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Friday, February 20, 2009

Alan Wojcik Review: Wrestling's Greatest Moment Book

--Alan Wojcik

If your my age (34 thank you very much) that means you grew up following wrestling in the 1980's. You remember the initial Starrcade and WrestleMania or the birth of the Hulkamania phenomenon. Author Mike Rickard lived through that decade and the 70's plus 90's as well. After contributing to wrestling sites like World Wrestling Insanity and publications like Pro Wrestling Illustrated, he wrote WRESTLING'S GREATEST MOMENTS (ECW Press, $19.95 US, 222pp.) to share his views with fellow wrestling fans.

Mr. Rickard has culled the best and infamous moments of the last thirty years for this book and he leaves no major story untold. The chapters are broken down into: The Greatest Moments (he lists 10 of the biggest), the Supercards, The Territories (1977-83), Television, The Rock & Wrestling Era (1984-89), The Matches, The Beatdowns, The Turns, We Can't Have Anything Nice Around Here (Celebrations Gone Wrong), The Industry Staggers (1990-94), The Pier Six Brawls, The Monday Night Wars (1995-2001), He's Not Supposed To Be Here and Contemporary (2001-Present.) Let's all take a breather and acknowledge the fact Mr. Rickard took his time working on this entertaining and informative book. Great now let's talk about it, like his top 10 of the biggest moments. While I agree with some of them and I will not give them away here, I will give some I felt should have been in there. Namely how the WWF went into established territories and stole their best stars, which lead to WrestleMania even being thought of. Also how cable television and pirating signals made World Class Championship Wrestling (Fritz Von Erich's Dallas promotion) an international name and how he failed to capitalize on it or the Montreal Screwjob which is mentioned on the book jacket but nowhere in the book.

Some of that is covered in the book which is well researched but not that much since he made Triple H vs. Batista the main event of WrestleMania XX (it was the next year's show). I do appreciate how he went out of his way to show fans that WWF and NWA/WCW weren't the only promotions in the 80's & 90's by putting over angles and wrestlers from the Pacific Northwest promotions, WCCW, ECW, Mid-South (putting over Bill Watts and his stars), Memphis (Jerry Jarrett & Lawler home of Andy Kaufman's great ring career) and Championship Wrestling from Florida (home of the infamous night Santa Claus was nearly killed by fans). Thanks to the final chapter Ring of Honor and TNA Wrestling get some mention but its the trip back into the late 70's and the 80's that make this book worth checking out. For more on the author and other titles log onto www.ecwpress.com