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@DEAN Did you know you're quoted -by name- in Vader's book?

I was going to recommend the book to the board anyway (it's really good; The pictures alone make it worth the price), that's why I stopped telling so many stories from it. But seeingthat our fearless leader is literally quoted in it, I'm going to say it's a must read for everyone here.

Did Vader used to read DVDVRs? I mean, most likely the other writer (Kenny Casanova) did, and he remembered the quote and asked Vader if he could put it in, but we can dream, can't we?

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5 hours ago, AxB said:

@DEAN Did you know you're quoted -by name- in Vader's book?

I was going to recommend the book to the board anyway (it's really good; The pictures alone make it worth the price), that's why I stopped telling so many stories from it. But seeingthat our fearless leader is literally quoted in it, I'm going to say it's a must read for everyone here.

Did Vader used to read DVDVRs? I mean, most likely the other writer (Kenny Casanova) did, and he remembered the quote and asked Vader if he could put it in, but we can dream, can't we?

Vader used to post here as "The Jersey Kid".

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...and now I've finished It's Vader Time. Very good book. It's interesting how 'out of sight, out of mind' things are for him. He barely mentions the Monday Night Wars, doesn't acknowledge the death of WCW or really anything that didn't have a personal bearing on him, but at the same time, he was a guy who went everywhere and did everything. Some of the stories in there are great (I never knew Vader was so close to Yokozuna, nor had I heard the Curt Hennig rib on Yoko story, which was absolutely disgusting), some of the photos in there I'd never seen before, and it's all around great. Recommended to everyone. If you're putting one Wrestling book on your Christmas list this year, this is the one to put there.

That altercation with the Yakuza that cost Vader his NOAH deal really messed him up, more than he wants to admit. Not that he was physically damaged (although he was, quite badly), but he never got another full time contract again, and he really didn't handle the 'not being on the road any more' very well at all. The last bit of the book, where he's told he has two years to live, that's pretty hard to get through.

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On 9/25/2019 at 12:28 PM, Pete said:

Read Len Denton's bio, Grappler: Memoirs of a Masked Madman over the weekend via Kindle. It's a fine read, just way too short at just under 250 pages... he has some great stories to tell and his voice shines through in the reading.

There was a really good three part interview with Len Denton on the 6:05 Superpodcast a couple of years back, Episodes 60, 63, and 64 if you haven't heard it.  If you go the 605pod.com site there are time stamps for when Denton's segments start.

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22 hours ago, AxB said:

That altercation with the Yakuza that cost Vader his NOAH deal really messed him up

Wow, never heard anything about this

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Has anyone ever gotten to a translated version of the Jun Izumida book regarding the Yakuza's involvement in NOAH from 2012? I have very limited knowledge of the situation but the entire Yakuza involvement in pro wrestling has me interested. 

Anyone ever read the translated version of the Shoichi Arai book? I see there's something on Bahu's site but I can't access it while at work. 

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Vader doesn't go into much detail about the Yakuza, but he does say that they were more or less integral to Noah even existing. So when Vader got into a fight in a nightclub with a Yak* (and got dozens of stab wounds for his trouble) Misawa said "Sorry, but I can't use you in my company any more".

* Long story short, dickhead was looking for a fight. And sometimes when you're looking for a fight, you find one. Just not necessarily one you're going to win.

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I went straight from Vader's book to Sabu's (which I will not be calling Sabook). So far, it's not as interesting. He seems really awestruck for life by his Uncle The Sheikh (not The Original Shiekh. THE Sheikh. Iron Sheikh is just a toned down tribute act. Sabu turned down a WWF contract in 1994 because although he was willing to do The Sultan character that Rikishi ended up doing, they were going to make Iron Sheikh be Sultan's manager and Uncle, and Sabu thought that would be massively insulting to his real Uncle).

It seems like between turning pro in 1984 and his first FMW tour in December 1991, his career went nowhere and he did nothing of note at all.

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Posted (edited)

Heeyyyyyyyyyy there's a 9.99 kindle edition of Sabu's book now on amazon!  I know you said it's less interesting but the original way of getting it direct from the publisher was expensive and a pain in the ass.

Edited by Tromatagon

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It's not uninteresting, but I'd say the Vader book is the one to go for, unless you're a total ECW/ FMW obsessive. It's odd seeing pictures of Sabu on his first FMW tour, because he looks like Sabu (unlike the Terry S.R./ Terry Essar photos where he looks like a generic young wrestler) but he has no scars on his body.

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Yeah I'm pretty much an ECW/FMW obsessive 

Really I'm more of a W*ING obsessive but that's ECW/FMW adjacent 

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Now I've finished Scars, Silence and Superglue, and it's... OK. He settles a few scores here and there (who knew he hated Test and Koji Kanemoto so much?) and tells the story of his life and career, but you don't come away from it really understanding him any better than you did before. The biggest surprise is right at the start, the incident that lead Sheikh to agree to train him. He got shot in the face. By a gun, I mean. And Sheikh took a total Mr Miyagi approach to training for the first few months. But of the two, yeah, get Vader's. 

It is nice to see one perspective of a guy who made it to WWE and didn't give a shit though. After all the "genius Vince I finally made it" takes, Sabu isn't particularly impressed at all. I liked that.

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Has anyone read the books of either Scott Norton or Hornswoggle?

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On 10/2/2019 at 11:05 AM, EricG said:

Anyone ever read the translated version of the Shoichi Arai book? I see there's something on Bahu's site but I can't access it while at work. 

I finally got around to reading this. I'd recommend it if you can get past the rough translation, it's essentially just a bunch inside knowledge without a narrative. Some random information and thoughts:

 

Spoiler
  • Arai is pretty infatuated with Onita as a performer, and this really causes a lot of problems throughout FMW's existence.
  • Onita was planning on closing FMW after his 'retirement' in May of 1995. Nobody else really wanted to buy and/or run FMW at that point. Onita's father urged him not so shut down, not because it would put a lot of people out of a job, but because putting all of those people out of a job would make Onita look bad publicly. Arai didn't want it to end, either, so he bought the company after others turned down the CEO position. Odd that you'd purchase a company that you know will be defunct. 
  • Arai claims Onita took $300,000 from the show, and there's no record of the ticket sales or cash from the May 1995 event. 
  • Arai starts a 'new' FMW with a $100,000 loan from Onita (Onita's father also convinces Arai to let him become 50% shareholder in the new company). Out of the $100,000, Arai purchases all of the old FMW assets for $50,000. 
  • Onita urged Arai to close after six months if it wasn't profitable. 
  • There was never more than $50,000 in the bank account for FMW from 1995 until its closing. 
  • The Korakuen Hall shows and the large stadium show each year would really cover for some of the losses incurred when they toured. 
  • They sort of re-tool into less-deathmatch style after Onita leaves and it works. Crowds are up, profits are up. 
  • In June of 1996 they offer, essentially, downside guarantees to the roster. He also notes that were paying outside guys like Mitsuhiro Matsunaga and Mr. Pogo and ton of money and lowered that amount. 
  • Onita announces he's coming back in the fall of 1996 and essentially that's the beginning of the spiral. Arai notes Onita would call at all hours of the day and just shout and bitch about everything, and was pretty rude to Arai, but Arai kept putting up with it. He didn't want Onita back, Onita just decides that himself. Onita's sort of a jerk—he suggests he retire Pogo as part of his comeback.
  • Onita has women everywhere. Every town. 
  • Onita has a deal with a video distributor and sort of works out his own deal for the December 1996 event, so this breaches the contract between FMW and their current distributor. Onita took $40,000 directly from the video distributor. He then took $50,000 of the total $80,000 profit from the event. As part of the angle, FMW is also stuck paying Mr. Pogo $30,000 for not working as part of the Pogo retirement angle suggested by Onita. 
  • Onita takes a ton of cash for each event he works when he returns, thinking he's the reason people are attending. Arai writes that the crowd lessened when Onita returns. Onita's taking like $2,000 to $3,000 per show for working while top guys like Pogo are getting $800. 
  • Onita's not a nice human being. Bullying, womanizer, thief. 
  • Onita's just essentially booking himself through late 1997 and 1998 with Team ZEN, Team Zero, etc., with stuff that isn't really going to work. I'm not sure why Arai puts up with it for so long. Onita tries to overshadow Hayabusa the entire time and just sort of ruins any sort of push with his antics. He wants Masato Tanaka to be the next big star instead.
  • Onita really bullied them into giving him a ton of their merchandise payments and video royalties. They'd get $100,000 every few months and Onita would sometimes take half. They'd also give him like $5,000 royalty on video distribution of a big event out of a total of $45,000. 
  • Onita suggests they move their office to a space owned by his father's company and pay him higher rent. They do it. Why? WHY?
  • Onita wants to make a new company in 1998 with all of the talent from FMW except for Hayabusa. He urges promoters to not bother buying FMW shows/tickets (in front of Arai) because he's starting this new group. He wants Arai to fire any of the wrestlers that won't go to the new group. Onita uses the current FMW staff to contact promoters to drum up support for his new group. 
  • Arai and all of the wrestlers decide to oust Onita in late 1998, and have a meeting with him and break the news. They have to spend another six awkward months working out of a joint office with Onita. 
  • Pogo's a super nice guy. 
  • The DirectTV contract is signed in April of 1998, but essentially, it gives DirectTV control of the direction of the company. It's $600,000 per year and $200,000 for production expenses. They're really just paying overdue bills and expenses at this point with any cash coming in. 
  • In 1999, they borrow $500,000 from the Tokyo Public Fund to pay back $200,000 worth of back taxes (they haven't paid in two years) and other operating expenses. 
  • He's literally borrowing from everyone at this point. Onita's produce company ($20,000), his parents ($34,000), against his house, his car, anything and everything. 
  • The creative is sh*t at this point. Fuyuki takes over as booker after Ito is tired of dealing with the task and DirectTV. 
  • They owe $250,000 to the video production company but they used the money from DirectTV on other expenses and loans. They have over $1 million in debt as this point. I have no idea why you'd keep going at this point. DirectTV suspends operations so they can't get money from them, they sign a deal with SkyPerfectTV but have the cover the productions costs with money they don't have. 
  • He starts taking out other high interest loans for $25,000 to cover costs. At the end of 2000 he can't pay wrestler wages and that really devastates him so he starts really taking other financial risks. 
  • He starts messing around with loan sharks. He puts his property up as collateral and his wife leaves with his daughter. Pretty tough to read. You can tell his daughter is essentially his only source of happiness and that's taken away. He never gets any sort of custody back. 
  • Masato Tanaka, Jado, Gedo, Hideki Hosaka and Kaori Nakayama left after he told everybody he couldn't pay them. 
  • He's going to every source and taking out loans. It's insane. $25,000 from loan sharks, $50,000 from lending institutions, some real dumb stuff. He's even buying beer tickets and train tickets on his credit card and turning those in to loan sharks for collateral. He even buys a $7,000 Rolex on credit and turns around and pawns it for $4,000.
  • They keep touring in later 2001, like, these tiresome tours, just so they can have cash coming in. The crew is just traveling by bus and sleeping on the bus most days. 
  • After the Hayabusa accident (Arai thinks the accident was caused by the hard touring schedule) no show ever turns a profit. 
  • In early 2002 all of the loan sharks find out about one another and confront Arai—essentially no more money coming from loan sharks at this point. His original debt is like $350,000 but once he's involved with loan companies and loan sharks it spirals to $2.5 million. His parents' house is seized and auctioned. 
  • When bankruptcy hits, his goes directly to Hayabusa in the hospital to apologize for everything. He didn't mention visiting anyone else. 

 

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Reports of books that got forgotten for one...

 "The Encyclopedia of Women's Wrestling". It's pretty much the same "a bunch of biographies of top wrestlers at a glance", but it has some value since as a women's wrestling book, it's a lot of bios that haven't been talked about and done to death. It goes in-depth with indie work as well, which also gives it some value as well. 

100 Things WWE Fans should Know or Do before they Die: This book is the exact opposite. It is so bad I give RD Reynolds more credit than Bryan Alvarez for why Death of WCW was so good, because if this is what Alvarez does on his own...yeesh. I think it has less than 10 things to actually "do" on the list, and mostly just those...random bios that most fans would already know. 

In exchange...did anyone read "Wrestling's New Golden Age: How Independent promotions have Revolutionized one of America's favorite Sports" yet?  I just got it from a purchase on a preferred outlet site, and just waiting to pick it up from my apartment's front desk.

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18 hours ago, SorceressKnight said:

In exchange...did anyone read "Wrestling's New Golden Age: How Independent promotions have Revolutionized one of America's favorite Sports" yet?  I just got it from a purchase on a preferred outlet site, and just waiting to pick it up from my apartment's front desk.

I read that book sometime ago and liked it a good bit.  But my enjoyment was also due to him talking to a lot of local wrestlers since he lives in Maryland.  So if that doesn't appeal to you then YMMV on this one.  And considering the changes that have happened since then it already feels a tad outdated.  But if anything it's an easy read and the people he talks to have interesting stories behind them.

And the 100 Things book was full of information we already know so it's not terribly useful for us.  But it is approachable enough where if I know anybody that's starting to get into WWE I'll have them check it out.  We all had to start somewhere.

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12 hours ago, NikoBaltimore said:

And the 100 Things book was full of information we already know so it's not terribly useful for us.  But it is approachable enough where if I know anybody that's starting to get into WWE I'll have them check it out.  We all had to start somewhere.

It's definitely approachable, which is one benefit and it's approachable in a way that isn't that typical "wrestling used to be carny stuff, blah blah they had always rigged things to get your money, bling bling blah blah Hackenschmidt/Gotch, Gold Dust Trio, Gorgeous George, Lou Thesz, nothing happened until Hulkamania, yackety schmackity" that a lot of "first-timer" wrestling books tend to be. 

However, it says something when there's only 21 things to actually DO on the list, and two of them are shameless plugs ("subscribe to The Observer" and "Read Death of WCW".) 

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the local comic shop had 2 Andre trade paperbacks that I picked up. One is called Closer to Heaven.  I hadn't seen these in the past. Both are in a wrapping and I am hoping to check them out tonight. Has anyone read these?

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Just a heads up for anybody interested - I'm running a sale on my limited stock of my Brian Pillman book, "Crazy Like A Fox - The Definitive Chronicle of Brian Pillman 20 Years Later". I'm selling signed copies for £12 or $15, depending on location of course. If anybody doesn't have the book, has heard about it and interested in a signed copy, drop me a line at scgradio@hotmail.com, or drop me a line in the old PM box.

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