Monday, 31 December 2007

Walking a Golden Mile - Book Review

He is currently the most high-profile British wrestler in America at the moment, and has been for a number of years, but it’s been a long and arduous journey for Darren Matthews, the man known as William Regal.

The latest WWE biography, “Walking A Golden Mile”, is the story of a twenty year wrestling veteran, who began his career on the Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and would end up travelling around the world’s biggest arenas for WCW and WWE.

It’s a no-holds-barred story that really pulls no punches. Some of the stories from Regal’s early days on the British wrestling circuit were very enjoyable, and I have to admit I marked out big timewhen he mentioned encounters with people in the business I’ve met over the past few years or so.

The stories of how he became a stereo-typical English lord in World Championship Wrestling were also very interesting, mainly because, unlike other wrestlers who have written about their time working for WCW, Regal had hardly a bad word to say about the company, except when he returned in 2000. Mind you, the
company was on it’s death bed by then.

A large part of the book is devoted to Regal’s problems with drugs and alcohol. It’s quite refreshing how open Regal is about his personal problems, and he should be commended for this. While reading these chapters, I not only developed a great deal of respect for the man, but for his entire family as well. He literally put his family through hell, but they stood by him. Regal’s story shows how far down someone can go. It can be used as a warning to others who may find themselves in a similar situation, and given the fact that he survived while so many of his contemporaries didn’t me be considered something of a miracle.

Of course, there are plenty of funny stories from his time on the road, such as the time he lost his virginity in the back of a ring van, filming promos with Bobby Eaton outside O.J. Simpson’s house in Los Angeles, to bus rides from hell with the Nasty Boys.

And for those of you who have trouble understanding some of the Queen’s English, there’s a glossary of terms at the back of the book.

But if you rum buggers still don’t understand what Regal’s trying to say in this book, then you’re all a bunch of pillocks. So don’t be a silly bugger, and go down to your nearest book shop and get yourself a copy. It’s a damn good read.

With thanks, once again, to Carl Ford for lending me his copy.

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