Yep - but, I'd never heard of Billy Graham, I have to say, his book is brilliantly written. And its an absolute revelation as to how it was way back when - poor pay, long hours travel, drugs to sleep, drugs to stay awake, pain killers, small crowds, wrestling grizzley bears, wrestling blokes who were either racists or total bigots, the lucky breaks, the difference in the different crowds, how it'd kill the sport if a bad guy was caught hanging out with a good guy or travelling with him, how if you were a bad guy you'd earn crap money and often return to find your car smashed in, the constant threat of people jumping the rail to try and stab the bad guy, the WWF steroids scandal etc., how he had no idea about what the drugs were doing to him and the subsequent liver transplant from a 25 year old who lost her life - people full on took wrestling for real back then.
It is truly a phenomonal read, even if you don't like wrestling whatsoever. Flair's book is interesting as well working for both WCW, WWF, being screwed over, great lifestyle, poor lifestyle, family issues, drugs, alcohol, long travel, colourful characters but I reckon Billy Graham's is unreal. I've got a few books on my Amazon wishlist that I plan to order when my credit card statement is completed around the 14th of this month
I haven't read a book in years, but those two books captivated me completely with the cover ups, the glamour, the history, the evolution, and the difficulties involved with it. I also read the Death of the WCW which is a great read and covers why WCW fell apart, but those two books in particular are really personal and there's parts of Billy Graham's book where you almost find yourself in tears at the various tragedies.
yeah, i suppose i can agree. I used to be the biggest wrestling freak when i was a kid, junkyard dog, jimmy snuka, ultimate warrior etc. now it's just a complete joke. the characters have no charisma these days. One of the things that really turned me off of it is the fact most of the lower ranked Federations such as NWA AWA and the sort, were/are funded and run by white supremecy groups. I went to watch a Motivational speaker a few years ago, he was a reformed KKK Grand Dragon, who had previously run a large chunk of the wrestling business in the states and told his story of the business. It left me with a bad taste toward wrestling.
Hey Iafeta you should have a crack at Mick Foley/Manking/Dude Love/Cactus Jack's Autobiography. It is a great read, you wouldn't believe how smart and articulate the man is, its called Have a nice day.
He alos wrote a sequal which is alot funnier, Foley is good, he has so many great storys, real unbelievable stuff.
I saw a movie about wrestlers the other week. He's a dedicated family man (Mick Foley that is). And you could see the toll the wrestling was taking on his family.
They also showed Jake the Snake....remember him? He's still wrestling but is basically a junky now and has put on alot of wieght but still wrestles in matches in malls after they have shut. Koko beware is another on this circuit.
Yep, thats Beyond the Mat I think RS. That's an awesome doco. Jake the Snake was an awesome character who I personally believed has been troubled by his upbringing with his old man being a right royal bigot. Koko was another talented wrestler who just never had the star quality I guess, his parrot, Frankie died in a house fire not long ago... Frankie rocked. So did Damien, Jake's snake.
2black, I think thats systematic to southern USA in the 60's/70s and even into the 80s. While it was becoming less and less PC to be racist, there was obviously still a fair bit of it going on. Ric Flair speaks about travelling between towns with wrestling legends who at one stage jump out of their car to push a black man off a bridge into a river purely because he was black. I was unaware the NWA and AWA (although thinking about it I can't recall any black wrestlers at the top of the AWA - it was usually blond males like Nick Bockwinkel) were funded by white supremacy groups, I thought Verne Gagne was probably on the up and up, and the NWA was basically several different territorial promotions under the one umbrella so to speak. Its funny, in Death of WCW they talk about Bill Watts booking WCW and how he had a racist storyline about to come to fruition of two black guys in chains being led to the ring by a smoke plantation manager - would have been sick. But then you contrast that with the fact that he helped bring Junkyard Dog to the top of the charts, and at that stage, they were pushing Ron Simmons who'd later become known as Farooq.
JonB, will have a look out for it. It sounds really good. I've heard big reviews on it. I've read the Rock's book, and Goldberg's book, which are both massive, massive, massive disappointments. I've got on my amazon list to get One Fall which is a fictional wrestling book that goes into the conspiracies and politics of the real world, and Tributes 1 and Tributes 2 which as the total say provides tributes to deceased wrestlers.
Mr Perfect - heart failure? drug overdose? - AWA, WWF, WCW
Andre the Giant - giantism - NJPW, WWF
Ravishing Rick Rude - heart failure - WCCW, WWF, WCW
Dino Bravo - murdered - WWF
Earthquake - bladder cancer, a couple of days ago :-( - WWF, WCW
Kerry Von Erich - suicide (Mike, Chris and David also IIRC) - WCCW, WWF
Junkyard Dog - car crash - MSW, WWF
Big Boss Man - heart failure I think..? - WWF, WCW
Miss Elizabeth - O.D - CWA, WWF, WCW
Road Warrior Hawk - heart failure? - NJPW, WWF, WCW
Davey Boy Smith - OD - Calgary Stampede, WWF, WCW
Owen Hart - fell from the ceiling into the ring - Calgary Stampede, WWF
Bruiser Brody - murdered by Invader 1 backstage in Puerto Rico over a booking dispute - territorial superstar notably for AJPW and the AWA
Adorable Adrian Adonis - car crash - WWF
Bam Bam Terry Gordy - not sure..? - WCW, WWF
Dirty Dick Murdoch - heart attack? - WCCW, SWCW
Big John Studd - cancer - WWF
Hercules - ? - WWF
Chris Adams - murdered - WCCW
Jerry Blackwell - pneumonia - AWA
Art Barr - heart attack - down in Me-hi-co, Eddy Guerrero's first tag team partner
That's some of them.. I'm sure there's more. Many heart attacks, accidents, suicides..
Alot of the heart failures are possibly steriod related, though in the 90's the WWF started testing for steriods.
The ultimate warriors known in wrestling circles as the anabolic warrior didn't even bother taking the test, he just quit.....
To this day the WWF/E claims to be steriod free (yeah right)
I thought Ultimate Warrior got fired as a scapegoat to the steroid smuggling case?
I know Scott Steiner or "Big Poppa Pump" used to feign injuries and no show shows where there would be drug inspections.
Still, despite that, there's a phenomonal amount of wrestlers who either commit suicide, are murdered, have an accident, or die of general drugs unrelated causes. Drugs obviously play a large role in the early deaths in wrestling for sure, but there's a lot of tragedies out there. I mean the Owen Hart fall alone was a massive tragedy, but then quickly after to lose Curt Hennig, Big Boss Man and Ravishing Rick Rude is short succession was quite unreal really. Even Miss Elizabeth, she never really got in the ring except for one quick match in her career, and its a drug OD? She was supposedly clean, but took something to help her sleep one night, mixed it with wine and that was all she wrote. Such a beautiful lady, taken so quickly. I had a massive crush on her when I was younger!!!
I heard a different story, you are probaly correct though.
I really felt sorry for Owne Hart, I used to hate him as kid, in a sense that he was one of wrestlings best ever bad guys.
Some guys get booed because they are bad actors Owen got yelled at because everyone was inspired to hate him.
Also mentioning Owen Hart reminds me of one of the storys in Micks book is Owen getting knocked out by a bag of popcorn..... brillaint stuff.