he stormed off.
After letting that soak in for a few minutes, I came to grips with the fact that the Superstar I had watched and loved since I was four had just scolded me like an ugly step child.
The title of Jayson (JTG) Paul's book is a not-so-subtle reference to his infamous Tweet last year "Damn! Why I pick up my phone?", a response to him being released by WWE on a day when many others were being axed. The line is also indicative of the kind of heat that the former Cryme Tyme member had with other wrestlers and management during his eight-year run.
Was the heat entirely his fault, or did he just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time whenever was brewing? Like any relationship, it was probably a bit of both, but that really speaks to this e-book.
Instead of the typical autobiography that talks about a wrestler's humble beginnings and diversified wrestling career, JTG's book really looks at the problems he had during his WWE run. Now.... there's nothing wrong with that; a story about "unwritten rules of the locker room" could served as a cautionary tale about how to do things the politically correct way when you get to the big time in wrestling. Especially if you think of all the NXT rookies that should read something like that.
But instead, this comes off as a 76-page rant about all the times other people tried to screw him over, whether that someone was a member of management or his own tag team partner, Shad Gaspard. They got punished for not shaking hands, or getting a massage in the trainer's room, or hitting their finisher on a referee (seriously). I'm not saying his beefs aren't legitimate -- how would any of us truly know what goes on behind the scenes? -- but it just comes across as a case of sour grapes, which probably wasn't the author's intention.
The other thing that irked me was the lack of names in JTG's tales of political abuse. Some people are certainly implied and others you can probably guess whom he's referring to. And look.... I understand why; between hoping to get employment elsewhere one day and legitimately not wanting to make others look bad in print, there are lots of very good reasons not to name names. But if you're going to doing that, then maybe DON'T WRITE A TELL-ALL BOOK! Especially if you're not going to "tell all". You know?
Another point of contention is that the book is just too damn short. You can finish the whole thing in half an hour if you're so inclined. I routinely invest more time in listening to podcasts than I did this book. Which is a shame because, as a Cryme Tyme fan, I certainly would have liked to read a bit more.
I don't want to come across as overly negative here. JTG is a funny and entertaining writer. He makes some very valid points that should have decision makers in WWE and other companies question the amount of hazing that goes on backstage, particularly in the year 2015 and in a post-Bill DeMott world.
Overall Rating: Transitional Champion. There's nothing in here that compels me to tell you "Drop what you're doing right now and pick this bad boy up!". But maybe that's not the intention. Downloading the book from Payhip costs all of 99 cents and you can easily download the file on to your Kindle for a light read later. So, on balance, it's not really a waste of that money, money, yeah, yeah.