From the critically acclaimed authors of The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams comes the most comprehensive look ever at the colourful villains, heels, bad guys and rule breakers who give professional wrestling so much of its character. In The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels, Greg Oliver and Steven Johnson take readers on an informative and entertaining ride through mat mayhem. With their signature mix of original research, interviews, and anecdotes, they describe the rise and development of wrestling's bad guys, from riots in small-town arenas in the 1920s to the mega-event pay-per-views of today. Intended for everyone from casual fans to wrestling historians, the book explains how a barrel-chested Milwaukee brewer became wrestling's first Nazi, then served his country with distinction in World War II. You'll find out how bleached blond bad guys like the legendary Ric Flair trace their lineage to Gorgeous George - and about the little-known Ohioan that George himself emulated. And of course, Oliver and Johnson's list of the most influential heels in history is sure to spark debate.
Like its predecessors in this series, The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels features more than a hundred rarely or never-before-seen photos of wrestling's most despised characters - it's a must read for anyone interested in the unique world of sports entertainment.
The legendary storytellers worthy of a spot in the pro wrestling hall of fame
You can't escape pro wrestling today, even if you want to. Its stars are ubiquitous in movies, TV shows, product endorsements, swag, and social media to the point that they are as much celebrities as they are athletes. Pro wrestling has morphed from the fringes of acceptability to a global $1 billion industry that plays an everyday role in 21st-century pop culture.
In this latest addition to the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame series, Greg Oliver and Steven Johnson explain how the sport's unique take on storytelling has fueled its remarkable expansion. Hundreds of interviews and original accounts inform this exploration of the imaginative ways in which wrestlers and promoters have used everything from monkeys to murderers to put butts in seats and eyes on screens. From the New York City Bowery in the 1890s to a North Carolina backyard in 2017, readers will encounter all manner of scoundrels, do-gooders, scribes, and alligators in this highly readable, heavily researched book that inspires a new appreciation for the fine (and sometimes not-so-fine) art of storytelling.