This book is another one of my thrift shop finds. I was really excited to find this there. The book gives the history of ECW from it’s first days in 1993 until it’s last in 2001. I loved learning more about the company (How it started and what made them popular), the business side of things (merchandise, setting up shows, pay per views, etc.) and, of course, the wrestlers.
I really like that the author didn’t censor the wrestlers when he interviewed them. If you don’t like swears, especially the “f word”, you might not like that. For me, it made it that much more authentic. There are interviews with a lot of the top stars of the promotion: Paul Heyman, Tazz, Tommy Dreamer, Chris Jericho, Stevie Richards, Spike Dudley and many more.
I watched ECW as a kid, but I didn’t understand or appreciate how much freedom the wrestlers had with their characters. They connected with fans on such an intense, personal level because they were your average joes. Nobody was extra good looking, nobody had really flashy stuff. They just went out there and gave it their all night after night. And they were super violent.
I felt bad for them as I read about their missed opportunities and how some of the things they needed to stay open fell through and, in the end, it got to the point where Heyman couldn’t even pay the wrestlers. As cocky as he may be on TV, he sounded heartbroken about the way things went.
Reading this book was like reliving my childhood and watching these great matches for a second time. I would recommend this to fans of ECW, fans of pro wrestling and anyone who likes books about sports.