When my good friend Evan Ginzburg e-mailed me about the new book from Tim Hornbaker I have to admit I was a little intrigued. I thought it would be one of those tomes looking at the recent history of the grappling game. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
As soon as the book arrived on my doorstep I could tell that Legends of Pro Wrestling was a massive undertaking. Coming in at over 550 pages it takes a look at the men and women who made professional wrestling what it is today. And I’m not talking about Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair here.
The book is divided up into four distinct sections. It begins way back in the 19th century, to be exact, with The Pioneers Blaze a Trail. It’s here you’ll find entries about people you’ve probably never heard of before, and a few you probably know about.
Amongst the likes of Frank Gotch, George Hackenschmidt and Ed “Strangler” Lewis there are profiles on guys like Americus. His real name was August John Schoenlein, and he used the Americus name to disguise his wrestling career from his father. If he’d been around now he’d probably have just put on a mask!
This book is full of odds and sods that wrestling fans the world over probably know nothing of. From the aforementioned Pioneers period between 1850 and 1920 right through to the modern day New Legends period it’s packed with the kind of facts and feats you’d have trouble finding if you used Google.
For instance, there’s the pay-per-view won/loss records of the modern grapplers as well as their Wrestlemania records.
Despite all these plus points there are two things that may put prospective readers off.
For me this wasn’t a book I could read from cover to cover. Like any other encyclopaedia I found it easier to flick through the pages until I found something interesting.
Also, if you’re looking for the more salacious details of certain wrestler’s careers then this isn’t the book for you. You’ll find nothing about Jerry Lawler’s legal problems or Scott Hall’s regular trips to the rehab clinic. This is a book that deals with facts, not gossip.
Which is why this book is so good. It’s a must read for those who want to explore professional wrestling’s vast history, and it’s for this reason I’m giving this the big thumbs up.
With thanks to Tim Hornbaker for supplying a copy of this release. Legends of Pro Wrestling can be purchased wherever books are sold. You can also check out Tim’s website at www.legacyofwrestling.com.