The Junkyard Dog (JYD) is one of those wrestlers from the 1980s who I’m familiar with because he was part of the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling era, but not to a great degree. I was excited to check out The King of New Orleans, an Audible Original, for a couple reasons. First, I attended WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans — my first and only WrestleMania, so far — and it was a blast. And, second, because, in these racially charged times, now seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn about one of the most successful modern-day black wrestlers.
The King of New Orleans is as much a biography about Mid-South Wrestling as it is about JYD. And it does a solid job when it comes to delivering on both topics. My only complaint is that the author seemed to rely too much on reporting from Dave Meltzer — an industry outsider who is routinely lambasted by professional wrestling royalty for his inaccurate reporting and, sometimes, outright fabrication of events taking place. So, it’s often very hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. I guess that’s what makes this an entertaining book for the wrestling audience.
The King of New Orleans is a tragedy because JYD died far too young, and his star burnt out long before it should have. He was an immensely talented wrestler who reached heights that were seemingly unimaginable for the time. This book is a solid attempt at celebrating his career and reminiscing about Mid-South Wrestling. Go into with this mindset and you’ll enjoy this Audible Original.