What are a few of the Best Wrestling Books out there? As a lifelong fan, I have read many autobiographies within the decades (at least two dozen). I consequently decided to collect a listing of my faves from wrestlers/wrestling personalities whose novels left me feeling particularly motivated.
Rest assured. Every wrestling autobiography is full of heaps of backstage stories, real-life feuds, personal journeys, and other succulent behind-the-scenes stuff.
Strap in! It is going to be a bumpy’ ride.
- 1 Top 24 Rated Best Wrestling Books To Read
- 1.1 King of Strong Style: 1980-2014 by Shinsuke Nakamura
- 1.2 Wrestling for My Life: The Legend, the Truth, and the Faith of a WWE Superstar by Shawn Michaels
- 1.3 Yes! : My Improbable Journey into the Main Event of Wrestlemania by Daniel Bryan
- 1.4 Best Seat in the House: Your Backstage Pass Inside My WWE Journey by Justin Roberts
- 1.5 Wrestling with the Devil
- 1.6 Grappler: Memoirs of a Masked Madman by Lynn Denton and Joe Vithayathil
- 1.7 The King of New Orleans: The Way the Junkyard Dog Became Professional Wrestling’s First Black Superhero by Greg Klein
- 1.8 Ric Flair: To Be the Man by Ric Flair
- 1.9 Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood & Sweatsocks by Mick Foley
- 1.10 Death of the Territories by Tim Hornbaker
- 1.11 Is Wrestling Fixed? I Didn’t Know It Was Broken! by Bill Apter
- 1.12 Slobberknocker by Jim Ross, Paul O’Brien, Scott E. Williams
- 1.13 Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment by Shaun Assael & Mike Mooneyham
- 1.14 Wrestlers are Like Seagulls: From McMahon to McMahon by J.J. Dillon
- 1.15 A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex by Chris Jericho
- 1.16 Hitman: My Actual Life at the Cartoon World of Wrestling by Bret Hart
- 1.17 Big Gold: A Close Look at Pro Wrestling’s Most Famous Championship Belt by Dick Bourne
- 1.18 Pro Wrestling FAQ: All That is Left to Learn about the World’s Most Fascinating Spectacle by Brian Solomon
- 1.19 Wrestling for My Life: The Legend, the Truth, and the Faith of a WWE Superstar
- 1.20 The Stone Cold Truth
- 1.21 Curtain Call: How An Unscripted Goodbye Changed The Course Of Pro Wrestling
- 1.22 The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Pro Wrestling
- 1.23 Bobby The Brain: Wrestling’s Bad Boy Tells All by Bobby Heenan
Top 24 Rated Best Wrestling Books To Read
Here is a list of the best books that Pennbook recommended reading:
When you browse a wrestling publication, it is a fantastic idea to read critically and ask yourself whether the author might have an ax to grind against a different wrestler or promoter, or whenever they may be merely hoping to improve their heritage by placing themselves over.
King of Strong Style: 1980-2014 by Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura has had his ups and downs in WWE (e.g., from winning the Royal Rumble in 2018 into… being rapidly pitched by Brock Lesnar years afterward). But, there is no denying that the King of Powerful Design has experienced a phenomenal career throughout the world, producing innumerable 5-star caliber matches.
This book covers his time as an amateur grappler he climbed through the ranks to achieve the Nippon Budokan. I particularly enjoyed reading his account of the classic matches against Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar back in the afternoon. Shinsuke shares his fond memories of becoming the youngest Newest Japan Pro-Wrestling Heavyweight Champion when he won it.
Wrestling for My Life: The Legend, the Truth, and the Faith of a WWE Superstar by Shawn Michaels
Mr. WrestleMania himself is undoubtedly among the most celebrated – and contentious – characters from pro wrestling history. Thus, you can expect nothing less than heaps of hot information and behind-the-scenes play in his tell-all autobiography.
But what amazed me was Michaels’ honest sharing of those deep lows of his lifetime. This is particularly evident if he talks about the back injury that sent him to retirement (i.e., let’s not consider his current Saudi Arabia Comeback’, will we?). Additionally, I was attracted to how he turned his life around because he turned into a born-again Christian. Do not get me wrong. I am not spiritual – but this is a fascinating read yet.
Yes! : My Improbable Journey into the Main Event of Wrestlemania by Daniel Bryan
Most of us know the story of Daniel Bryan’s ascension to WrestleMania’s greatness. But, there is nothing quite like hearing it from the horse’s – or should I say, goat? – mouth.
Yes! Is the page-turning travel of the defiance against the odds. Bryan informs his underdog narrative of success, beginning with his early days as an indie wrestler before joining the WWE. On the way, you will also learn about the way his eyes are!’ MoMovementame about the real-life politics that he suffered to get to wherever he is now.
Best Seat in the House: Your Backstage Pass Inside My WWE Journey by Justin Roberts
I will be honest. I didn’t pay much attention to ring announcer Justin Roberts through his stint with the WWE. That said, studying his autobiography was quite eye-opening. He shows what life was like working for your business, racing from Point A to Z non-stop, along with also his abysmal interactions with WWE brass that could not appear to make up their heads.
By today, we know about JBL’s penchant for backstage bullying. But, learning Justin Roberts’ first-hand experiences deepened my disdain for the guy. On the flip side, Best Seat in the House also speaks about his good connections with other more likable WWE superstars.
Wrestling with the Devil
Here is the story of a former World Champion who had it all – and missing everything. A fascinating autobiography that rounds with manifestation and personal salvation. I am grateful Luger is doing much better today!
Grappler: Memoirs of a Masked Madman by Lynn Denton and Joe Vithayathil
Len Denton’s book is a beautiful road through the land times of professional wrestling, and he is not bashful about his failures. He discusses headlining Mid-South since the North American winner and functioning the Superdome from Dusty Rhodes and Andre the Giant as a young guy only in the Company for a Few years into becoming humbled in Georgia Championship Wrestling by Ole Anderson.
You will find forays through Denton’s native Texas, through Memphis, and also the beginning of his affiliation with Tony Anthony, in addition to a glance at the waning days of the Pacific Northwest land.
And among the most significant areas of the book has very little to do with wrestling. On the contrary, it’s a detailing of Denton’s friendship with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and also the way Piper handled him with dignity and respect, partnering together in business ventures and developing near the street.
The King of New Orleans: The Way the Junkyard Dog Became Professional Wrestling’s First Black Superhero by Greg Klein
The one problem with Greg Klein’s novel about Sylvester Ritter is it unintentionally marginalizes at least two critical black wrestlers who paved the way for the Junkyard Dog. Bobo Brazil was headlining Cobo Hall in Detroit long before Sylvester Ritter ever broke into the company and had, in actuality, wrestled from the first-ever racially integrated tag team game in Atlanta history. And Bearcat Wright warrants mention, indeed, as a precursor to Ritter.
In reality, Wright may have been the very first African-American world champion, beating “Classy” Freddie Blassie for the WWA world name in Los Angeles. Though the WWA domain was not known as a”real” domain, together with the NWA or AWA likes, it turned into a significant championship because of the LA media marketplace.
However, JYD is little-remembered nowadays, and if people speak with him, they talk more about his charisma than anything else that he did in the ring. However, Klein’s book details a hugely prosperous period from the Mid-South land and requires attention to the Junkyard Dog’s incredible career and life and is too much worth the read.
Ric Flair: To Be the Man by Ric Flair
The top autobiographies are confessional, along with the Nature Boy’s book fits the bill from the hop, starting with Flair sharing he’d been born an orphan and luckily embraced in the Fleihr family. From that point, the book only gets better.
Flair details his time breaking into the company at Verne Gagne’s training camp and monitoring all the Texas Outlaws, Dick Murdoch, and DustyRhodes, throughout the first portion of his career. Flair’s book is less intriguing, with Ric detailing his triumphs and his tribulations with equal rigor.
There is simultaneous pleasure and despair in Flair’s novel as the reader understands that the Nature Boy is not a gimmick. It is how Ric Flair lived his lifetime, and the series of broken connections, bankruptcies, and low business deals are merely part of the package once it comes to Ric Flair.
Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood & Sweatsocks by Mick Foley
Mrs. Foley’s baby boy wrote the best book about a wrestling career, palms down. Its insider’s perspective in the very last days of these lands (World Class, Continental, and the USWA) into WCW and finally to the WWE championship was unprecedented at the moment.
Death of the Territories by Tim Hornbaker
The departure of the Territories is the unauthorized history of Vince McMahon’s early-80s power play that changed wrestling forever. Hornbaker does a superb job construction background at the start of the publication, making Death of their Territories exceptionally engaging and available for readers that are new to wrestling background while providing the amount of detail which hardcore fans thirst for.
If you attempt to understand Vince McMahon’s real location in wrestling, tv, and American background, Death of the Territories is the best place to get started. – David Gibb
Is Wrestling Fixed? I Didn’t Know It Was Broken! by Bill Apter
Full disclosure: I am buddies with Bill Apter. But so is everyone else! Beautiful Willie is pro wrestling’s most prominent ambassador, helping millions of individuals (wrestlers, commentators, reporters, you name it) find their way from the market over the last 50 decades. His memoir does not comply with the standard autobiography style – it is full of random anecdotes about his times at Pro Wrestling Illustrated, watching Bruno Sammartino lose the WWE Championship, befriending Andy Kaufman, and a whole lot more. As entertaining as it is enlightening, Apter’s novel feels that you are sitting alongside him MOD Pizza, dividing while scarfing down the other burnt slit. – John Corrigan
Slobberknocker by Jim Ross, Paul O’Brien, Scott E. Williams
Slobberknocker has probably been the most expected wrestling memoir because Hitman, falling at the peak of this wrestling podcast trend and chronicling the journey of one of the game’s most recognizable faces and listeners, the previous half-century. The publication laid off deep dives on particular moments from the Attitude Era. Instead, it focused on J.R.’s household, his break into what’s a very closed company, along with his battle to balance both.
There is some gut-wrenching material in Slobberknocker, most especially Ross detailing his sanity in the hands of a crazy west mid-century rough man and his psychological reaction to the abrupt departure of his wife Jan, which jeopardized the conclusion of the publication itself. However, in the afternoon’s decision, it is very cool research into what is supposed to be a smart, challenging “regular guy” from the wrestling industry when regular men were not allowed. – David Gibb
Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment by Shaun Assael & Mike Mooneyham
I have read this novel probably over any other. According to his years of accolades and coverage, Mike Mooneyham is a considerable author who knows how to engage the reader through history lessons. His co-author Shaun Assael is among the first staff members in ESPN Magazine and part of their community’s Enterprise & Investigations Group. Collectively, they analyze Vince McMahon’s rags to riches travel, in addition to Ted Turner’s entrance to the wrasslin’ company, McMahon’s steroid trial, along with the Monday Night War. If you believe you’ve heard this story ad nauseam, I promise you will find something fresh in this page-turner. – John Corrigan
Wrestlers are Like Seagulls: From McMahon to McMahon by J.J. Dillon
“…All they do is eat, shit, and squawk,” Dillon once heard Vincent J. McMahon tells tales backstage at Madison Square Garden. Wrestlers are Like Seagulls is now basically a parallel story, monitoring both Dillon’s very own career as a part-time referee to wrestler, fringe territory promoter and finally, director, along with also the growth of the wrestling industry from the 1960s. When he awakened in at the peak of Bruno Sammartino, he sold both Jim Crockett Promotions into Turner when J.J. left to work for the WWF.
The book balances particular insights into situations, and celebrities Dillon had firsthand knowledge about, in addition to providing a fantastic ground-level comprehension of the way the lands worked from somebody who left their ribs in the height of their machine. – David Gibb
A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex by Chris Jericho
Taking the bard baton out of Mick Foley, Chris Jericho has also composed a set of beautiful memoirs. Understanding how much pride he takes in all his jobs, it was highly improbable that Y2J would rely upon a ghostwriter, but he surpassed all expectations with his introduction autobiography. Chronicling his trip out of training together with the Harts (kind of sort of) to moments before the century clock struck zero, Jericho enthralled us with heartwarming anecdotes. Funny pop culture references, new jargon, and never-before-told tales about Smoky Mountain Wrestling, ECW, WCW, and outside. – John Corrigan
Hitman: My Actual Life at the Cartoon World of Wrestling by Bret Hart
Bret Hart’s autobiography hits all the expected notes: he takes his increase in Calgary to the king of the wrestling world, discusses the warrior of his character model and close friend, the Dynamite Kid, into total self-destruction, details his principal occasion squabble with Shawn Michaels blow-by-blow, also dives deep to the devastation of losing his brother into an ill-conceived office accident.
Why is Hitman excellent? However, is Bret’s attempt to inform an emotionally real narrative – if your subjective one. His view within an insider-outsider (the son of a respected promoter and notable celebrity – but also a silent, artistic idealist) makes the book both engaging and tragic. – David Gibb
Big Gold: A Close Look at Pro Wrestling’s Most Famous Championship Belt by Dick Bourne
Ric Flair liked to say, “If it ain’t is not old, it is second greatest!”
Significant Gold is the most incredible deep dip into fanboy minutiae, devoting two hundred pages into the background, style, and cultural importance of the renowned tournament title belt in wrestling background. If you have ever wondered what goes into the process of producing a brand new wrestling tournament, both in terms of craftsmanship and creative, Enormous Gold is here to turn even the casual wrestling fan into a name belt devotee. – David Gibb
Pro Wrestling FAQ: All That is Left to Learn about the World’s Most Fascinating Spectacle by Brian Solomon
Brian Solomon includes “toasted champagne cocktails with Ric Flair all night in Manchester, England; hung outside in class’ Freddie Blassie’s basement while sporting his house; and after got trapped in a limousine with Vince McMahon for 3 hours and lived to tell the story.” Despite all those anecdotes, the former WWE, Raw, and SmackDown magazine editor and writer and editor hasn’t penned an autobiography. Instead, he covers pro wrestling out of its carnie roots to modern-day sports-entertainment. Solomon’s time is your definitive guide to what you have to know more about the athletes, history, and allure of this genre. – John Corrigan
Wrestling for My Life: The Legend, the Truth, and the Faith of a WWE Superstar
In one of the most significant wrestling publications of the previous five decades, WWE superstar Shawn Michaels shares his heart about his life’s highs and lows within the WWE. Included are several never-before-shared stories along with an intimate look to his livelihood in addition to tales of searching, family, and religion.
Michaels had adulation and the attention he could request with countless lovers. Still, he found something more after he became a dedicated Christian throughout his years at the WWE itWWE,d to change everything. Michaels shows what it’s like to become a person of religion in this strange world and shares insights for many people.
The Stone Cold Truth
You might not have been after the WWE through The Attitude Era (November 1997 – May 2002); however, unless you have been living under a stone, you’re familiar with its poster boy, Stone Cold Steve Austin. On a stacked roster using various talents, Austin-actual name Steve Williams-described that very age.
From The Stone Cold Truth, you understand about the man, the fantasy (the fact ), and “The Rattlesnake.” The publication highlights Austin’s fatherless Texas youth, his continuing struggles at WCW, and the twists and turns of his story-booked profession. There is also a chapter solely devoted to Austin’s own opinions and enter wrestling to top it off. More importantly, he talks about the craft of clipping in-ring promos along with his dislike for if they’re scripted, a fairly common practice by the current standards. This magnificent read also discusses his conclusion at the hands of Bischoff and WCW, and the “took his ball and went home” WWE episode in “02.” If you would like to be enthusiastic about WWE’s roots and the background of this guy who produced obscenities and turnbuckle beer-swelling trendy, then you want to purchase this publication.
Curtain Call: How An Unscripted Goodbye Changed The Course Of Pro Wrestling
Still not entirely sure just how much clout Triple H comes together with the WWE? All you need to do is get a glance at his workplace at Stamford, CT, over at WWE Headquarters to comprehend it fully. But, such was not always right for its COO, since he practically withdrew his livelihood when he chose to pay homage to his soon-to-be departing “Kliq” comrades-Kevin Nash and Scott Hall-by linking Shawn Michaels to shoot an out-of-character bow together. Curtain Call argues that the individual Madison Square Garden episode had a butterfly impact of types on WWE’s future jobs. D-Generation X’s commencement and the prevalence progression of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s personality are just two such bi-products of it.
The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Pro Wrestling
Spurning off Deadspin writer David Shoemaker’s well-received Dead Wrestler of The Week pillar, The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Pro Wrestling touches not just the importance of a number of the excellent late superstars in wrestling, but also the product’s development from its early infancy. 2014 read additionally takes fans past the intricate personalities and storylines of their preferred grapple apparent, the pure form of artwork that’s pro wrestling.
Bobby The Brain: Wrestling’s Bad Boy Tells All by Bobby Heenan
Who is the best wrestling actress of all time? A good deal of people may say, Ric Flair. Others prefer Shawn Michaels. However, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair have gone on record: Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Nobody did it. Nobody else has excelled in the manner that Heenan did.
As a wrestler, he had been an excellent vendor and bump-taker. Fantastic promo? You better believe it. He is widely considered the best director of all time; he became the best color commentator-excuse me, broadcast writer -wrestling ever noticed. And he tells his story, like you would think Heenan could: candid, funny, and always amusing.
Heenan’s first publication -that is correct, ” he wrote another person, also -is a complete must-read, by his beginning in the Midwest, to his excursions throughout the Georgia land, straight back to the AWA, then to the WWE. You will walk away, realizing any professional wrestling hall of fame should have a Bobby Heenan wing.
Read more: The 30 Greatest Pro Wrestlers of All Time
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