Bulldog's Bookshelf

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pro Wrestling

Captain Lou Albano and Burt Randolph Sugar

Published: 1999

Pages: 346

Synopsis: As the title suggests... a book only idiots would appreciate.

The absolute best thing I can say about this book is that they're not false advertising the whole "Complete Idiots" thing.

 

Captain Lou Albano, the legendary manager and WWE Hall of Famer, really has seen and done it all in his career. He should have known better than to lend his name to this fiasco (hopefully he's not responsible for the research). And Burt Randolph Sugar, a legendary boxing writer, apparently wrote for some of the newsstand wrestling magazines years and years ago -- probably in an era were fans weren't nearly as clued in as they are now to what goes on behind the curtain.

 

Albano and Sugar's "insider insights," usually taking the form of useless sidebars, are not only dangerously inaccurate, they don't add anything to one's appreciation or understanding of wrestling. At least when you pick up a "Complete Idiot's" guide to, say, open heart surgery (no joke - I was once given The Complete Idiot's Guide To Fatherhood), there's at least an outside chance that you'll learn something new. In this book, not so much.

 

If I were to be as concise as possible in my feelings about this book, the words "suck ass" would appear at least once. The subject matter ranges from insulting to just plain wrong. One chapter explains, in great detail, how YOU can become a wrestling fan. No need to enroll in some fancy school or take costly correspondence courses. Learn RIGHT NOW how you can get in on the action. Impress your friends! Amaze your neighbors! Or… you could skip reading this chapter and, um, turn on a television set or something. Either way…

 

The list of errors runs longer than a Triple H promo. My favorite, for some reason, is that The Rock's real name is Rocky Melvin. I could go up to a non-wrestling fan right now, and chances are good that they'd come up with a better answer than "Rocky Melvin".  The authors also admit that The Undertaker and Kane are really brothers. No, not in storylines. In real life.

 

Which is a whole other problem. During many of his (drunken?) tales, Albano seems to think that wrestling is real, which kind of cancels out the whole idea of an "insider's" guide to how the business works, no?

 

There's also a section on the wide-range of wrestling merchandise available to you, the newly-christened wrestling fan. Of course, you probably could get a better sense of what's for sale by reading the back cover of an old PWI. Also, the listing of "official" wrestler websites mostly leads you to some defunct Geocities sites which I'm pretty sure were already stale-dated by the time this stinker came out. 

 

To sum up: If an alien landed on Earth and asked me to explain professional wrestling to him/her, and if I had handed them this particular book, they would think I was the complete idiot, simply for owning this crap. In my own defense, though, this was given to me as a gift. Apparently by someone who really, really hates me.

 

Rating: You're FIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRED! This is the wrestling-book equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space. The only reason you would want a copy of it would be to make other books look good by comparison.

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