March 17, 2009
WWE Encyclopedia : The Definitive Guide to World Wrestling Entertainment
Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com
The title of the book is a claim that is sure to leave many skeptical. In order to be the definitive guide to a company with 45+ years of history you need to work endlessly to make sure you don’t leave anything out. Vince McMahon’s forward to the book proclaims it to be the “first ever official documented history of the WWE”, Throughout the years we’ve all heard about superstars and events going down in the history books and now we have an officially recognized WWE history book, and quite frankly it’s an extremely impressive one.
Authored by former WWE employees Brian Sheilds and Kevin Sullivan (no not the taskmaster) and coming in at over 350 full colored pages, profiling nearly a 1000 superstars and utilizing over 1500 images from the WWE and PWI archives, the WWE encyclopedia is packed with more than enough information for you to become an expert on the who’s who and the what’s what of the WWE.
As with any encyclopedia, the book runs from A to Z. The majority of entries are the profiles of the superstars of the WWE.. This includes the obvious big names such as Stone Cold, John Cena, Taker and Michaels, but also includes the names you possibly never heard of or tried to forget such as the Battle Kat, Mystery Man and Friar Furgeson, It even includes those you probably didn’t even expect to be in the book. I speak of course of the names WWE chooses to forget sometimes, the most obvious being Chris Benoit who is recognized with a half page bio with no mention of the 2007 tragedy. Those who have crossed Vince McMahon, those who have sued him and those that are currently working against him in TNA are all recognized as well, which to me was a sign that for once the WWE was not going to censor a product because of a grudge they have with someone, which scores it bonus points in heading towards the goal of being the definitive guide.
A title history for every single WWE title is featured in the book. From little known titles such as the Woman’s Tag Team Championship or the World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship to the most obvious WWE Championship, every single champion is recognized. The one odd thing is that the WWE officially recognized the entire US title history while in WCW but did not recognize the World Heavyweight championships history prior to their adopting of it in 2002
Pay Per Views and Television is also recognized. A complete history of Wrestlemania caps off the book, while other PPV’s include a recap of the main events of said shows. 30 years of WWE television is also documented with a short explanation of each show. Spotlghts on WWE merchandise, Video Games, Fan signs and superstars in themovies are also included.
The book has a suggested retail price of 45$ American but is available via Amazon for 30$, The book is hardcovered and sports large 12 by 9 pages. I was legitimately impressed with the presentation of the book and its wealth of information, For those wondering for the most part the book is kayfabed. No real names, identities of masked superstars or post WWE career information is included, but nonetheless this book is a must for any true WWE fan and can be a reference tool for those who write or speak about the company as you can certainly learn a lot about the company’s history. Is it the definitive guide to the history of the WWE? It’s pretty darn close, I would definitely consider this the definitive guide to the kayfabe side of the WWE, while the definitive guide to the business side of the company and how it evolved through the years could easily fill another book, and or has been covered in an array of other books over the years.