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Posted in: Doctor's Orders
“If you love to read and love professional wrestling, then this is pretty much heaven” - The WrestleMania Era Now Available on Kindle
By The Doc
Jul 18, 2014 - 4:53:06 PM

To order The WrestleMania Era: The Book of Sports Entertainment (Kindle Edition), click here

The e-book format is just $9.99 and is available worldwide. For those of you that have already purchased a copy and would like to buy the e-book, it’s only $2.99.

If you love to read and love professional wrestling, then this is pretty much heaven

By Shane Sebunia

I read a lot and I watch wrestling a lot. That said, I don't read a lot of books about professional wrestling. I've read Mick Foley's first two books, I've read Chris Jericho's book, and that's pretty much it. While I am a fan of history, as well, the books I read tend to be fiction. I am, however, also an erstwhile wrestling columnist and, while I don't read them often anymore, used to read columns about professional wrestling quite a bit and even had the dream of one day compiling my columns into a book. That time has come and gone mainly because I lost the majority of my columns years ago. "The Doc" Chad Matthews, who writes for the same site I used to, has gone one better than that, though. He's taken his considerable opinions about professional wrestling, added in some statistical analysis, and combined it all into a fantastic read. I read fiction because I want to be moved to emotion. I want to cheer with the bad guys, and mourn when something awful happens to them and I want to follow along with the story.

In crafting The Wrestlemania Era the way he has, Matthews has, in essence, told a story. It may not be a story with a clearly defined beginning, middle, and ending, but that's okay. Sometimes you have to work for your entertainment and that's something that makes it all the more rewarding. In this book, The Doc covers basically thirty years of professional wrestling and analyzes--in reverse order (countdown style)--who the best 90 performers from that era are. The gamut runs from Starrcade 1983 until the end of 2012. Why 90? I have no idea. Personally, I would have gone with 100, but I would assume because breaking it up into neat 30 person tiers has a certain appeal. Thing is, though, not all of these stars started wrestling during this period, so more is covered in some cases than just those thirty years. This book reads like a who's who of professional wrestling and regardless of how much of a wrestling fan or historian you are, you're going to learn something.

If you're a young fan, you're going to learn a lot and get a general idea of where to place your heroes along with the all-time greats. I have a hard time saying that this book defines where a wrestler belongs, because I disagree with some of it (especially how the top 10 rank,) but it certainly will give you an idea. There were places I literally couldn't wait to praise Matthews for (full disclosure: while he and I are not friends and have never actually spoken as of this writing, we've always been on friendly terms and have, of late, been messaging each other a little bit,) but there were other times I wanted to throw my copy of his book across the room. The couple of times I actually did were the times I was glad only the paperback copy was available and I didn't damage my Kindle. I loved his passages about Eddie Guerrero, Lex Luger, Diamond Dallas Page, Ricky Steamboat, and Chris Benoit. I hated the ones on Stone Cold Steve Austin, Edge, John Cena, and The Rock. His one on The Rock, though, is brilliantly written and made me completely rethink my current opinion on him.

That's why I hated it. While I don't mind my opinions being challenged, I despise when they are outright changed. The Doc really is a brilliant writer, and because of this, it's easy to live and die with his descriptions of these wrestler's careers just like you would with a Brandon Sanderson novel. Of course, it doesn't hurt that I was a wrestling fan for all but 4 years of the span he covers here, and know most of these characters. In that sense, I was reliving my experiences with these guys and re-experiencing many of the emotions I felt along the way, while also being reminded of things I'd forgotten over the course of time. Personally, I took this book in segments, and I love the way in which it's laid out. As I mentioned above, there are three tiers with 30 wrestlers each and he lays out at the end of each tier how the numbers broke down. More than that, though, he strives to emphasize the importance of the performers in another way, as he devotes more words and pages to the guys in the first tier than he does to those who rank from 90-61.

I really enjoyed this aspect because I liked reading about 10 passages at a time, and then as we got down to the real nitty gritty, going five at a time. This allowed me to savor what I was reading, while also being able to put a greater focus--as Matthews, himself did--on those who earned their spot in the top tier. Everything about the way this was put together makes The Wrestlemania Era a professional wrestling tome for the ages, and it couldn't have come along at a better time, because now that the WWE Network has come along even if you haven't lived through the times Chad is talking about, you can do so. If you get interested in exactly what made DDP vs. Macho Man so good, you can watch the matches on The Network. If you wonder exactly how ridiculous Jeff Hardy's table spot on CM Punk was, pop on SummerSlam 2009 and check it out. Want to see Hulk Hogan redefine himself when the NWO formed? Click on Bash at the Beach 1996. To me, these two products are each others' perfect companion.

I don't just like this book, I love it and I would recommend it for any fan of any age. You'll laugh, you'll be moved to tears, and you will certainly think. That's all you can ask of any form of entertainment, and while this combines two forms of entertainment into one, I believe instead of your entertainment value doubling, it's raised exponentially. Buy this book, read this book, love this book. You won't regret it. This is an instant classic, and I can't wait for either the follow-up in a decade or The Doc's next undertaking, which should come much sooner. If you are a fan of professional wrestling, this is the book for you. If you want to read arguments about who are the best 90 professional wrestlers of the last 30 years, this is the book for you. If you love to read and love professional wrestling, then this is pretty much heaven. Welcome to The Wrestlemania Era Era.

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