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Awesome Truth: A Wrestling Book Club

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Episode 17: Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks by "Classy" Freddie Blassie

"Classy" Freddie Blassie holds a unique place in wrestling history as one of the most despised and beloved personalities of all time. It was a no-brainer for Awesome Truth to tackle his autobiography, especially since it was cowritten by our friend Keith Elliot Greenberg. After a brief introduction, Keith returns to the podcast for a conversation on Blassie's in-ring career, his memorable moments as a manager, and what it was like to interview Vince McMahon. This is an episode that even...


Episode 16: Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan Present No Holds Barred

In 1989, Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan had a dream: Bring the World Wrestling Federation to the silver screen. What we got was No Holds Barred, a remarkable mess of a movie that's barely about pro wrestling. Rather than return to the written word, the Awesome Truth boys watched Rip take on Zeus for the very first time. In the process, they found out why McMahon's WWE Studios decided to focus on direct-to-video, and why Hogan never starred in a hit.


Episode 15: The True Story of the Royal Rumble

The Royal Rumble is one of the most wonderful events on the pro wrestling calendar, and with good reason: you can't help but anticipate what Vince McMahon and WWE will do next. Hot on the heels of the 2018 Royal Rumble, the Awesome Truth boys use this WWE documentary to revisit the history of this legendary match and relive their favorite Rumble moments, from Stone Cold Steve Austin and Ric Flair to CM Punk and Shinsuke Nakamura.


Episode 14: No Is a Four-Letter Word and Jericho at WK12

Do any wrestling stars, even the great Chris Jericho, need to have authored four books? Jericho's latest tome is the first we're covering on Awesome Truth; luckily for us, Y2J makes No Is a Four-Letter Word into a motivational self-help book, as opposed to another recap of his time in and out of the ring. And given that Walt and Steve just got back from Tokyo for Wrestle Kingdom 12 and Alpha vs Omega, there's no better time to examine the creative genius of Jericho.


Episode 13: WWE 365: Kevin Owens

WWE has taken another step into the documentary business, as its recent retrospective on Kevin Owens did excellent numbers on the WWE Network. But what does it mean to watch a WWE documentary? Is it an additional chance for Vince McMahon and Triple H to work us, or are we actually getting a peek behind the curtain? And why was Kevin Owens chosen for this particular opportunity? Rather than break down a book, we opened up the Network and finished out 2017 with a bang. It's time for The...


Episode 12: Crazy Is My Superpower

AJ Mendez Brooks, known in WWE as AJ Lee, truly changed the face of women's wrestling. She also went through childhood hardships and emotional trauma that would've crippled many others. In her memoir, Crazy Is My Superpower, AJ talks not only about her time in pro wrestling—and her marriage to CM Punk—but how she overcame her struggles with mental illness. This week on Awesome Truth, we pore over the brief career and remarkable life of AJ Lee.


Episode 11: Nature Boy, the Ric Flair 30 for 30

By now, almost everyone has seen ESPN's new 30 for 30 on Ric Flair, entitled Nature Boy. But how did director Rory Karpf do in capturing the unique magic of Flair, not to mention the peaks and valleys of being a pro wrestler? Our wrestling book club moves beyond the written word for the second time to examine the rare sports documentary to probe professional wrestling; this week, we're talking Ric, Charlotte, the NWA, WCW, WWE, Vince McMahon, Triple H, and everything else Flair.


Episode 10: Batista Unleashed

When Dave Bautista released his autobiography in 2007, he couldn't have realized that by 2017 he'd be starring in some of the biggest movies in the world. Yet here we are, with "The Animal" now more widely known as Drax the Destroyer. Before Dave was a movie star, however, he was a pro wrestler trying to make it in Vince McMahon's "ruthless aggression" era of WWE. On this episode of Awesome Truth, we examine an autobiography that came out a bit too early: the story of Batista's upbringing,...


Episode 9: WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling

We try to celebrate the best of the best here on Awesome Truth, but sometimes you have to embrace the crap. Lucky for us, there's a book fully dedicated to all the garbage pro wrestling has offered us over the years. WrestleCrap has been a staple of pro wrestling since the internet came to be, documenting the worst offenses of WWF, WCW, Vince McMahon, and Eric Bischoff, but does its short, snarky style lend itself to book form? On today's episode, we get out our shovels and start digging...


Episode 8: Hollywood Hulk Hogan

If anyone would use his name for the title of his autobiography, it's Hollywood Hulk Hogan. The biggest icon in pro wrestling likely has more great stories than anyone, but the Hulk Hogan mythos too often gets in the way of the truth. On the latest episode of Awesome Truth, we try to separate Hulk fact from Hogan fiction as we delve into the life of Terry Bollea, the man who put professional wrestling (and, to hear him tell it, Vince McMahon) on his back and carried sports entertainment to...


Episode 7: Hitman Part II: Bret's Best Matches

Bret "The Hitman" Hart is defined by his matches: Davey Boy Smith at SummerSlam 1992, Owen Hart at WrestleMania X, Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XII, Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIII. In part two of Awesome Truth's dissection of Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling, we dive into Bret's best matches and the angles that made him a pro wrestling legend, along with the Montreal Screwjob and a doomed stint in WCW that left the Hart Family's finest son reeling.


Episode 6: Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling

When it comes to wrestling literature, it doesn't get much better than Hitman by Bret Hart, a 593-page journey into the seamy underbelly of professional wrestling. From Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling to Vince McMahon's WWF and finally the depressing downfall of WCW, Bret saw it all and lived to tell about it. In between talking about Davey Boy, Owen, Hogan, Andre, and Jim the Anvil, he's also not afraid to talk about all the ring rats and infidelity he succumbed to along the way. On the...


Episode 5: GLOW

Of all the shows Netflix offers on its service, you would not assume a lightly fictionalized retelling of women's wrestling in the 1980s would be a major hit. But critics and wrestling fans everywhere loved GLOW, the story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling as told by Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron, and a bunch of other wonderful women (plus Brodus Clay and Alex Riley cameos). In Awesome Truth's initial foray away from being a wrestling book club, we discuss the first season of...


Episode 4: Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment

From the early 1980s on, every story about professional wrestling is a story about Vince McMahon. So what are the boys to do with a book that is, by its title, all about Vince? On this episode of Awesome Truth, we discuss Sex, Lies, and Headlocks, an attempt by Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham to tell both the story of Mr. McMahon and of pro wrestling in one swoop. They may not succeed entirely, but we get some great Vinnie McMahon highlights along the way, including how MTV's Rock 'n'...


Episode 3: Yes: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania

Daniel Bryan is one of the most beloved wrestlers of all time; surprisingly, he also might be the best author. On this episode of Awesome Truth, we discuss Yes: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania, a fun and detailed recap of Bryan's career through New Japan, Ring of Honor, the armories and carnivals of England, and finally the WWE and WrestleMania XXX glory. Along the way, we try to figure out just how Bryan's autobiography—without leaning on controversy, rumor, or...


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