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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive!
First off, I have never visited the Wrestlecrap Website. That said, when I heard about the premise of this book, I was expecting a slightly amusing look at bad gimmicks like "The Red Rooster." I was surprised to find that this book gave more than lists and photos of outrageously horrid characters. "Wrestlecrap" is so much more. This book ponders the thought process of the...
Published on Jan. 16 2004 by K. Brown

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An honest review
First of all, I am a big fan of Reynolds's web site. For the record, Reynolds each week features examples of "wrestlecrap," i.e. story lines and gimmicks from the world of professional wrestling that seem particularly lame. (For example, a guy whose gimmick is that he's a wrestling plumber qualifies as wrestlecrap.) The Wrestlecrap site has a large, devoted following,...
Published on Jan. 17 2004 by Tony Conigliaro


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An honest review, Jan. 17 2004
By 
This review is from: WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling (Paperback)
First of all, I am a big fan of Reynolds's web site. For the record, Reynolds each week features examples of "wrestlecrap," i.e. story lines and gimmicks from the world of professional wrestling that seem particularly lame. (For example, a guy whose gimmick is that he's a wrestling plumber qualifies as wrestlecrap.) The Wrestlecrap site has a large, devoted following, due in part to Reynolds's peerless knowledge of the sport, but mostly to his wicked, dead-on sense of humor.
Numerous times on his site, Reynolds promised that the book would NOT simply consist of rehashed examples from his web site. Unfortunately, that's exactly what at least 95% of this book is.
A true fan of the site will recognize almost all the material here. Compounding the problem is that Reynolds's trademark wit is absent. Except for a few bright spots, he seems to be holding himself back, adopting a lamer, more "proper" writing style than the funnier, freer one found on his site. So not only is the reader presented with old material, but it's not even presented in as amusing a fashion as it has been before.
Also, the "exposé" material promised by Reynolds on the site is rather weak. His account of the fall of the WCW is accounted more thoroughly and better elsewhere - Shaun Assael's solid yet unspectacular "Sex, Lies, and Headlocks" is one such example.
I am a Reynolds fan, and I wanted to like this book. For the reasons given above - which, I believe, anyone will recognize upon an open-minded reading of the book - I could not. If you're not a fan of wrestling, you probably don't care about the myriad ridiculous wrestling angles from throughout the years. If you are a fan of the site, skip it entirely. You've seen it all before, only better.
This leaves the wrestling fan who is not familiar with the site. This might actually be a good book for such a reader. It's sure to conjure up some hilarious moments that you forgot about long ago. There is, after all, a rich history of material to work with here. For everyone else, I would recommend a pass. Reynolds certainly has it in him to crank out an excellent book. This one just isn't it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive!, Jan. 16 2004
By 
K. Brown "El Rudo Lucky Pierre!" (Walnut, Ca USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling (Paperback)
First off, I have never visited the Wrestlecrap Website. That said, when I heard about the premise of this book, I was expecting a slightly amusing look at bad gimmicks like "The Red Rooster." I was surprised to find that this book gave more than lists and photos of outrageously horrid characters. "Wrestlecrap" is so much more. This book ponders the thought process of the higher-ups in WCW and WWF. It describes gimmicks that were created for personal satisfaction rather than business savvy, gimmicks that were created out of desperation rather than creativity, and bad gimmicks that the promoters honestly thought were brilliant. Best of all, I found this book to be more than just slightly amusing; this book is hysterical!
Wrestlecrap primarily focuses from the mid 1980s to the present, when Vince McMahon Jr gave pro wrestling a brand new paint job, and how folks like WCW's Jim Herd tried to "outcamp" the WWF with disastrous results. While I've read countless articles presenting icons like McMahon as everything from innovative to cutthroat to no-nonsense maverick, it's not very often you get to read a detailed report on the many blunders that go on amidst the successes, in the ring and behind the dressing room curtain. Yes, we know multiple Doink the Clowns were lame, how embarrassing the fake Razor Ramon & Diesel was, or how we cringed at WCW's "Wonderful World of Oz." But Wrestlecrap goes into great detail about the geniuses who dreamed these angles up, why they expected them to work, why they didn't work. We read about backstage politics, and how some promoters created bad gimmicks specifically to make the wrestlers they disliked personally look bad. The author is also humble enough to point out a gimmick that, considering how way-out it was, should have failed, but instead became one of the most successful pro wrestling personas of all time: The Undertaker.
Early on in the book, Reynolds and Baer appropriately take the heat off the wrestlers for performing these gimmicks, since they are performing a job at the booker's request.
The point of wrestlers following the orders of the promoters is driven home in the book's forward, which is written by John "Earthquake" Tenta. Tenta was a Sumo and legit tough guy long before he became Earthquake. Even with that reputation, he did not hesitate, when asked, to dress up like "The Shark" or as Golga of The Oddities (confession time---I think we all have at least one "Wrestlecrap Guilty Pleasure"...mine is The Oddities!). In a business where big egos and dressing room hissyfits can make headaches for promoters, Tenta is a breath of fresh air. He stresses that wrestlers have to make do with the personas given them, and give it their best shot, and that for every "Stone Cold" Steve Austin created, there are a hundred "Sharks." He is able to laugh at the bad gimmicks he did, as well as laugh at himself. John Tenta, despite being a Sumo, obviously never thought that the wrestling business was "beneath him" unlike many folks in the biz. For this, I take my hat off and salute John Tenta.
This book is a shockingly wonderful book, and highly recommended for anyone who wants to see the rationale behind bad decisons!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT'S THE CRAPPIEST AND THATS A GOOD THING, Nov. 11 2003
By 
Jamey Patten "The JAP" (endicott, new york United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling (Paperback)
I'm not sure if the other reviewers are trying to be funny but if your a true wrestling fan then you need to buy this book. If it is anything like the website ([...]) then this book will be just amazing. I can hardly wait for his next book which is about the fall of WCW. Buy this book as soon as it comes out. You wont regret it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this supposed to be a joke?, Nov. 11 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling (Paperback)
These so-called authors must be mad! They forget that TRUE wrestling fans know all about this sports-entertainment. That's because REAL fans read Capt. Lou Albano's Idiot's Guide to Pro Wrestling. Sorry RD but's it's hard to buy into a book by someone who doesn't even know the Rock's real name (Rocky Melvin for those of us in the know). Come on, the authors would have us believe that the Gooker did not thrill and entertain us all with his dance moves. Who could forget that the Gooker had a great WCW tag-team title-run with the Shockmaster? The authors of this book...That's who! Shame on you! If you have extra money in your pocket save it for former WWE wrestler Chyna's rap cd...Don't waste it on this!
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3.0 out of 5 stars the crap about wresltecrap, March 5 2004
By 
R. Howell "boriskhan" (Medford, OR) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling (Paperback)
This book had promise but ended up with a mediocre delivery. There was some entertaining moments for remembrance of ridiculous gimmicks but overall, it began falling flat about half way through. Reynolds dwells upon Hulk Hogan's movies rather than on actual wrestling for a lengthy chapter. Now I know Hogan's movies are unbelievable crap but I didn't really need Reynolds to rehash and summarize every one of the movies. He also rants about the Monday Night wars and the nWo at length after promising he wasn't presenting this book to look at the mainstream stars and stories.
While the book was certainly readable, I was expecting something a bit different, maybe more coverage on the lame ass gimmicks he began talking about. There was more to Scott Hall than the nWo afterall (he did portray a gator wrangler). The further the book went, the more Reynolds talked about the big stars.
Overall, the book is entertaining to some degree and a wrestling fan will enjoy it. I expected more focus on the could-a-been gimmick-wrestlers and stories rather than the superstars and major storylines. Maybe some of the dumbass gimmicks the stars used to be (Blue Blazer, Starship Coyote, Big Bully Busick, Planet Stasiak, Raven's Nest, the Skyscrapers, Powers of Pain, etc.). I certainly could have done without the movie review chapter and the author's venting of his despisal of the nWo and the McMahons.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ReviewCrap, Dec 30 2003
By 
Tommy G. (Fayetteville, AR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling (Paperback)
I will just pass up making any comments (save this one) on the immature person(s) who are working-intentionally or not-to make pro wrestling fans live up to the mainstream's image of us.
Moving on, I'd like to address the book's legitimate detractor from Cape Town. For one, no this book is not a surprise as its publishing was announced months before your review and because RD has always said he'd be willing to write a WC book given a publisher that was also willing. Secondly, of the three persons you list as "legends", only one of them falls into that category, assuming you're using the context of the word that I and most fans are thinking of. While Flair and Hart may have their negatives outside the ring, in the ring they are icons of what wrestling can and should be. In your remarks it is you who come off as the "smark." I won't even go into your "lies" comparison with Bush and Blair (anyone with a set of ears and brain to process the info can hear and understand what they said prior to the war, but that's a discussion for another place). I'd love to see some example of RD's lies.
As for claiming the book is a cash-in on the wrestling boom, well...that boom ended a few years ago. And have you ever read the Idiot's Guide? It is the true book to avoid, unless you want something to read for S&G.
Even if you don't buy this book, which I do reccomend that you do, then at least check out the website.
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3.0 out of 5 stars a bit disappointing, but good first effort, Dec 30 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling (Paperback)
Let me start by saying that I am a major fan of the wrestlecrap website, and RD is a hilarious guy. But, I must admit I was a bit dissapointed by his book. First of all, on the website when a crappy gimmick is dissected we are treated to images, video, and soundbites that enhance the craptastic experience. Reading a description of Mantaur isn't nearly as funny as seeing a grown man dressed like a cow-beast try to wrestle. Maybe I've been spoiled, but a description of this ridiculousness in words just doesn't drive the point across as powerfully.
Also, much of the book is just descriptions of what we've seen from WWF and WCW without really ripping into them too much. RD is a very funny man, I just wished he'd gone off a bit more, he seemed to be reporting rather than offering commentary on what happened. I know he has strong, funny opinions about this, there's no need to just regurgitate what's already happened. Ridicule and mock it for all it's worth! Give me heel color commentary!
I also wish he had delved more into the twisted psychology behind some of the more blatantly rascist, stereotypical, xenophibic, or homoerotic concepts behind these failed gimmicks. Wrestling is largely ignored by mainstream media, so they are often let off the hook for these transgressions. I wish RD had expounded on this a bit more and taken them to task. Is this the work of narrow-minded bookers or is this what fans demand? How does THAT reflect on all of us?
All in all though it was a fun quick, read, but lacks the punch of the website. A great first effort for Mr. Reynolds, I look forward to his next book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity., Dec 26 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling (Paperback)
Anyone who has visited the Wreslecrap website and is expecting more of the same will probably be disappointed with this book. While it does cover a lot of the silly angles and gimmicks over the years, most of them are only given a cursory glance, and there are many others that are completely overlooked. Instead, the author(s) seem more interested in presenting their halfassed wrestling history of the past 20 years, liberally colored with their own "smark" predjudices (you know what I'm talking about - Hogan, Nash, and Triple H are the devil, Ric Flair is a god, Stephanie McMahon should be burned at the stake, etc.)
For example, in one chapter the author blames Kevin Nash for nearly destroying the WWF due to his title run in the mid-90s, but two chapters later he's running down all of the lame gimmicks the WWF tried to pass off on the wrestling audience during the same time, which had a FAR greater effect on the poor wrestling business of the mid 90s than the guy who held the big belt for barely a year.
There's an entire book that could be written about all of the bad gimmicks WCW threw out there in their last two years, but most of these are glossed over in an attempt to recap the Nitro/Raw war (which most people who would be interested in this book are already very famililar with). Basically, they should've stuck with the "wrestlecrap" and left out the pseudo-insider commmentating completely.
Another gripe I had was despite the authors' attempt at historical perspective, they managed to get several dates wrong and juxtapoose events... for example, "Santa with Muscles" came out over two years after the TV series "Thunder in Paradise" began, contrary to what the book claims.
This book would be a keeper had the author attempted to get interviews with those involved with "wrestlecrap" over the years. But aside from John Tenta, there's virtually no opinion from the wrestlers themselves.
Oh, and I counted at least four variations of "an enemy most vile" - time to invest in a thesaurus, I believe.
Between the errors and the emphasis on "history" over simply describing lame angles and gimmicks, I cannot recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly crappy review..., Dec 15 2003
By 
Sean Walsh (METHUEN, MA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling (Paperback)
As a long-time fan of wrestling, I've seen my share of crap. (I was at the Providence Civic Center when the Undertaker "rose from the dead" at the Royal Rumble '94, and actually know one of the guys who lifted him - actually, Marty Jannetty - up to the rafters - it's my "sixth degree" of Wrestlecrap, if you wiiiiill). Wrestlecrap.com brought all that nonsense together for me onto the World Wide Web so that, in between insulting people with a fake online identity on message boards and downloading porn (God bless America, BTW), I could marvel and gawk at it and wonder just why the F I was ever a wrestling fan. And now WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling merely transfers that crap onto the printed page.
So now I can finally say that on the shelf where I keep the Holy Bible, Alan Moore's Watchmen and "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" (just for reference purposes!!!!), I have a book that features (amongst many luminaries) Doink the Clown, El Gigante, Kwang, GI Bro and Kevin Nash. And worry not, true believers, the tall tales of folks like Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, Bret Hart and Bruno Sammartino are NOWHERE to be found within the confines of this book. Because this finely crafted creation of R.D. Reynolds and Randy Baer is pure absolute........crap.
And that, folks, is the point. :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reader from Hillsdale is right, Dec 5 2003
By 
Jeffrey C. Zoerner (Madison, WI) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling (Paperback)
This book is a well-written tribute to the (alleged) worst in wrestling. The author, R.D. Reynolds, is a masterful comic writer who obviously loves the sport. It is a must-read for any longstanding wrestling fan.
That being said, the review written by the reader from Hillsdale, NY is right on the mark when he (or she) points out that much of what Reynolds presents as "wrestlecrap" in fact represents the most endearing and exciting chapters in pro wrestling history. For example, for Reynolds to state so brazenly that wrestlers such as Kamala, King Kong Bundy, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Mario Mancini lacked "legitimate wrestling skills" is simply absurd. Duggan, for example (real name Terry Funk) was a silver medalist in the heavyweight Greco-Roman style competition in the 1968 Olympics. This is somehow not "legitimate"? And the exposé on Abram Leibowitz (better known as Stone Cold Steve Austin) left me shaking my head - why must Reynolds focus so obsessively on Austin's 2-year losing streak in the short-lived NAACP?
To claim that wrestlers such as the Iron Sheik, Saba Simba, Roddy Piper, Outback Jack, and Killer Khan were offensive caricatures misses one essential point: these wrestlers were actually from the countries they claimed (Poland, Brazil, Ireland, New Zealand, and Norway, respectively)! It doesn't seem fair to include these men in the same "wrestlecrap" category as Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle. The same goes for Reynolds's disdain for the days when every WWF wrestler represented another profession. In real life, Sparky Plugg really was a mechanic, Mike Rotundo really had been a meat inspector, and Wendy Richter really did own a construction company. So why shouldn't the WWF have revealed as much?
And does it really matter that the Von Erich family name was really Lesnar? That Brian Pillman was killed by an ice cream truck? That Hulk Hogan and Bertha Faye were only married for three weeks? That Lou Thesz perjured himself at the McMahon steroid trial? That Andy Kaufmann and Jerry Lawler co-owned a pizzeria in Bloomington, IL? That a Nobel Peace Prize winner (Terry Gordy) became a wrestling announcer? That former NWA champion Shawn Stasiak was convicted as an accomplice in the Oklahoma bombing? None of this is true "wrestlecrap," but rather part of the rich history of the sport that has attracted so many millions of fans over the years.
I rate this book highly because of its great entertainment and nostalgia value. It's just that the book's perspective doesn't always make sense. (For example, I wonder why Owen Hart's tragic suicide was portrayed in the same lighthearted vein as was the steel cage match between Nailz and Jim Crockett at Wrestlemania XXIV in 1993.) However, any true wrestling fan will probably read this book in a single sitting. Despite its flaws, this book really is a minor masterpiece.
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