However, on one particular Saturday the powers that be at ITV decided not to put its viewers through the delights of obese men bursting out of their leotards, and instead treated us to a rare bout of American Wrasslin’ and boy did addiction take hold of me after that first hit! I’d never seen anything like it before. These larger than life cartoon characters slammed and suplexed the hell out of each other. Hell, I didn’t know what a suplex was before seeing ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase taking on Hulk Hogan.
And that is where my love affair began. Every week I would tune back in, hoping against hope that they’d put the stars from the U.S. of A back on TV! Occasionally I got my wish, and I’m sure Rupert Murdoch made an absolute fortune selling satellite dishes to parents of children who had begged them to sign up for Sky so they could get their regular WWF fix.
Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart was part of the Hart Foundation with Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart when I first started to tune in, and I watched his career sky-rocket from tag team titles to Intercontinental titles and finally the big one, the World Title! I was there at Wembley in 1992 when he took on the British Bulldog in one of the greatest SummerSlam matches of all time, and I watched on TV when his younger brother Owen tragically lost his life in the ring. I remember the now infamous Screwjob against Shawn Michaels which led to his stint with the WCW.
And it's all in this book! It was like taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane as so much of my childhood, teenage, and young adult life was spent watching the WWF!
Hart delivers expertly from what it was like growing up in a wrestling family in his father Stu's 'dungeon' to making his breakthrough and then becoming a global star. All my old favourites were in there and it was a strange, funny, endearing, and sometimes heart-wrenching read.
There are too many stories to mention, but snippets include how Brutus Beefcake was ridiculed for carrying around Hulk Hogan's bags, my hero the Ultimate Warrior being hugely unpopular in the locker room, and the sad stories of wasted talent and steroid abuse from the likes of the Dynamite Kid.
This book is quite simply as cool as the shades Hart used to hand out to lucky fans, as colourful as his pink tights, and as enjoyable as seeing Vince McMahon wince in the Sharpshooter. If you're a fan of wrestling from that era this is a no brainier! It's the best book about wrestling there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be!