Title: IS WRESTLING FIXED? I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS BROKEN!
Author: Bill Apter, Jerry Lawler
Format: Kindle (291 pages)
Published: ECW Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2015)
ISBN: ASIN: B00VXGDAWU
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
The anticipated memoir from a sports entertainment fandom legend
As a kid growing up in New York in the late ’50s, Bill Apter fell in love with professional wrestling, and it wasn’t long before he was rubbing shoulders with the greats as a young reporter and photographer. He’s since become the world’s best-known wrestling magazine personality, and he’s had professional and personal relationships with a who’s-who of the business, like Triple H, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Sting, and Ric Flair.
In his fun-loving memoir, Bill Apter takes us from the dressing rooms of the Bruno Sammartino era and the last days of the territories, to the birth of WrestleMania, the emergence of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the “Attitude Era,” to today’s WWE Superstars like John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and Roman Reigns. He also shares stories of his days photographing boxing stars like Muhammad Ali and other champions, and he documents his appearances on the WWE Network and his work as editor of 1wrestling.com.
Find out which wrestler threatened him, learn about the dead wrestler who was really alive, and discover how hanging out with Andy Kaufman led to the comic’s notorious feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler. Still intimately involved in the wrestling business, the award-winning Apter has a story on everybody.
IS WRESTLING FIXED? I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS BROKEN by Bill Apter was a trip through time in the wrestling world through the eyes of the author. It could also be viewed as the author's autobiography as his entire life has revolved around the world of the fictionized, highly exaggerated portrayal of the pseudo combat sport called professional wrestling. I was attracted to this book as my son is a fan of professional wrestling, and I confess that, in my teenage years, I was too.
Bill Apter is a legendary writer/photographer in the history of professional wrestling.. Over the years, the author has contributed to many wrestling magazines including, but not limited to, Pro Wrestling Illustrated, Inside Wrestling, The Wrestler and World of Wrestling. In this book, he shares many tidbits - some hilarious, some that left me aghast - about famous wrestlers including Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Jerry Lawler, Andy Kaufman, Dusty Rhodes, Jackie Fargo, Shawn Michaels, Andre the Giant, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Don Muraco, 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Sting, Ric Flair, Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, Adrian Neville, Daniel Bryan, C.M. Punk, Bam Bam Bigelow, the Tasmaniac and many more. The Divas aren't ignored either with blurbs about Paige, the Bellas and more. There's plenty of stories, too, about all the McMahons, including Vince, Vinny, Linda, Stephanie, Triple H...
The book's forward was written by Jerry "The King" Lawler. Talking about the author, Lawler said "If you were endorsed by Apter, you were something special, and you usually wound up somewhere in the magazines. He was the right guy to know." Lawler ended his introduction by saying about Apter: I guess it's now time to crown you "King" of the wrestling magazine glory days..."
Before reading this, I did not know that Bill Apter was the catalyst responsible for Andy Kaufman's and Jerry Lawler's famous feud. He shared how he helped Taz and Tommy Dreamer get their start in pro wrestling. The author claimed that he never accepted any monies from any wrestler to get on a cover. He also said that, through his years, only one person actively dodged being on a cover - that person was Vince McMahon. Vince said: "While I appreciate the offer, the magazines are something for the wrestlers as far as I am concerned...I really don't want to be on the cover or inside the magazines, and I would appreciate it if you would respect my wishes."
Following please find a few snippets from this story to give you an idea of how the book is written:
Talking about Shawn Michael's home:
The 5,500-squarefoot house was custom built with a Mediterranean decor. It was the exact opposite of the dingy hotel rooms he stayed in when he was on the road. This house was very open with high ceilings, so even giant-like friends like Kevin Nash could hang out with no issue...
Shawn conducted a class as I photographed away. Students Lance Cade, Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan), Brian Kendrick, Paul London and others did calisthenics and other exercises. After an hour or so they got into the ring to do some falls and learn a few holds....
Here I was face-to-face with Shawn Michaels, and he asked me, "What do you want to do?" My mouth spewed words faster than I could think, as I whispered so the students wouldn't hear, "Shoot me into the ropes. When I come back on the rebound I will give you a flying dropkick and then put you in the figure-four leglock for the win."
"Oh, by the way, I've got a message for you from Randy Savage. He wants to kill you. Goodnight, Bill."...
Years later, I found out from Randy's brother, Lanny Poffo, that age was a highly sensitive topic for the 'Macho Man."
Mr. Stallone had picked up a recent issue and was looking for a wrestler with a specific look - well built and blond - for a role in an upcoming movie. It would be the third in the 'Rocky' series, aptly titled 'Rocky III'...
Two wrestlers who fit that profile immediately came to ...-'Superstar' Billy Graham and Hulk Hogan... It would be the biggest break of his (the Hulk's) life.
While I'm glad that I read the book and found it to be interesting, it wasn't organized very well. It's not told in chronological order, nor in any other order that I could decipher. It's more like a compendium of snap shots and blog posts from various times and places. It also could have used a good editor. On a good note, I liked how the author relayed his stories like a fan who just got lucky at being in the right places at the right times. I would recommend this book to long-time pro-wrestling fans who would enjoy back stories on many of their favorite stars.