Friday, April 2, 2010

Missy Hyatt: First Lady of Wrestling

Author, Ghost Writer, Editor: Missy Hyatt, Charles Salzberg, Mark Goldblatt
Publisher: ECW Press
Released: 10/01 

The Good
I got this book for free, thanks to photocopying fans. If you've ever heard a shoot interview with Missy, this is basically the same thing with more details and emotion. There was more dirt, but on print it really loses her vocal charm. She seems honest, brutally so at times, and you really understand Missy's journey through wrestling. Good stories that are funny and will stick with you and you'll probably pass along (though some of the visuals are a bit eerie). Good for what is, better than what I'd expect out of valet's autobiography.

The Bad
Like I said, I got this book for free, thank goodness. It's just under 200 pages and while it's straight to the point, I can't help but feel I would've never spent much money on this book. This is kind of the polar opposite of Ted DiBiase's dirt-free book, but it often makes Missy come across as petty. I got a shoot interview of her's tacked on to another one (so it was also free) and it was probably more interesting because listening to her jokes and complaints is better than reading them. Also, I'd heard many of these things when she's been on WOL and other shows. This was like all that stuff in a book with poor editing and lacking the Missy Hyatt presentation. 

The Rating: **

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gabe's Book of ROH Secrets

The Good
Gabe Sapolsky is a well-spoken, well-educated person who can be an excellent spokesperson for pro-wrestling.  Brought into the sport through ECW, Gabe learned booking from Eddie Gilbert and Paul Heyman and rose to prominence by booking Ring of Honor (ROH) from its first show in 2002 until October of 2008.  He innovated a different brand of pro-wrestling and developed different strategies and ultimately was the brains that turned ROH into a winner.  Here, he shares how he would have finished out 2008 and what directions he might have taken the company in the following year.  Gabe literally brings a book and goes through his tricks and methodology to booking.  This is a like a spin-off of the Guest Booker series as he is largely explaining what he was planning to do, rather than take an alternative scenario and figure things out.  Therefore, this is very thoughtful, very realistic and very detailed.  I stopped following ROH month-by-month in 2006, but I'm familiar enough with the talent and style that I could follow this and recognize its quality.  This is a great lesson in indy-level booking that this series has not approached.

The Bad
If you don't really know Gabe Sapolsky, if you've never seen Ring of Honor and if you don't know the talent, this would be confusing and probably boring.  Even if you were familiar with all those, you might find this boring.  Gabe comes across as a detail-oriented fast-talker who is not as charismatic or funny as other guest bookers.  I can't fault him for the potential ignorance of the audience, but I can fault him (at least at little) for being boring.

The Rating: ***3/4

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Honky Tonk Man Shoot Interview (RF Video 2004)

The Good
The Honky Tonk Man is one of the most out-spoken pro-wrestling legends there is and he absolutely shines in shoot interviews.  He is probably classified by some as bitter, self-righteous or nuts and there might be a little truth to all of those.  Regardless of the negatives, Honky is wildly entertaining with his over-the-top opinions, hilarious comments, silly impressions all done with his signature Southern twang.  Whether he's taunting washed up wrestlers, bashing money-grabbing Bible-thumpers or explaining why various people need an ass-whippin', HTM can't not put a smile on your face.

The Bad
Honky was stuck in a shoot interview with the Iron Sheik and New Jack for several reasons: he's loud-mouthed, he's controversial, he's hilarious and he's gold behind a microphone.  While people could definitely knock him for his approach and question his opinions, which I do at times, you believe he's genuine.  Is he?  The Honky Tonk Man is a worker and if he's working Rob Feinstein, the fans that bought this or anyone who hears him, I'd not be surprised.

The Rating: ****1/4