Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board

The Wrestling Book Thread


Recommended Posts

This might make me sound stupid, but did Fall Guys expose wrestling as a work or was it starting to become common knowledge by the time it was released and the book just confirmed things?

There had been plenty of newspaper stories about wrestling being a work for decades but Fall Guys was the first real insider behind the curtain look.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

For those who might be interested, I've put together a Kindle version of Fall Guys, the seminal 1937 expose, that you can now buy at Amazon. Buy it and you support me actually writing something myself. 

 

w2orvn.jpg

If you can somehow make that available to amazon UK users I will definitely buy it.

 

It should be soon. On the Kindle Direct Publishing site it says it's already live on the UK site and other international Amazon sites when it's only live on the U.S. site, so I sent a support inquiry in. Hopefully I'll have an answer shortly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a free copy of Gentleman Ed Francis Presents 50th State Big Time Wrestling

 

xgsY4gh.jpg

 

I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it's very visual. Lots of great photos from Ed Francis's collection . It's more of a coffee table book in style than say an unabridged history or a biography. Stories about Ripper Collins, Johnny Barend, Curtis Iaukea, Chief Billy White Wolf, Tosh Togo, Neff Maiava, and of course James "Lord Tally Ho" Blears. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

This might make me sound stupid, but did Fall Guys expose wrestling as a work or was it starting to become common knowledge by the time it was released and the book just confirmed things?

There had been plenty of newspaper stories about wrestling being a work for decades but Fall Guys was the first real insider behind the curtain look.

The Frank Gotch/George Hackenschmidt rematch of 1911 was, as far as I've read, the first major public embarrassment in terms of pulling back the curtain.  It drew something in the neighborhood of 30,000 fans to Comiskey Park, but the match was said to be terrible and Gotch basically squashed Hack, who had been injured while training for the bout (with many public rumors that Gotch had paid off Hack's training partners to do so).  For a modern equivalent, just think of any time Don King stole everyone's money with a minute-long Mike Tyson main event.  Wrestling lost a ton of credibility there, and the business dropped sharply and stayed down until the early 1930s, when some new stars came around (and boxing had gone into the toilet around that time, so lots of their fans jumped ship to a different sport).  

 

Also, Jack Pfefer had written a series of articles in the NY Daily Mirror around 1933 or so which pretty blatantly exposed the business.  He didn't admit it was ALL a work, but Pfefer (who was a colorful and shameless Vince Jr, "it's all just a show" type of promoter) blasted his enemies like then-world-champion Jim Londos and exposed how they used fixed matches to draw big crowds for championship bouts.  But the articles didn't cause much uproar, since even way back then the majority of the fans agreed that it was probably faked; the general consensus was that nobody cared if it was fake as long as the fights were entertaining.  The mainstream media largely ignored wrestling around that time (despite ever-growing crowds) until Lou Thesz's heyday and wrestling's domination of the earliest television networks more or less forced everyone to pay attention through sheer public popularity.  

 

But like Bix said, there are plenty of articles going right back into the mid-19th century that bitched and moaned about wrestling being phony.  They used to call throwing a fight "hippodroming", and there's plenty of evidence that legitimate sports writers tended to regard grappling with an eye-rolling "LOLrasslin" attitude going all the way back to Abe Lincoln days, if not even further.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've often thought of putting my copy up on eBay, mainly to see what ridiculous prices people would offer... but it just wouldn't sit right with me.

 

That said, I'm mailing my copy (plus the two other books; Jody Hamilton's is still up for grabs for anyone interested) most likely next week on Saturday. Sorry it's taking this long, but the combination of stupid post office hours and long working days and other end-of-the-year chaos has prevented me from doing so earlier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a good read. Falls into the trapping of grumpy old vet using hyperbole to describe his accomplishments at times from what I recall, but I certainly enjoyed it and lots of interesting tidbits about tag wrestling back in the day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure Hart would be all for getting the biggest possible payoff for his book. :)

Gary's sons are onboard. It's the coauthor who's refusing to budge.

What exactly is his motivation? Presumably, with an Austin endorsement, a small print run would instantly sell out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • RIPPA locked this topic
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...