Rumble Road: Untold Stories From Outside The Ring book review (7/10)

As I visited the US over the weekend to attend a couple of things for a new WWE game, we were given a goody bag of branded nonsense to take home with us. Aside from the Rey Mysterio mask(s, actually, as I nabbed two), the weird flask thing and the hoody (which I’m sure Anna will claim) there was an interesting looking book – Rumble Road: Untold Stories From Outside The Ring.

Now I have read my fair share of wrassler books, and they all have road stories in them. It’s just such an intrinsic part of the business that everyone has them – and they tend to be quite funny. So I was looking forward to this as a good old fashioned bog-read.

I’m trying to think of another way to write “sigh”.

I’m not sure what contractual obligations by the WWE were placed on Jon Robinson, the collector of these tales, but it looks very much like one of the clauses read ‘do not put anything entertaining in the book whatsoever, in case you run the risk of offending someone or making out that these wrestlers are real people who have real problems/mess up/get into fights’.

Or maybe the clause was just ‘don’t go into any detail – wrestling fans can’t read anyway so it’s a waste of ink’. Either way it makes sense, as this is a book full of half-baked, half-told stories that – in the majority – go nowhere, say nothing and rarely make you smile, let alone laugh. It’s like if this blog were in paperback form.

This is taken verbatim from the introduction to one chapter:

“Think spiders crawling in your bed, rental cars spinning into ditches and hotel keys hitting you in the eye are bad?”

That’s three examples of actual stories in these things. You know they type – complete non-stories that any numpty who has had any interaction with the world has probably had at one point. Where are the stories like in Mick Foley’s book about the unknown gay beach abandonment? Like in Bret Hart’s with the knife-threatening bus “joke”? The one’s like in Bobby Heenan’s that I’ve completely forgotten?

No, instead it’s clearly heavily vetted corporate bullshit. There’s the mention of a stripclub at one point and a clear allusion to someone having themselves some sex in another. But there’s no mention of actual violence, no talk of people being busted for drugs, going mental, having accidents or anything else that would make it interesting in the insider/tabloidy fashion the wrassler books get it right with.

Basically it’s just not honest enough. Insert your own hilarity about it being as fake as wrestling.

Oh, and the categories make no sense, in that the stories contained within each sometimes don’t apply to what the category is actually about.

7/10

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