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LOOKING AT THE NEW BOOKS SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE THIS MONTH: BATISTA, BRET HART, STAMPEDE WRESTLING, CHRIS JERICHO AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2007-10-01 12:29:21

For those who have asked, here's the breakdown of professional wrestling related book releases for this month, many of which you can purchase from our good friends at www.highspots.com.

(Already Released) Pain & Passion - Stampede Wrestling - The beyond excellent account of the life and death and legacy of Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling, this is likely one of the best books ever written about any subject in the industry.  Author Heath McCoy did an amazing amount of research and hours of interviews with every name you can think of from Bad News Allen to every generation of the Hart family you can think of.  Originally published in Canada, this updated version from ECW Press catches the reader up to the current day events, right down to the developmental signing of the Teddy Hart, Harry Smith, TJ Wilson and Nattie Neidhart, the question of why this new generation of Harts would even want in the business given the pain it's brought their family and discussion of the Benoit family tragedy.  A top notch book that deserves to be purchased by everyone reading this.

10/16 Batista Unleashed - The latest WWE published autobiography, this time on the current WWE World champion.  The early word on the book is that it's good, but that was from someone who saw it before it went through the WWE legal department.  It's expected that Batista will be doing signings and appearances to promote the book.  The book was co-written by Jeremy Roberts, who worked on the Eric Bischoff book.  Batista has an interesting story to tell since he tried to get into the business late in life, was blown off by WCW and earned his way into WWF via developmental.  He was taken under Triple H's and Ric Flair's wing and had the right look at the right time and the audience made him a main event player at Wrestlemania 21.  Still, he's never been able to sustain himself at that level due to injuries and momentum slowing, but he's still one of the top names in the company.  I'd expect WWE diehards will go out and buy it and he's one of the top names in the company right now, but he's never really connected with the audience as a top loved babyface the way John Cena has (for example), so word of mouth on the quality of lack thereof within the book will probably help or hurt it.  The blurb promoting it promises he's going to go into his indiscretions with women and even discussing becoming a grandfather, so if the content is as good as the tease, it'll go a long way.  I'm curious to see if the Booker T fight is mentioned.

10/16 Bret Hart - My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling - The long-awaited autobiography by the former WWF and WCW World champion will be released this month in Canada only.  The book, which is in excess of 500 pages and was written by Hart himself, not a ghost writer, is not expected to be released in the United States until early 2008.  The book will cover Hart's entire career including the Montreal screwjob, the passing of his brother Owen, the concussions that ended his in-ring career and Hart's miraculous recovery from a stroke.  I expect that fans will either love or hate this book because it will be Hart's series of events and memories, so those who side with his way of seeing things will love it while those who think he has an over-inflated sense of importance (not saying he does, but some feel that way) will likely be turned off.  I expect this will do monster business in Canada and it will be interesting to see if WWE tries to use promotion of the book as bait to get Hart to help them springboard the new Hart Foundation.

Benoit: Wrestling with the Horror that Destroyed a Family and Crippled a Sport -The first in what will likely be an entire sub-genre of books that capitalize on the Chris Benoit tragedy, ECW Press will feature essays from writers Greg Oliver, Steven Johnson, Irv Muchnick, and Heath McCoy about different aspects of Benoit and the tragedy including his early days in Canada, personal memories of Benoit and the role of the media in the days following the murder-suicide.  The real question to me is how much of an audience will this book (and others that follow it) have - many fans are already oversaturated by the tragedy to the point they shy away from it, so whether the general public still wants a deeper look into the issues surrounding the life and death of Chris Benoit and his family will be a major factor for this book.

10/25 Chris Jericho - A Lion's Tale - Jericho's autobiography has been compared to the first Mick Foley book by a number of people that have read advance copies.  The book will follow Jericho's journey from fan to wrestler as he trains, tours Mexico and Japan, enters ECW for his first national exposure in the United States (he had a great run there in 1996) and his run in WCW.  The book ends with Jericho entering the WWF, paving the way for a second book down the line if this one is successful.  For those looking for a book about the love of professional wrestling after the last few months, this is probably the one for you.

Again, many of these titles you can purchase from our good friends at www.highspots.com.

 

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