I just read Stranglehold by Larry Nelson, an AWA announcer. I cannot recommend this book at all. It has nothing of interest in it. Some thoughts:
- He is a bad storyteller. Stories that could potentially be somewhat interesting or funny are ruined by his complete inability to string an entertaining sentence together.
- The vast majority of stories he tells are insipid and boring, like that one drunk you always see at the bar and tries to be popular by making a big deal out of telling a story that’s just... completely unremarkable. ‘Two women shared a room and one of them paid for it. While she was gone, the other raided the room refrigerator. She drank all the wine and her roommate had to pay! Hahaha!’
- He tries to put himself over so much in terms of what a manly man he is. ‘Very few people drank as much as I did,’ and ‘Every tour I found a groupie to sleep with.’
- He mentions a few angles, but none of them are described in a captivating way. Once he has to mention how he put over a big angle by saying on commentary, ‘Who could possibly win this thing?!’ Brilliant, Larry. Brilliant.
- The most offensive thing is how he describes women: either in uncomfortably and disgustingly lecherous detail (both random women and wrestlers like Sherri Martel) or in insults about how fat and/or ugly they are. And he does this constantly.
- He takes credit for bringing Eric Bischoff into the wrestling business because he chickened out of coming in for a day of doing interviews so the producers had to use Eric Bischoff. (The AWA was in dire straits and Larry Nelson had decided to leave the state and start over elsewhere without telling the AWA about it.) The book was written in 1999.
- There was one very disturbing (but mercifully short) story about Road Warrior Hawk sexually assaulting a minor in Winnipeg. Larry Nelson was mainly worried about how this would get him in trouble. (To be clear: he had no part in the action; Hawk just told him what had happened the night before.)
- They have sections where they go over the history of professional wrestling, and it borders on level of cringe with how inaccurate and amateurish it is. There are frequent mistakes of names (and spelling, which is another matter) like calling Harley Race ‘Harvey.’
All in all, don’t get this. It’s boring, bland and occasionally infuriating.