Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pure Dynamite: The Price You Pay for Wrestling Stardom
Author, Ghost Writer, Editor: Tom Billington, Alison Coleman
Publisher: Stewart House
Released: 8/01 

The Good
There's not a lot more one can want from an autobiography: funny road stories, pretty good insight, dirt on all the stars and a strong finale. While you might only demand one of those, so few wrestler's autobiographies deliver 3 of the 4 that it's sad. Billington's been in Europe, Canada, Japan and the States and he gives all the details. He lightens things up with funny stories and considering his apparent meanstreak it's necessary to have those parts. Puroresu fans should enjoy this more than just about anyone's books. Most compliment this book for its unbridaled honesty and he doesn't seem to pull punches and that's more a positive in wrestling than a negative...I think.

The Bad
Bitterness can be very off-putting. Billington's hatred of Davey Boy Smith and dislike of a number of people is kind of hard to overlook as he blasts so many people. He tends to give a negative along with a slight positive (like "he was an asshole, but he was good with ribs") and his "rating" system of tough guys is questionable. Many of them seem to be his drinking buddies. If you realize those few things, you should be able to get through this just fine without too many hang-ups. 

The Rating: ****1/4


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chris Adams [RF Video Shoot Interview]

The Good
Chris Adams is personable type who carries himself well in interviews such as these.  His negative qualities are easily swept behind the guise of the "gentleman," which almost makes you understand how a cocky, violent drug addict was able to do so well for himself for such a long period of time.  He seems quite straightforward with his opinions and while he does not knock too many people, he comes across as being someone whose reflected on his past mistakes and understands the abilities he truly had.

The Bad
Chris Adams has one of the worst reputations in pro-wrestling and that is probably not because people simply hated his accent.  He has been called too stiff, too arrogant, too messed up, too everything and there is probably truth to all of it.  In this format, he is able to downplay those negatives and you don't come away with a negative picture of him.  However, he surely had a dark side.  He's unwilling to do much more than hint at or briefly talk about all the bizarre situations (his wife having an affair with Kerry Von Erich, later Brian Christopher and another wife leaving him for Steve Austin), legal problems (arrests for headbutting an airline pilot and wifebeating) and drug problems (his myriad problems with street drugs, most notably GHB, and how they took a toll on him).

The Rating: ****