Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tributes: Remembering Some of the World's Greatest Wrestlers

Author, Ghost Writer, Editor: Dave Meltzer
Publisher: Winding Stair Press
Released: 10/01

The Good
An excellent look at a handful of deceased wrestlers that are edited and somewhat shortened versions of his WON obits. This is Dave Meltzer's strong suit because he knows things, understands things and is good at explaining things. You get a number of people from the 1950s through modern times.  I would think that even the casual fan could enjoy this as I know a couple who've read it and enjoyed it.  Meltzer is great at digging up anecdotes and putting a person's legacy into a proper perspective.  An enjoyable read from pro-wrestling's preeminent journalist and critic.

The Bad
Obviously there are a few off-facts (from what I've heard, but none stood out to me). The stories are kind of condensed and some might not like that. I really can't point much fault at this, it is what is and probably the best non-autobiographical wrestling book there is.  I know a lot of people knock Dave's writing and this is much more cleaned up than the run-on sentences laded grammatical errors, but it still has that Meltzer feel.  If you do not like WON, than perhaps you might not like this.

The Rating: *****


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WWE Timeline - 1983 - Don Muraco

The Good
The "Timeline of the WWE" is a tremendous concept that if executed properly could give historians and fans some different perspective. This series could go over 25 parts, assuming they go into the current product, but it seems as though they'll probably hold off on the last decade (although I could be way off on that). Don Muraco is a solid interview with all the honesty, experience and knowledge that you'd want in a concept shoot such as this. He talks bluntly about the Jimmy Snuka "murder" incident, gives good insight to many of the stars of that time period and touches on psychology a bit. This was a great interview and you can really see the great potential in this series, although like the Guest Booker series, it still has a few problems to work out.

The Bad
Although the "Timeline" concept is excellent, this highlighted some of the potential problems. One, Don Muraco had worked for years prior to and after 1984 and so information was often skewed. Two, Muraco is a pretty honest on shoot interviews, but he was simply not an office person, so he was ignorant to much of office goings-on. Three, trying piece together a logical narrative meant heavy editing and the chopped up product felt anything but flowing.

The Rating: ***3/4