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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on January 17, 2004
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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on December 26, 2003
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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on January 20, 2004
Did Robert Ebert ever make a movie?
Did R.D. Reynolds or Randy Baer ever wrestle a match?
The stories about the absurd story lines which are sometime associated with professional wrestling are funny. Really, stories involving a one eyed evil midget named Cheetum and the Huckster are first rate. However, the book itself reads like a critics review of everything wrong with professional wrestling. And much like every other critic, they don't appear to have the testicular fortitude to attempt greatness, they can only attack from the safety of their computer.
They neglect the thing that makes wrestling the entertainment that it is, it is the over the top characters and the soap opera qualities that their lives portray. Sure I.R.S. was a cheesey gimick, but was it really more absurd than the Undertaker? One got over and the other didn't. The buisness of professional wrestling is a crapshoot at best. It is impossible to please everyone, even some of the time. So professional wrestling tries. And this book does little more than attack the failures.
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