If you can’t get enough of professional wrestling — there’s Monday Night Raw, Smack Down, NXT, 205, all the pay-per-views and more, then how about picking some wrestling books?
If I’m not watching the WWE’s many shows, I’m either watching films, television shows or reading. That’s me. Here are five wrestling books that are on my must-read list:
Let’s start with what I’m hearing is one of the best wrestling books out there Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules Hardcover by by A.J. Mendez Brooks. It’s really a book about her personal life and professional wrestling career.
When I first saw A.J. on WWE, I thought she was a fantastic wrestler who flopped and sold it like no other female wrestler I had seen in a long time and she played that ‘crazy’ persona really well. Some of the storylines drove me nuts, but for the most part, she was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale, in my opinion, female ring.
When I heard about her back story, about her poverty and how hard she worked her way to get where she was, I was impressed. When she left the ring at the height of her career, I was stymied, but everyone comes to a crossroads in their life at some point and A.J. decided that it was time to hang up her boots. Then there’s this book that I can’t wait to read. Why? Because then I learned about how A.J. suffered from mental illness and how she had more barriers to overcome and more hills to climb. What an inspiration to other girls! A.J. never had that inspiration growing up. Today, she IS that inspiration.
Read this review of her book on Book Riot by Nicole Brinkley. You’ll add it to your list too.
Sisterhood of the Squared Circle: The History and Rise of Women’s Wrestling
Want to know more about women and professional wrestling? Sisterhood of the Squared Circle: The History and Rise of Women’s Wrestling is written by (okay, it’s two men) Pat Laprade and Dan Murphy, the authors review the history and have more than 100 profiles of wrestlers who have made an impact in the business. They include Mildred Burke, the Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Penny Banner, Wendi Richter, Trish Stratus, Chyna, and Lita, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Bayley. There are sections on AJ Mendez Brooks (AJ Lee) and there’s even includes a chapter on Rhonda Rousey, who isn’t even a wrestler — they say ‘yet’.
Wake Up! It’s Feeding Time! A Professional Athlete’s Advice on How to Succeed in the Game of Life
Written by Ryback “The Big Guy” Reeves, and released in January, the former WWE wrestler provides tips on taking care of your body, supplements, meal prepping, sexual energy, overcoming addiction and more. I have to admit, if I want to get in shape, Ryback’s massive size scares me and I’m not quite sure he would understand what a middle-aged woman’s body is going through or what it needs, but that’s not what he’s doing here. He’s a professional athlete. Know that going into this read of Wake Up! It’s Feeding Time! A Professional Athlete’s Advice on How to Succeed in the Game of Life and take out of his book what advice works for you.
NXT: The Future Is Now
Admittedly, I don’t watch much NXT, but I know the players and once they land on the main roster, boy have I found them exciting to watch. Even some of today’s greatest names have come from the training ground of NXT — Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Charlotte, Finn Bálor, Sami Zayn, Sasha Bank. I want to learn more about this brand of the WWE and NXT: The Future Is Now is definitely on my to-read list.
Written by Jon Robinson, with a foreword by the man himself, Vince McMahon, this book tells the story of Paul Levesque — better known as 14-time World Champion Triple H — convinced McMahon that WWE must reinvent itself. They created the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center so that wrestlers could hone their skills and personalities and stories under Triple H.
Mad Dog: The Maurice Vachon Story
I’m old school (okay, I’m old) and remember Mad Dog, who passed away in 2013, and this book, Mad Dog: The Maurice Vachon Story, is the story behind the man. Mad Dog “explores his career and personal struggles with painstakingly detailed historical research and through both Maurice’s own recollections and those of the people who knew him best.”
Wrestling really saved Mad Dog’s life and book shares his story with wrestling fans. It’s on my list this year too.
What wrestling books have you read or are on your list to read this year?
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