Sunday, 1 February 2009

Wrestling's Greatest Moments - Book Review

Following on from the release of James Guttman’s Shoot First…Ask Questions Later, his World Wrestling Insanity co-hort Mike Rickard has brought out a book of his own. Wrestling’s Greatest Moments does exactly what it says on the tin. It looks at professional wrestling’s greatest moments from the 1970’s onwards.

Containing sections looking at angles, matches, beat downs, and more, Rickard takes a look back at some of the most pivotal moments in wrestling history. There’s the infamous Midnight Rider, the confrontations between Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, the formation of the Four Horsemen, the Monday Night Wars, and, of course, the formation of the New World Order.

Rickard clearly has a passion for the history of wrestling, although I get the feeling that, given the fact that he only really goes back to the 1970’s, he is, like me, a man in his mid-to-late thirties.

Although this is a good read, there are two main areas where this book lets itself down.

For instance, there are a few historical inaccuracies. Two that come to mind include Rickard’s article on 80’s heel referee Danny Davis, where he states that Davis and the Hart Foundation faced the British Bulldogs and Koko B. Ware at Wrestlemania III, when in fact it was Tito Santana who teamed with the Bulldogs in that match. Koko actually team with the Bulldogs the following year at Wrestlemania IV against the Islanders and Bobby Heenan.

Later, he writes about Terry Funk’s debut in the WWF in 1985, mentioning the incident that saw Funk attack ringside aide Mel Phillips. Rickard writes that Funk faced Aldo Montoya in that match. Montoya, also known as former ECW Champion Justin Credible, didn’t actually make his first WWF appearance under the mask until nine years later. Funk’s opponent for that match was actually jobber Aldo Marino.

There’s also something that’s quite unforgivable for a professionally published book - spelling errors. I lost count of the number of spelling errors I found during my journey through this book. If this book had been self-published then that would have been understandable. But given the fact that this book was released by a professional publishing company I’m surprised these errors weren’t picked up by the book’s editors and proof readers.

And it’s for those reasons I can’t really recommend this book as a good read. While Wrestlecrap made for good reading because it reminded us of the poor aspects of the wrestling business, this book could have had the same effect, but it was let down by simple spelling errors and poor research in some areas. So while this may have been called Wrestling’s Greatest Moments, it’s certainly not wrestling’s greatest book.

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