Wrestling is a great sport and it has been one of the most basic ones from the starting itself. There are a number of types of wrestling where some have been around for a long time while some are relatively modern. And the most important thing to remember about this sport is that it isn’t just a choice but a discipline.
It seems like it is pretty easy as we watch it from outside the ring or from our television sets but it needs more than just some practice. In order to be good at it, a person needs strength-building rather than just a simple wrestling practice. A person needs a certain technique and a flair to remain in the run for a long period of time in wrestling because it only depends on a person’s skills and sheer will.
Since the introduction of WWE to our entertainment units, we have been quite stuck into it and that’s where the fandom of wrestling started for most people. But for the people who love to read, this sport isn’t just limited to watching what’s happening. It is more about knowing its details and certain lifestyle choices of the players in it.
For such readers, there are books that discuss wrestling on a pretty professional as well as some at a very amateur level and you might need to know the right books to read otherwise you might lose your way. There are some books that discuss the basic rules and technique of this sport while some are there as autobiographies to famous wrestlers explaining what brought them to the top. Here is a list of such books for anyone who wishes to gain knowledge on the subject.
12 Best Wrestling Books for a Dedicated Reader
#1. “Playboy” My Life in Wrestling
This book is written by Gary Hart. It is a book that has been the base of a lot of books published out there it stages some important information from inside the ring and does the best it can to help us experience the sport. Because one thing that we must understand is the fact that Gary Hart’s first-hand knowledge of wrestling is pretty much the best thing we can get our hands-on.
The book is a memoir of Gary Hart’s carrier through every thick and thin although it was published after he left the business it is still huge for wrestling fans. The accounts he has included in this book are what we should actually appreciate as there are rarely any other books to discuss the plane crash that killed “the king” or how Buddy Colt, Hart, and Steve Austin were injured heavily. The book actually deserves to be on the top of this list.
#2. Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks
This book is written by Mick Foley. The book carries the insider perspective of the author and he takes us through almost all the pit stops of being a successful wrestler. He starts by covering the practice and dedication and works his way up to all events that one had to go through like regionals, continentals, world-class, and whatnot.
Foley’s triumph is better to be set in Japan as he was named the king of Deathmatch in there. He even takes us through the story where he lost his ear in a wrestling match in which he had to fight Vader. He also takes us to the story of how he lost his front teeth although it didn’t happen in a match. The way he has penned each and every detail in this book is just marvelous.
#3. A Lions Tale: Around the World in Spandex
This book is written by Chris Jericho. And as we all know Jericho is a legend and he actually deserves the title of a Lion as evident by the title of this book. It is a complete treat for the fans of Jericho and follows his career all the way from Winnipeg to his work in WWE and WCW. It isn’t a joke to accommodate all this information with the right details while still keeping the fans engaged.
He discusses the smallest details in this memoir where he even tells us the frustrations he had to go through as a wrestler and the disappointments that got him down while working in WCW as a mid-card. There are three more volumes of these books but obviously this is the first one and the best of the four. I think the book will turn out to be quite helpful in getting the reader interested in wrestling even more there he/she initially was.
#4. Bobby the Brain: Wrestling’s Bad Boy tells all
This book is written by Bobby Heenan. And the book shows the evolution as well as the excellence of Heenan. Nobody ever did it better than “the Brain” himself. The skills and strategies of this guy were remarkable and his fighting style was absolutely stunning. He is included in the category of one of the best wrestlers of all time but it doesn’t just stop there. He is even considered the best manager of all time.
After his career as a manager, he became one of the most loved broadcast journalists for wrestling that we have ever seen. As a commentator, he is bound to be entertaining and that’s why his book rocks as he is exactly as entertaining and humorous as we thought he would be. The way he puts forward his story in the book is absolutely lovely and reading through it will definitely leave you falling for “The Brain”.
This book is written by Lou Thesz and Kit Bauman. And is the story of Thesz, who was amongst the very few wrestlers to have broken Kayfabe. Hooker was the most respected guy in the industry in his time. He was a world champion at heart with six NWAs which was simply what a lot of wrestlers look up to. He wasn’t really liked so much but still, the respect he got was something people can’t even dream of.
He was a legitimate wrestler with skills beyond anyone’s reach. He was most skillful at ‘hooking’ his opponent which is how he became the Hooker. He never used to fool around and rather took wrestling quite too seriously. He was one of the wrestlers who weren’t so happy about the commercialization of wrestling and rather liked the originality of it. Even though the show-biz transformation of wrestling didn’t speak to him much, he still gave up the best performance for his audience and is an undoubted legend in the industry.
#6. Ric Flair: To Be the Man
This book is written by Ric Flair. And as I remember, everyone shed a tear when he retired. Even I cried a little when he was going but who am I to talk about crying when the great Undertaker himself shed tears on stage at his retirement from WWE. Ric Flair was a man who was loved by many and the Nature Boy’s legendary tales are no secret to our fans. He was a pure charmer and a skillful wrestler.
The book takes into account a lot of details about Flair, like the fact that he was born an orphan and he was fortunate enough to be adopted by a family who gave them his name as it is today. Through the medium of this book, Flair discusses his entry into the industry through the training camp of Verne Gagne and how he made up to the place he is today. Flair had some real flair and so does this book. This book will make you emotional if you have ever been a fan of Flair and pretty inspirational to witness his attitude towards the most saddening difficulties in life.
#7. The Last Outlaw
This book is written by Scott Teal and Stan Hansen. And it talks about Stan as the huge foreign star in Japanese wrestling. He used to use the King’s Road fighting style which concentrates less on strategies and skills and more on toughness and strength. He used to hit hard and show his real strength as opposed to showing off. Although this book doesn’t have many stories that a fan mightn’t have heard of but it is still a good read.
The best thing about this book is that Stan puts in even the most controversial information without worrying about his image like the AWA world title controversy. He even talks about the time he got to be in a tag team with Bruiser Brody and many other stories with absolute content for the reader. The quantity of content in this book is a bit less but the quality of it is commendable. His union with Giant Baba was something that might make you like this book a lot.
#8. The King of New Orleans: How the Junkyard Dog Became Professional
This book is written by Greg Klein. And the author talks about Sylvester Ritter in a book of absolute brilliance. Although I think it somehow unintentionally sidelines two of the most major black wrestlers in history who made the Junkyard Dog possible. I guess Bobo Brazil and Bear Wright deserved a mention in this book.
The book is worth a read because of the raw charisma of Klein and the skills he portrayed throughout his wrestling career. The book carries accounts and incidents from his career since the very start and wins the heart of pretty much every reader. If you are a fan of Greg Klein then this book might be the best thing you’ll read about him.
#9. Hitman: My Real Life in Cartoon World of Wrestling
This book is written by Bret Hart. And the way he takes on the world of wrestling in his book is simply marvelous. The way he has put forward his views is something really admirable and I would recommend every reader to check this book out at least once as it won’t disappoint you. The only thing that you need to know is that Hart takes himself just too seriously so it might seem a little too much at times.
Although it somehow seems like the book is for satisfying Hart’s ego and it feels a lot like he is far too concerned if people will remember his name in the history of wrestling or not. He had a career in wrestling that lasted more than two decades which is something note-worthy which is why we can cut him some slack with being too egoistic as it may be an after-effect. But the book puts forward some great records from his career and it is somewhat interesting which is why I think it is a great idea to check it out.
#10. Grappler: Memoirs of a Masked Madman
This book is written by Joe Vithayathil and Lynn Denton. The best thing to know about this book is the fact that Lynn actually mentions his failures too in this book as he heads forward in his career. He discusses the starting of his career where he was just a man going against Andre the Giant and Dusty Rhodes in the Superdome.
Denton was the native of Texas which is without a doubt another reason for his will and power. The lone star state provides its residents with a power that needs pure skills to conquer. The book is really honest about the downfalls and pit stops of Lynn Denton’s carrier as well as the moments he grew towards victory. His memoir is obviously something you should read if you are interested in wrestling or you wish to check a decent informational book out.
#11. The Rock Says…
This book is written by Joe Layden and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He is another legend amongst the many others on this list. Although this book isn’t much of an inspiration as it includes more content on Dwayne Johnson personally then revolving around the sports and the other things that must matter. And throughout the book, he shifts in and out of the third person narrative which might be tiresome for some people while being interesting for others.
He concentrates more on self-promotion through this book which is something we would never expect from him. Although there are some great things in the book as well. Like the family history and personal struggles that got him to the point, he is standing at right now. He even broke down his match against Steve Austin in Wrestlemania which was loved by the fans. It is a great book to read still if you are a fan of the Rock and wish to know more about him as he is one of the best that we have.
#12. Hollywood Hulk Hogan
This book is written by Hulk Hogan. And he has been in the industry for a very long time. His stature was just unquestionable in his time and the skills were obviously impressive. He was a WWE superstar and his strength and willpower were just incredible. His triumphs are still pretty talked of and he could go on for hours. Anyone of his fans would love to read this book to find out more about Hogan.
But the problem is that this book is full of actual and real lies. If you wish to read it then you would surely be excited by the content but a lot of statements given in the book are utter and complete lies. A couple of its fans are saying that he’s just trying to be funny but it really doesn’t seem so. The book is nice to read through and obviously Hogan is a legend that a lot of people wish to read upon but try to see through what is true and what isn’t.
I hope I was able to satisfy your intent by the help of these books on wrestling. There are certain different types of wrestling books included in this list and might be helpful to all kinds of readers. If the content was helpful, please drop a comment below or leave a like on the post.