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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Alan Wojcik Reviews Adventures In Larryland!

Courtesy of ... I forget:

His career spanned the 70’s, 80’s 90’s and he was last seen in TNA Wrestling getting his head shaved by Raven after losing a match. He wrestled in front of over 40,000 people in Shea Stadium and over 70,000 in the Tokyo Dome. He labeled himself “Wrestling’s Living Legend” in 1980 a scant six years in the business. Today he possibly deserves that title as Larry Zbyszko and ECW Press send Adventures In Larryland! (ECW Press, 192pp, $19.95 US) out into the world for all to enjoy.

With it being a short read, Zbyszko skips over the normal childhood background and delves right into how he became the protégé of then WWWF star Bruno Sammartino. That encounter got him into the world of wrestling that today’s fans will never see; the world of territorial promotions like the AWA, NWA, Championship Wrestling from Florida and Stampede Wrestling who ran their businesses like a mob family. He got a crash course in the old boys’ network and the world of Vince McMahon Sr. long before “Junior” took the reigns. What would seal Zbyszko in the annals of history as backstabber takes up five chapters that are well worth reading. With Sammartino in retirement doing TV work, they launched the feud that may never be matched in pure hatred from fans. Zbyszko takes you through the inner workings of the feud and who in the WWWF wanted it to fail.

After the feud ended and the WWWF was taken over by “Junior,” Zbyszko made stops in the AWA and Japan, before working for the now defunct World Championship Wrestling in the early 1990’s. He joined Arn Anderson in becoming “the Enforcers” and earning another nickname “the Cruncher” after the duo broke Barry Windham’s hand in a car door. You will get a backstage look at the many people who ran the promotion from Jim Herd, Kip Frye, Bill Watts and eventually Eric Bischoff who all had their good and bad traits.

There is some talk of the New World Order and “the Monday Night War” but let’s wrap by saying the book is a great read but ends too short as Zbyszko briefly mentions on the last page getting a call from TNA. Could be the “Living Legend” has another book in store for us.

Adventures in Larryland! will be available in stores, online and through the publisher www.ecwpress.com