Three Wrestling Books and a Wrestling Movie

One is excellent, one is better than expected, one is what you would expect and one….wait I ready that?

So I’ve been going a bit nuts with the wrestling books lately and that means it’s time to talk about a few of them. This time around I have three books and a wrestling movie, some of which were better than others.

Boone: The Bounty Hunter

This is something a little bit different as John Hennigan (he of a few thousand other last names) has made a movie about a bounty hunter named Boone (which you might have gotten from the title). Basically Hennigan did almost everything himself on this movie, including writing, financing and starring in the thing, which you can definitely tell.

This was actually quite the nice surprise as I was expecting another nothing wrestler movie and got a completely watchable, well made action movie. Hennigan has charm and plays the character well with some good charisma. The movie is a pretty basic story but they do everything well enough that it makes for a fun time. There are some names in there that you’ll recognize and it’s far better than most WWE Studio movies. It’s not classic but if you want a quick, entertaining sit, check this out.

Cross Roads, Goldust: Out of the Darkness – Dustin Rhodes

You think that’s a long enough title? That’s the only long thing about this book, which is over 200 pages long and I actually read it in less than two hours. I started reading it at around 4:30 and was done at about 6:20. The problem is almost nothing stands out to me. It’s such a quick read (with probably twenty to thirty of those pages being pictures) and nothing felt interesting. It was basically:

I wanted to wrestle, then I wrestled, then I argued with my dad, then I had substance abuse issues, then I beat then, then I talk about wrestling a bit.

It feels like a book outline instead of an actual book. While it’s not terrible, I barely remembered reading it the next day other than thinking about how short the thing was. There’s an interesting story in there but it needs a lot more information and some more details. As it is, this really didn’t work and was far from good.

YES! – Daniel Bryan

Now we’ll get to something a little better with one of the top stars in the last few years. Bryan was of course forced to retire back in 2016 and now we’ve gotten his life story. This one is much more your standard wrestling autobiography with Bryan talking about his road to the top of the wrestling world. Every chapter gives you a little bit about his Wrestlemania XXX week and then a lot more about his life story.

This is an interesting story because, at the end of the day, Bryan comes off like a nice guy. He feels like someone you would want to talk to and it’s cool to see him work so hard and get to the top of the wresting world. Bryan is a cool guy and incredibly entertaining, which makes for a story that you like to hear about. I’m sure you know the idea already but some of the stories he tells about his indy days are worth reading. It’s an easy read but also gives you a nice story about someone who loves wrestling and reached the top.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there’s a series of drawings of Bryan in the lower right hand corner of each page. If you flip through the pages, it turns into an animation of him walking onto the page, doing the YES chant, and then leaving at the end of the book. See, it’s literature and a movie!

Crazy is My Superpower – AJ Mendez-Brooks

I’ve saved the best for last. This might be the second best wrestling book I’ve ever read (after Have a Nice Day of course) and it stuck with me for a good while after I finished it. The difference here is that wrestling isn’t the focus of a lot of this one. Most of the book is AJ’s story about dealing with her family’s issues with mental illness, some of which will get to you in a hurry. She’s had some very rough times and they make you realize how much more awesome her rise to the top was.

The writing style is also rather entertaining as AJ writes very geeky with video game, movie and TV references throughout, including several that will probably go over your head but also several that will give you a good smile if you have her same sense of humor (which I certainly do). It makes the book far easier to get through as the story is rough enough as it is. She also throws in various sidebars in some sections, designed as either letters to her future self/her future children or lists on various topics, most of which are rather funny.

Of course there’s wrestling involved as well as AJ talks about how she used wrestling to help her overcome a lot of her issues. It’s a great story about how wrestling is such a unique world that really does do a lot more than just offer entertainment. Wrestling can be an escape for a lot of people and it’s very cool to see someone use it to help them like this. Definitely check this one out as it’s a very, very good read.

3 comments

  1. Sagar says:

    AJ’s book indeed seems like very interesting and inspirational. I love when wrestlers use the world of wrestling as a backdrop or a theme to actually elaborate about their life, and not just keep the wrestling and backstage as the sole focus of the book.

    I’d suggest you check out Jericho’s 2nd and 3rd books, if for nothing else than just to see how Vince McMahon mind works at times. Also, Justin Roberts’ book is cool too.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Ive got the second and third Jericho books on my shelf and Roberts’ is on my list to get.

  2. Mike M. says:

    I think AJ’s is my favorite wrestling book ever. As someone who works with those who have a mental health diagnosis, as well as having one myself, I found her book very true to life. After reading it, it’s easy to see how she dealt with some of the crap that the WWE put her through.