Two-page chapters. A gigantic font size seemingly nicked from Reader’s Digest Large Print. Narratives that toggle between gossipy insider details and earnest recountings of scripted mayhem. Professional wrestling autobiographies are mostly self-serving apocrypha and always entertaining as hell.
Join us for a literary smackdown as Extra Mustard reviews pro wrestling’s hardest-hitting memoirs.
Side-note: At least two of these books were not even officially registered with the Virginia library branches that contained them, presumably due to embarrassment. Come out of the closet, Arlington Public Library. We know you’re a wrestling fan.
. Hollywood Hulk Hogan
by Hulk Hogan, with Michael Jan Friedman
Future Outlook: The future was so bright, the Hulkster had to wear shades (indoors and always). Talking about his 2002 WWE comeback, Hogan predicts, “This time it’s gonna be bigger than the eighties, I guarantee you… It’s gonna be bigger this time, brother.” This, brother, did not happen. Hogan lost the championship one month after winning it, then left WWE the following year. The Immortal One did appear on WWE Raw to mark his 61st birthday last month, however, and was honored as a true wrestling icon by WWE superstars and retired legends alike.
. The Rock Says … The Most Electrifying Man in Sports-Entertainment
by Dwyane "The Rock" Johnson, with Joe Layden
Future Outlook: Writing in 2000, The Rock boasts of receiving numerous motion-picture offers, and goes so far as to claim that, “when the right opportunity comes along, I’ll probably take the plunge.” Indeed. Last year, The Rock starred in four movies that made almost $1 billion by mid-June.
. Have a Nice Day! A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks
by Mick Foley
Future Outlook: This book concludes with Foley winning the WWE Championship, and telling readers to “buy The Rock’s damn book” if you want to find out how he lost it. He would retire from WWE one year later, and make periodic returns to the company as a wrestler and on-air authority figure.
. A Lion’s Tale; Around the World in Spandex
by Chris Jericho, with Peter Thomas Fornatale
Future Outlook: This book ends with a printed version of the 15-second countdown shown live on WWE Raw before Jericho’s first company appearance in 1999. As the seconds tick by, Jericho reflects on everything that’s gotten him to this point, and how proud his parents were going to be of his success. When the countdown hits zero and the double-force pyro shoots off, he steps through the curtain and fulfills his dream of becoming a WWE wrestler. Fin
. Death Clutch; My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival
by Brock Lesnar, with Paul Heyman
Future Outlook: Lesnar reflects on losing the UFC Title to Cain Velasquez, writing that he is poised to regain his lost championship. Fortunately for wrestling fans, he instead chose to to reenlist his coauthor Paul Heyman and reclaim another belt.