So about a month ago I posted the five pro wrestling biographies I deemed the very best. Let me rephrase that: those were three biographies totally written by the wrestler themselves. And all five of them are great reads. I will, at a later date, post a top five listing of biographies that were ghostwritten. And for all the people who said to me ” Well, both of Jericho’s books had a ghostwriter!”, I say to you “You didn’t read page one.” Jericho had a COLLABORATOR in Peter Fornatale who jogged his alcoholic memory about some of the events of his wrestling career. The forewords of both books clearly state Jericho wrote the things himself. But I digress.
Now, as much as I enjoy great wrestling and great wrestling books, with the sheer volume of books that have been published since it was realized wrestling fans aren’t all inbred hillbillies, there is a fair share of bad ones. Horrible ones. Ones that are so bad that you almost have to read them to revel in their sheer awfulness. As a fan, I enjoy these. These books are almost more fun than the good ones. This list includes some wrestlers who I like and greatly admire, people who’s names I hate to besmirch. Complete disclosure requires me to. I want to reiterate, if you haven’t read my first piece on the five best, and, helpfully, its RIGHT HERE http://marianosaves.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/the-top-5-wrestling-biographies/ , over the last two years I have gone out of my way to read every wrestling biography available to me. I have been wearing out the tread on my library card.
I do want to say one thing before going headlong into this list. There is a book generally accepted as the worst wrestling biography ever written. It was a book “authored” by Diana Hart, sister of Bret and Owen and the wife and widow of the late Davey Boy Smith. I have been desperately trying to get my hands on this rag of lies, but where it was published, Canada, it has been deemed offensive, pornographic. It has been banned. Go onto Amazon and try to find it. Its like $100 a copy!! I have read excerpts of it online and it truly seems like utter trash, but I cannot make an informed opinion on it because I have not perused the full volume. So that book is left out, although it is universally panned as the worst book on wrestling ever written. I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t bring that up, regardless if you, the reader, knows just who the fuck Diana Hart-Smith is. Anyway, lets get down to the depravity! The five worst bio’s on pro wrestlers.
#5: The Rock: The Rock Says Co-Written With Joe Layden
There are two problems with this book. The first is timing. This was the second biography on a WWF/E superstar published…ever. The first was MIck Foley’s first book, which is, if you read my initial list, one of the very best. This is, sadly, not. Listen, I LOVE The Rock. I have watched his entire career. He debuted at Survivor Series 1996 as a HORRIBLE babyface, Rocky Maivia. I was sixteen at that point and had been recently turned on to the world of the internet. Moreover, at that point, I had been introduced to a community of wrestling nerds online, now referred to as the IWC (Internet Wrestling Community). I hate that term. I am far from some kid living in his parents basement ranting about a fake sport. Well, maybe not too far from that, but I still hate the connotation. Anyway, as I said, the first problem with this book is timing. It was written in 1999. Wrestling was HUGE in 1999, and The Rock was well on his way to superstardom. However, he really hadn’t done anything yet. Sure, by the end of the book he is a three time WWF Champion. His pinnacle as a wrestler, as the ultimate example of a sports entertainer (and there has been none finer) came about a year after this book was published. Sure, there are some great stories about Dwayne Johnson playing football at “The U” with Ray Lewis and Warren Sapp. There are tales of trying times in the CFL. But, really, at this point, in wrestling, The Rock had not accomplished much. He was on the cusp of greatness at the time the book was released, but not fully there.
The second problem is that half the book is written in character, and, even as a wrestling fan, for a knowledgeable reader, that is a slap in the face. The greatness that is Foley’s first book is that he writes it completely out of his character. Can you imagine Anthony Hopkins writing his memoirs in character as Hannibal Lecter? Ok, ok, that might be kind of cool, but it isn’t AUTHENTIC. That is what I generally look for in these books.
I will say this: As bad as this book on The Rock is, the man has a hell of a book on his hands now, when and if he decides to write it.
But “The Rock Says” is trash.
This book gets my vote for least impressive biography. Shawn Michaels is, without a shadow of a doubt, a wrestling legend, a demigod of sorts. His matches defy description. HBK is truly operates at a p.H.D level where some of his contemporaries struggle for their Associates degree.
But make no mistake, for as brilliant a performer that Shawn Michaels was in the 90’s and continued to be through most of the last decade, he was, for lack of a better way to put it, a tumor. A political tumor. The man, in the 90’s, was cyanide. Everything that he touched, aside from Undertaker, became diseased. Shawn Michaels was the biggest asshole in the history of the business. He was a drug addled asshole through his peak years of the 90’s: a brilliant wrestler who rubbed everyone but his buddies the wrong way. I, as a huge Bret Hart fan from those days, will admit I have a certain slant of bias that would make the constructors of the Leaning Tower of Pisa blush. Not gonna lie. Let me see, a hardass “Hitman” like Bret against a Playgirl stripper like Shawn. Where is the demographic going there?
Anyway, Shawn’s bio is 300 pages of shit. Literally. It is WWE’s rendition of HBK, which, is to say, total nonsense. Shawn, whereas in his DVD features acknowledges his drug problems, dances around them in his “tell all” book. He says the clique had no power. My ass they didn’t Listen, I have watched a lot of wrestling in my life, and nothing, NOTHING was more blatant than the Clique takeover in 1995. They came, they saw, they tried to kill Bret Hart, they torpedoed ratings.
Michaels book is just utter bullshit. For all about his rebirth within the waters and forgiveness of Jesus, he is still the same disingenuous bastard he as always been. HBK is a great performer IN RING. One of the best to ever lace the boots up. But he is the biggest phony who ever lived, and the book proves it. He admits to nothing besides the Montreal Screwjob, and,,even then, he makes himself to be the victim.
I hope that Shawn Michaels has found God. Because after reading his book, it seems like the only thing he found was the god of pussy.
3. Kurt Angle: “Its True, Its True.”
Straight up: Kurt Angle is my favorite wrestler. No question about it. Ever since Chris Benoit offed himself and his family, Kurt has been my man. Even years before that.
This book, however, was written before his pro wrestling prime.
Angle’s amateur career is impressive, no doubt. But this book was written in 2000, when Angle had yet to accomplish shit in the WWF. And the book bears that. Sure, he was most impressive in the Olympic Games. But the story of Kurt Angle is in the professional ranks. He is one of the best to ever do it. A remarkable athlete. But his book is bunk. It was written not even a year into his WWF career. If a book on Angle came out today, I am all over it. At the time this shit came out? Not even worth a look. And that is a tragedy within itself, knowing the greatness of the man.
#2. Any Book by a Hogan.
I think by this point most people know Hulk Hogan is absolutely delusional. His first biography is testament to that. Just a tome filled with lie that piles upon lies. It is a great fictional account of the man’s career. I still don’t understand why Hulk has to lie so much; his career, his place in history is settled. He is, without a doubt, the greatest wrestler who ever lived. Apparently Andre was 800 lbs and died a year after WresleMania 3. WrestleMania 3 was held in 1987, Andre died in 1993. His wife is even worse. These Hogan books actually make you feel for the man…for ten seconds, then you realize what an insecure asshole he was. And his wife? Linda? Don’t get me started. Just a fucked up to the bone family. Hogan Knows Best? No. Hogan Doesn’t Know Worst. Read these books, and realize how fucked up he Hogan family truly was. The worst of these books is Linda’s. It is pure tabloid reading. Just awful.
1. Chyna, “If They Only Knew”
My God, absolutely the worst book EVEEER on wrestling. I told myself I would not read this until the time was right. When the book happened to come out, I told myself “Its not worth it, wait.” Well, I waited. It took ten years. My God, it is simply the biggest pile of garbage I have ever picked up. Chyna apparently was a Secret Service Agent. She was FBI-worthy. She was the cream of the crop of the cream of the crop. Read her book, and be knocked down several hundred IQ points. Absolutely the worst wrestling book ever written. In once sentence she praises her trainer, Killer Kowalski, the next she condemns him. Without a doubt the worst wrestling book ever written.