Wrestling's Greatest Moments
Synopsis: Details on some of professional wrestling's most famous feuds, matches, events and storylines.
Pro wrestling is about emotion and anger is a big part of the business. Wrestlers have never been known for their "live and let live" attitudes so it's no surprise things can (and often do) get out of hand. When the competition begins to get heated, you can expect to see men and women doing some terrible things to each other: all manner of attacks before or after a match, ambusges and gang warfare have become commonplace.
Behind the scenes, it's simple enough. One of the biggest motivators in wresting is revenge -- someone stole a title belt, someone betrayed a partner, that kind of thing. It's a sure-fire catalyst for a feud. And the bloodier the beatdown, the better the chance fans will want to see a wrestler get what's coming to him.
How many times have you heard about a crazy storyline that happened years earlier and wanted to know more about it? Sure, one can track down the footage on YouTube or on DVD, but it doesn't quite a hold a candle to actually watching it in the moment.
Want proof? If you were a wrestling fan in 1986, you'll remember Paul Orndorff turning on Hulk Hogan ("WON-DER-FUL! WON-DER-FUL!" - Bobby Heenan), and how big a deal that was to the business. For someone who starts watching wrestling now? It's meaningless, because wrestlers are now expected to turn on their "best friends".
Mike Rickard, who is the resident wrestling historian for Wrestling Merchandise & Memories, isn't able to physically bring you back to those moments, but he does the next best thing, by setting the stage and providing narratives that will still be relevant decades from now.
As someone who has followed the "sport of kings" for 30+ years, I fondly remember a lot of these historic moments, shows, feuds and matches. But even then, there's a lot of context I'd forgotten about, or just hadn't heard of at the time. In addition, there are several topics that were brand new to me.
Mike is a fantastic storyteller and a virtual encyclopedia of wrestling knowledge. Sometimes, when the media and even certain wrestling websites are dumping on the industry you enjoy, it's just tremendous fun to sit back and be allowed to be a fan again.
One minor suggestion: I would have loved to see these sections organized into "top ten" type rankings -- best turns, best supercards, etc. Sure, it would strictly be the author's opinion, but half the fun with a book like this is being able to debate those choices, either against your own picks, or with other wrestling fans.
Rating: Oh Hell Yeah! As I mentioned, I definitely have some bias here, but this is a solid resource that any serious wrestling fan would be happy to have on their bookshelf.