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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but title is misleading
This is a really good book. But it is not all about Vince McMahon. It is about wrestling in general, the whole WWF, WCW, Eric Bischoff, the Monday Night Wars. I would have loved to read more behind the scenes stuff w/ McMahon. I don't know why the author named the book what he did, he should have made the title more general. I mean they do talk about Vince, his...
Published on May 27 2004 by Michael Minutaglio

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2.0 out of 5 stars Superior Mental Acumen
The real story of Vince McMahon.....yea "real". Fascinating collection of stories related to the man credited with revolutionizing the world of sports entertainment. If, however, the "Real World Is Faker Than Wrestling," as Mick Foley would say, what does that make this supposed factual account of McMahon's life? Granted, authors Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham reveal...
Published on Sept. 4 2002 by Robert Rytina


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but title is misleading, May 27 2004
By 
Michael Minutaglio (Staten Island, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment (Paperback)
This is a really good book. But it is not all about Vince McMahon. It is about wrestling in general, the whole WWF, WCW, Eric Bischoff, the Monday Night Wars. I would have loved to read more behind the scenes stuff w/ McMahon. I don't know why the author named the book what he did, he should have made the title more general. I mean they do talk about Vince, his steroid trial, and the way he took over most of the wrestling world. But there are chapters full of info not involving Vince at all. But it is still very entertaining. I liked hearing why Ted Turner bought WCW, Dusty Rhodes almost destroying it with too many "Dusty finishes", how Vince put on Pay Per Views and even a free Royal Rumble on at the same time WCW shows were run, trying to destroy them (I didn't know that!!), the theory behind Goldust and how he started the new direction of the WWF, Brian Pillmans Loose Cannon personality actully being a gimmick Bischoff created, his death and how Mcmahon treated it, among other stuff.
The main problem I had was the author talked about certain wrestlers by their real name, not stage name, and it made me a little confussed, I had to keep going back to see who they were talking about (I ended up reading about this guy I didnt know who it was, then realized it was Ole Anderson). And the Steroid trial, although informative, was a little too informative, too many names of attorneys and watchdogs mentioned. Other than those two tiny things, plus the title being misleading, I really found this book to be very good. Any wrestling fan should pick it up.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as Bad as Some People Claim, June 8 2004
By 
Amazon Customer "fahrmeier" (Cincinnati, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment (Paperback)
During the first 10 pages of Sex, Lies and Headlocks I learned more about wrestling history than I had in my first 10 years of watching.
This book is an informative retrospective on the history of television wrestling. Is it a biography of Vince McMahon like it claims? Not quite but what it is even more fascinating.
Shaun Assael and Mike Moeneyham have researched their book tremendously, talking to and reading material by some of the foremost authorities in this sport.
Have they left some stuff out? Of course they did, but it the book is less than 300 pages.
Is Vince portrayed as almost evil? Yes, but let's be honest folks, Vince McMahon is not exactly the white angel of professional wrestling. Honestly, no one should expect any wrestling promoter to be painted purely because, professional wrestling is historically a con artists game.
Some will claim that this book is innaccurate and mixed up but the only time that was really a problem for this reader isn't until around the last third of this book when the book inexplicably goes from May of 1998 to November of 1997. After the initial confusion though you do realize what is going on. This book does have tangents but no more tangents than Wrestlecrap, which is almost universally praised.
If you are interested in learning wrestling history this book is a must to at least learn some, and peak your interest to learn more about the subjects discussed.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Mess of Contradictions and Just a Bad Book, March 21 2004
By 
J. Kersh "poetdoc" (Jackson, Mississippi) - See all my reviews
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Other reviewers have mentioned the many factual errors in Sex, Lies and Headlocks, so those aren't worth rehashing. However, these apparently novice writers can't decide on a point of view - in one section they're cheering the WWE's or WCW's ratings dominance, the next they're presenting the actions of L. Brent Bozell as if his assertions had some basis in reality. And why is WCW even mentioned outside its role as a competitor? The book is subtitled "The real story of VINCE MCMAHON AND WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT." Full chapters are devoted to Eric Bischoff and WCW, presumably to lengthen an already-brief book with plenty of fact-checking problems.
What's more, there is no information here that can't be found in the WWE's own video, The Monday Night Wars, or on WWE Confidential. This "real" story is the same as the one the WWE tells, begging the question, "Why say this again?"
Finally, this book is poorly written and badly edited, lending another level of amateurism to its writers and their publisher. Did no one line-edit this book? If they did, they can take one of my writing classes, as long as they don't expect to do well.
Sex, Lies and Headlocks is a pitiful excuse for a book on anything, much less a book on wrestling or a "tell-all." I regret wasting my money on this piece of unmitigated garbage, and its "writers" should be ashamed of themselves. The world needs far, far fewer books like this one.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Another journalist's crusade against wrestling, Feb. 8 2004
By 
D. Goldberg "Dave Goldberg" (Long Branch, NJ) - See all my reviews
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This is not a book that does any justice for professional wrestling in the least. It is written by yet another one of these elitist journalists who has a disdain for wrestling. Just to give you an idea of the quality of this book, look at the cover; Vince McMahon's head is placed on Scott Hall's body in some kind juvenile attempt to take a shot at McMahon. On top of that, like most of these pro wrestling haters in the newsroom, it is not factually written, because they don't watch the shows and therefore they don't know much about the topic. Plus they are so insensed on ripping apart Vince McMahon they just plainly don't care, which they show in this heartless, thoughtless diatribe about the wrestling business.
There is not all good in wrestling, but books such as Wrestlecrap, Tributes and the Top 100 cover the hard topics in a tasteful method. The reason is because these books are written by individuals who understand and respect the wrestling business. These elitist journalists make me sick. If you want to learn about wrestling, please don't buy this book, it is just a journalist's hateful look at professional wrestling and we don't need books like this associated with professional wrestling. Just a plainly awful book all the way!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The "Real" Story?, Oct. 16 2003
This book has a bad tendency to jump around a lot in history, going from one year to the next without any clear transitions, so in one page, you'll be talking about Bruno and Gorgeous George (Wagner), then the next, talking about Marc Mero and Sable.
Putting that aside, it is a very enjoyable read, not terribly accurate in places, and often attributing personality traits to people mentioned within the book that seem inconsistent with what has been previously established. If you're looking for a National Enquirer type feel to the book, you won't find it here. Mr. Assael and Mr. Mooneyham attempt to paint a historical look at how the World Wrestling Federation became the global power that it is currently.
Again, not terribly accurate in places, from what has been established previously by such notable people as Dave Meltzer, Mike Champman, and other wrestling personalities. However, aside from all that, it is still very entertaining and enlightening, but it lacks scope. It seems that the main purpose is to bring us from Vince Sr.'s Capitol Wrestling to the WWF's purchase of WCW in 2001 with as little detail as possible in between.
A worthwhile purchase, but not an essential item. Wait until it becomes a remainder item, and get it for under $10.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read, Aug. 16 2003
By 
John Alapick (Harveys Lake, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Sex, Lies, And Headlocks is a very good account of the rise, fall, and the late 90's emergence of Vince McMahon and the WWE. It is a very interesting read, not only discussing the WWE, but also discussing what was going with their competition (AWA, UWF, and NWA which later became WCW). Many of the early chapters focus on their mainstream crossover in the '80s, which turns out to be a pleasant surprise. The information regarding Vince's competition, particularly WCW, is very insightful reading. The book also gives heavy attention to Vince's more trying times, such as the failures of the WBF and XFL and especially the early '90s steroid trials. His constant friction with the USA network is also very well chronicled. It also goes into detail of his earlier risk-taking ventures such as his involvement in Evel Knievel's jump over Snake River Canyon and his early days working as an announcer when his father Vince Sr. was still running the WWE. Occasionally, the book tends to go off of its chronological path, making it a tad hard to follow, but it's still hard to put down once you start reading. Definitely worth checking out, especially to WWE fans who began watching in the late '90s who are interested in how Vince McMahon and the WWE became what they are today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very fascinating book, July 28 2003
By 
A. Defeo (Pittsburgh, Pa.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As a long time fan of wrestling, I've always been fascinated by the rise and fall and eventual rise again of Vince McMahon's WWF/E. If you're interested in an unbiased review of the history of wrestling, this is the book to buy. I'd recommend this book over just about any autobiography because it is written by outsiders, not former wrestlers who will put their own self-serving spin on things. This book does an excellent job of not only chronicling McMahon's rise to wrestling glory, but other promotors as well, namely, his longime archrival, Ted Turner. I was also pleasantly surprised to see an extensive review of the wrestling industry's beginnings all the way back to the formation of the NWA. Even if you're a hardcore fan this book will give you some little nuggets of information that you probably didn't know. The only complaint I have about this book is that the authors didn't go into much detail about the Stone Cold Steve Austin character. In my opinion, his character was the most important vehicle that allowed McMahon to rise from near bankruptcy and lead the WWF into it's most successful era of the late ninties. Having said that, however, I really do recommend this book. It's a good read and a quick page turner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The squared circle is exposed......., April 20 2003
By 
Kyle Tolle (Phoenix, Arizona USA) - See all my reviews
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Sex, Lies, and Headlocks is perhaps one of the most revealing narratives ever composed on the subject of professional wrestling. The authors have laid bare much material about the business that was once considered inside information and not for public consumption.
In effect, the reader is treated to a fascinating back-stage look into how Sports Entertainment emerged from humble beginnings into a corporate and television empire.
Centering around the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) dynasty is Vince McMahon, the company owner, with him being an essential focal point in the book. Virtually no stone is left unturned in the revelations of how be bought the company from his father and used, sometimes ruthlessly, whatever business tactics he needed to buy out his competition and solidify his domination in the wrestling market.
Not without its myriad problems during its rise to greatness, the WWF would absorb many situations that pushed it close to failure on several occasions. Among some incidents would be rampant steroid use by wrestlers and revealing sex scandals in the 1980s. Rebounding from this and moving into the 1990s, Vince McMahon would eventually go head to head with media mogul Ted Turner regarding their many ugly battles to ruin each other and gain domination in the cable television market.
Shifting into the late 1990s and approaching the new millennium, the WWF would finally begin its eventual rise to the top through perseverance and shrewd business dealings that have made it the sole professional wrestling powerhouse they are today.
Sex, Lies, and Headlocks is a very well written and researched book and is probably the closest look you will ever get to truly knowing and understanding the WWF's history and its secrets. For all fans of Sports Entertainment, this book is a real treat and comes highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the better wrestling books out there, Feb. 27 2003
By 
Joe Sherry (Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having read several books on professional wrestling, I've seen many different stories and perspectives of the business (and of the WWF, in particular). Most of the books I've read have been personal biographies and focused mostly on the situations regarding that particular wrestler (be it Mick Foley, Hulk Hogan, or Bobby Heenan). These books have not dealt with WWF Corporate or with Vince McMahon (except as he related to the performer). Sex, Lies, and Headlocks focuses directly on WWF Corporate and Vince McMahon himself.
The book begins by tracing the origins of the WWF. Even before Vince McMahon, Jr was born, we see his father starting his own federation and competing directly against the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). No mention is made, however, of the fact that Vincent McMahon, Sr, was on the board of the NWA and helped decide on who the NWA Champion would be. We do see McMahon, Sr, build up the WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation) and have it be a successful federation on the east coast. McMahon, Sr. wanted his son to have nothing to do with the business but Vince was persistent and eventually became a ring announcer for his father. As time went on, Vince was given his own federation to own (a smaller regional federation). By the time his father was ready to retire, Vince was prepared to buy the WWWF. He did so and renamed it the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He was able to put together a company that while it was not losing money, it was not making very much, either. It wasn't until he decided to take a huge risk in putting together a huge event on closed circuit television that Vince was able to make his company a success. That even was Wrestlemania.
If this book was only about the rise of the WWF, it would still be an interesting book....but it wouldn't be as good. This book also chronicles the rise of Ted Turner's WCW and how Vince McMahon ended up purchasing his long time rival's company. We are also introduced to the amount of steroid use that was rampant in the WWF in the 1980's (and may very well still be). I learned more about Vince's failed business ventures than I previously knew of (a professional bodybuilding federation?) and a bit more into the XFL.
This was a very interesting book and it paints Vince McMahon in a very negative light. Since this gives a very one sided look at McMahon, it should also be read in conjunction with other wrestling books to give a more rounded perspective on McMahon and the company.
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4.0 out of 5 stars No "protecting the character" here!, Feb. 4 2003
By 
Amazon Customer (North Andover, MA United States) - See all my reviews
Why is this book better than anything a "superstar" will ever write? Kurt Angle said it best in his own book when he spoke of needing to "protect the character". No superstar in his right mind will ever write objectively about his business for fear of being blacklisted.
This book, written in third person by a couple of columnists, has no such concerns. Everything you've ever heard about the WWF/E is discussed, including much of the backstory from some of the angles that you might not have known. As someone whose grown up watching the WWF for well over 20 years now, it serves as great nostalgia where I could relive the Monday Night Wars, the Montreal Incident, all the biggies.
Of course, I don't believe that Vince is fairly portrayed. I find it hard to believe that he's as nasty and unethical as the book makes him out to be. Luckily the same does not have to be said about the wrestlers -- when the authors think a wrestler got fat and lazy, they say so.
Overall this has been the most entertaining book about wrestling that I've read thus far. Be on the lookout for more such books written by outsiders, just not The Outsiders. (Ok, how many people get that reference?)
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Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment
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