With WWE on the “road to WrestleMania”, this is a great time to dig into some books about the world of sports entertainment. 2021 will bring the 37th edition of WrestleMania and the company is riding higher than ever before with television contracts in the billions.
There are many great wrestling history books and books about other companies, but this list is mainly focused on WWE and WrestleMania. This list aims to offer solid mix of wrestler biographies and WWE history.
Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules by A.J. Mendez
A.J. Lee had her final match after WrestleMania 31 and then went on to write this outstanding autobiography that covers her upbringing, wrestling career, and struggles with mental illness. A.J. grew up loving superheroes and became determined to become one in real life, using her diagnosis as her strength.
Charting her journey from a scrappy girl in an unstable home to an empowered wrestling champion, Crazy Is My Superpower is an unflinchingly honest story and brave confessional about her long road to self-acceptance.
We Promised You a Great Main Event: An Unauthorized WWE History by Bill Hanstock
Bill Hanstock pulls back the drape to give a shrewd fan’s record of WWE and Vince McMahon’s excursion to the top. Unwinding reality behind the authority WWE storyline, Hanstock does a profound plunge into key snapshots of the organization’s history, from the behind-the-scenes drama at the Montreal Screwjob, to the organization’s treatment of the Jimmy Snuka scandal, to the genuine story of the Monday Night Wars.
We Promised You a Great Main Event is a comprehensive, fun record of the McMahon family and WWE’s extraordinary ascent. Drawing on a time of covering wrestling, Bill Hanstock integrates experiences from students of history, writers, and industry insiders with his own deep research to produce the most up-to-date, entertaining history of WWE available.
Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks by Mick Foley
Mick Foley is a pleasant man, a family man who loves entertainment meccas and eating frozen yogurt in bed. So how to clarify those Japanese passing matches in rings with explosives, brilliant pushpins and security fencing rather than rope? The severely charred area tissue? Furthermore, the missing ear that was ripped off during a session where he continued battling?
Here is a personal look into Mick Foley’s brain, his set of experiences, his work and what some may call his pathology. Presently with a reward section summing up the previous 15 months-from his experience as a smash hit creator through his splitting musings before his last match. A story of blood, sweat, tears and more blood-all in his own words-directly from the contorted virtuoso behind Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind.
The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling: A Hardcore, High-Flying, No-Holds-Barred History of the One True Sport by Aubrey Sitterson and Chris Moreno
As a pop culture phenomenon, professional wrestling–with its heroic babyfaces and villainous heels performing suplexes and powerbombs in quest for title gold- – has entertained crowds in the United States and around the globe.
Aubrey Sitterson and artist Chris Moreno introduce wrestling’s finished outlined history in this graphic novel. Highlighting incredible grapplers like Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, and The Rock, and current top picks like John Cena, Kenny Omega, and Sasha Banks, the book covers wrestling’s advancement from the fair days of the Gold Dust Trio to the predominance of the WWF/WWE to the present assorted autonomous wrestling scene, and it highlight wrestling’s venture into Mexico/Puerto Rico (lucha libre), the U.K. (all-in), and Japan (puroresu).
Under the Black Hat: My Life in the WWE and Beyond by Jim Ross
From legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross comes a candid, colorful memoir about the inner workings of the WWE and the personal crises he weathered at the height of his career. Jim Ross called WrestleMania at the height of WWE’s popularity and shares many great stories about his time there.
Picking up where his previous book, Slobberknocker, left off and ending on the cusp of a new career in a reimagined industry, Under the Black Hat is the tale of a country boy who made it to the top, took a few knocks, called some of the greatest matches of all-time, and stuck around—just where his fans like him.
Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment by Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham
Sex, Lies, and Headlocks is a definitive behind-the-scenes look at the backstabbing, embarrassments, and high-stakes bets that have made wrestling a TV phenomenon.
The creators follow McMahon’s ascent to controlling the industry and examine the allure of the business’ greatest stars—including Ed “Strangler” Lewis, Gorgeous George, Bruno Sammartino, Ric Flair, and, most as of late, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. In doing so, they show us that while WWE stock is exchanged to the general population on Wall Street, wrestling stays a shadowy world guided by a century-old code that stresses secrecy and loyalty.
Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps by Chris Jericho
Jericho main evented WrestleMania X8 and stole the show at countless others. His first book, A Lion’s Tale, covered his time leading up to signing with WWE and this one covers his first few years in the company with his many ups and downs.
Chris Jericho brings us into WWE wrestling fields around the globe as he subtleties his exemplary contentions with The Rock, Steve Austin, HHH, Shawn Michaels, and John Cena, alongside all the governmental issues and behind the stage maneuvers he looked outside the ring. Chris relates his clever ventures of breaking in with the Hollywood world class through bound tryouts, fleeting unscripted TV dramas, made-for-TV films, and honorary pathway talking with disasters.
David Shoemaker’s book of wrestler obituaries doubles as a great history lesson on the industry and where it has stood in the larger pop culture through the years.
Brimming with obscure history, humor, and self-deprecating reminiscence—but additionally offering a compelling look at the sport’s rightful place in mainstream society—The Squared Circle is the book that armies of wrestling fans have been waiting for. In it, Shoemaker instructs us to look past the spandex and body pummels to see a fine art that can clarify the world.
Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling by Bret Hart
Bret Hart kept tape recordings throughout his career of his thoughts at the time and turned those recordings into this book. That in-the-moment analysis makes for an absolutely fascinating read from one of the true greats of the industry.
From his WrestleMania debut to the Montreal Screwjob and his WCW run, Hitman is Bret Hart’s brutally honest, perceptive and startling account of his life in and out of the ring that proves once and for all that great things come in pink tights.
An Encyclopedia of Women’s Wrestling: 100 Profiles of the Strongest in the Sport by LaToya Ferguson
The rise of women’s wrestling over the past decade has been a major boon to WrestleMania with many show-stealing performances by the female superstars. Expertly researched, An Encyclopedia of Women’s Wrestling is a treasure trove of information on some of the best wrestlers of all-time.
Focusing on 100 competitors—from current faves Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair, to Germany’s Jazzy Gabert, Japan’s Io Shirai, and Canada’s LuFisto, to legends like The Fabulous Moolah, Sable, Ivory, and Lita—it includes relevant stats and each one’s compelling story. Written by noted authority LaToya Ferguson, this engaging history is great for anyone interested in powerful women, fantastic costumes, and pro wrestling itself.