Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “WWF”

Audible Review: The King of New Orleans

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.

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Pro Wrestling Demystified: Suspension of Disbelief

I had a great view of the action from my seat at WrestleMania XXX.

My first “Pro Wrestling Demystified” article focused on wrestling being “fake.” If you haven’t read it, do so. I’m proud to bring you the next entry in this series. Today, we’re going to take a look at suspension of disbelief — a commonly used term in professional wrestling parlance when describing the total immersion of oneself in the storyline and/or match that’s taking place.

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The Squared Circle by David Shoemaker

The Squared Circle by David Shoemaker was released in 2013, and it examines the careers of deceased professional wrestlers. Not exactly the most uplifting premise, yet the author tackles different eras, promotions, and grapplers with aplomb. Almost all of the big-name wrestlers who are no longer with us are featured in this book, including Chris Benoit, Owen Hart, Brian Pillman, and more.

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Remembering Road Warrior Animal

On September 23 I woke up and read a tweet from Hulk Hogan saying that Animal, one half of The Road Warriors, the most successful and influential tag team in wrestling history, had passed away. Considering he was only 60, I was shocked. Fans and wrestlers the world over reacted with an outpouring of respect and sadness for the loss of one of the all-time greats.

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Audible Review: Hardcore History

Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of the ECW is an excellent Audible Original. Writer Scott E. Williams has pored through records and conducted dozens of interviews with fans, company officials, business partners, and the wrestlers themselves to bring listeners the most thorough account possible of this bizarre company. As someone who has watched numerous documentaries about ECW, I learned a lot while listening to this audiobook. It provides an excellent, and sometimes detailed, overview of major events related to ECW and its various incarnations.

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Audible Review: Dusty by Dusty Rhodes

Dusty Rhodes is one of the most influential and successful professional wrestlers of all time. He was a force to be reckoned with in the NWA, WWF, and WCW, among the other wrestling promotions he’s been affiliated with. This book, Dusty, came out in 2005. Today, 15 years later, Dusty is no longer with us. In the book he talks about how his son Cody is out in Hollywood trying to be an actor. These parts made me laugh because Cody now runs and wrestles in one of the top professional wrestling promotions in the world. Considering Dusty died just 10 years after this book came out, I’m glad he took the time to write it as it would have been a shame if he hadn’t done so.

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Audible Review: More Than Just Hardcore by Terry Funk

Terry Funk is one of the most influential wrestlers of all time. With a career spanning decades, you’d think that his autobiography, More Than Just Hardcore, would be fascinating. While this Audible Original was an easy and entertaining listen, it didn’t blow my mind. There weren’t any shocking revelations, dirt on other wrestlers, or anything of that nature. What you get here is the story of a man who is content with the life he’s lived. To me, that makes for an inspiring audiobook replete with life lessons.

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The Unofficial Wrestling Figure Retrospective 1990-1994

I am a big pro wrestling fan. Growing up in the 1990s means I have fond memories of the wildly popular WWF Hasbro action figures that came out during the first few years of that decade. Crazy, over-the-top commercials promoting the wild and wacky toys, including a miniature WWF ring where my tiny titans could battle it out to become the World Wrestling Federation Champion! It was a glorious time to be a fan, and I still own my WWF Hasbro figures. When I heard that a book came out celebrating these cherished WWF Hasbro figures, I knew I had to check it out. So, is this 388-page tome of pro wrestling action figures’ glory days worth buying? Read on for my thoughts on The Unofficial Wrestling Figure Retrospective 1990-1994.

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Audible Review: The Death of WCW

I grew up watching professional wrestling in the 1990s, during the famous Monday Night War between Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) and Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling (WCW). It was an exciting time to be a fan, as I’d switch back and forth on Monday nights between WWF Monday Night Raw and WCW Monday Nitro to see what both promotions were serving up that week. Both WWF and WCW eventually created secondary prime-time shows, over-saturating the market with their content. And WCW suffered so greatly that it was bought up by Vince McMahon for far less than it was worth just a few years prior.

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Audible Review: The Hardcore Truth by Bob Holly

I grew up watching professional wrestling in the early 1990s, and I still watch it today. Throughout the 1990s and the 2000s, Bob Holly was a fixture in the WWE. His character changed from race-car-driver “Sparky Plugg,” to Hardcore Holly — a no-nonsense wrestler during the “Attitude Era,” when wrestling was more popular than ever. The Hardcore Truth is Bob Holly’s autobiography, and the audiobook version is an Audible Original. The narrator does an excellent job of delivering the content in a direct and impactful way. What I found most interesting about The Hardcore Truth is that Bob spills the beans on anyone and everyone. He dishes dirt on everyone from Triple H to Diamond Dallas Page, with no reservations. I went into this audiobook respecting Bob Holly’s work, and I left it feeling like I knew the man behind the wrestler. He’s been called a bully and tough to work with, and I can see why people might think that. Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of the WWE from the 1990s and 2000s, there’s a lot to enjoy in The Hardcore Truth. It’s a tell-all book from someone who was there for Owen Hart’s death, the Chris Benoit double-murder-suicide, and other fascinating, and sometimes grim, milestones in wrestling. It’s one of the best pro wrestling audiobooks available, and I highly recommend checking it out.

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