Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Cowboy and the Cross - The Bill Watts Story: Rebellion, Wrestling and Redemption

Author, Ghost Writer, Editor: Bill Watts, Scott Williams
Publisher: ECW Press
Released: 1/06

The Good
I anticipated this book for a long time and it didn't disappoint. Bill Watts' shoot interview with RF Video is arguably the best in their history and this book is more orderly version of that. He has a colored past and delves into without coming across as bitter or proud of his bad-old-days, he is wiser. His wrestling career is very interesting because few know about his accomplishments and that he was in fact an NWA Championship caliber talent. He was very successful before getting involved in booking and promoting and he is very honest about it. He pulls no punches, but often realizes the folly of his old ways. In regards to booking, his words are unmatched. Watts carefully explains numerous decisions with an eye for detail that is baffling. Scott Williams captured his genius in a way no one, not even his own words, has before. That is the strength of this book without question.

The Bad
Many pro-wrestling books are the story of men who have climbed to the top and fallen hard before being saved. It makes sense that in their reflecting time, they (or a ghost writer) get it down and they sell it off. It is a way of testifying to god's glory because he saved them from a life of sin. Watts' book is very much one of those. It seems genuine though and he was not willing to cut that down to a degree that "most" pro-wrestling fans would like to read. While I appreciate his dedication to his faith and the deep reflection he fans will not take to that (generally speaking, of course). He is writing to an audience that enjoys a product that he is almost damning. It is a strange parallel that many of the wrestling writers partake in.

The Rating: ****1/2

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