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The Solie Chronicles by Robert Allyn, with Pamela S. Allyn and Scott Teal
The Solie Chronicles
by Robert Allyn, with Pamela S. Allyn and Scott Teal

Since the late 1800s, professional wrestling has turned out many high-profile stars: names such as Frank Gotch, Ed "Strangler" Lewis, Lou Thesz, Dusty Rhodes and Hulk Hogan. Perhaps one of the most well-known pro-wrestling personalities, however, wasn't even a wrestler. He was a commentator and announcer named Gordon Solie.

Famous dead-pan style interviews and colorful play-by-play broadcasts of wrestling led to Gordon’s induction into the WCW Hall of Fame (Class of 1995), the NWA Hall of Fame (Class of 2006), and the WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2008).

The background material for this biography was found in Gordon's personal files and taken from interviews with the people who knew him the best. It is written as a testament to a man who made his mark in many endeavors.



Long Days and Short Pays by H.E. (Duke) West, edited by Scott Teal
Long Days and Short Pays
by H.E. (Duke) West, with Scott Teal

  By his own admission, H.E. West was never what you might call a well-known name in professional wrestling.  He never wrestled in Madison Square Garden, he never held a championship title, and the small amount of money he was paid seldom covered the expenses he incurred on the road.  For all intents and purposes, wrestling was not much more than a hobby, but he was doing what he loved.

  West's story is a captivating look at life on the road for a man whose only desire was to be a part of the world of professional wrestling, not matter how small or insignificant that part might be.  He takes the reader along with him on his journey into the wrestling world, describing his time in the ring, wrestling in high-school gyms and armories before fewer than one hundred people, and on the road with his fellow wrestlers.  West wrestled as Mean Duke West, The Creature, and his most high-profile character, the Canadian Rose. He talks about being cheated by promoters, and being paid as little as one dollar a match.  The narrative is peppered with honesty and humor, and told with humility by a man who never makes himself out to be more than he was — a wrestler whose sole purpose in the ring was to make other wrestlers look good.

  His story comes to a close as, with the advent of Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment, he watches the wrestling business change around him, and as the independent promotions go out of business, he finds himself standing on the outside of the wrestling business and looking in.

  This is the story of a man who sacrificed and did what it took to achieve his childhood dream — to be a "professional wrestler."



NIKITA by Nikita Koloff, as told to William Murdock
NIKITA: A Tale of the Ring and Redemption
by Nikita Koloff, as told to William Murdock, edited by Scott Teal

  Nikita Koloff, better known as the "Russian Nightmare," stormed the wrestling world as few others have in the history of the sport.  Imposing, immovable, and unbeatable, Nikita left a trail of fallen opponents as he brought the Cold War that loomed over the globe into the ring.

From a hard-scrabble beginning to rings around the world, Nikita Koloff filled arenas, thrilled fans, and captured five world titles in the process.  And then, when he was at the top of his game, he walked away from the sport.

This is not just the story of Nikita Koloff, the wrestler.  It is the story of Nikita Koloff, the man.  It is the story of a remarkable and unique journey.  It is a story that, in many ways, is common to all of us.



Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Memories by Mike Mooneyham
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Memories
by Mike Mooneyham

  Mike Mooneyham, a columnist with the Charleston, S.C. Post and Courier since 1979, sat down with 30 professional wrestling legends and compiled this remarkable series of articles about their careers. Profiles include behind-the-scenes stories told by each of the superstars.

  Each of the legends tells how they got into pro wrestling and how they eventually found their way to the Charlotte territory, which, in the era of the territories, was considered by the wrestlers to be "the place to wrestle" and "the Mecca of pro wrestling" by the wrestling fans.   Just a few of the topics included –
— The story behind the Magnum T.A.–Tully Blanchard feud
— Dusty Rhodes’ jealousy of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express
— Why Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express gave their notice to booker George Scott
— How Gene, Lars and Ole Anderson got together to form the Minnesota Wrecking Crew
— Fans cutting the top off the Assassin’s Olds convertible and threatening to lynch them in a small, southern town
— Johnny Powers going against the established promoters with his own promotion
... and much, much more.

  This book will both entertain and educate the reader on the lives of the stars, the inner workings of the pro wrestling business, and the history of the territory known as the Mid-Atlantic ... and is told by those who experienced it.



The Strap by Roger Deem, edited by Scott Teal
The STRAP: A Complete History of Sam Muchnick's Missouri State Championship
by Roger Deem, edited by Scott Teal

  The definition of a biography is "the account of someone's life written by someone else."  This book isn't about "someone's" life, but author Roger Deem does bring life to the story of the Missouri championship belt, the "crème de la crème" of professional wrestling's title belts, second only to the world heavyweight title.  Deem covers everything about the title, from the creation of the belt in 1972 to its demise with the death of the St. Louis Wrestling Club in 1987.

  Held by legendary superstars like Harley Race, Terry Funk, Ric Flair, Jack Brisco, Ted DiBiase, Bob Backlund, Dick Murdoch, Kerry Von Erich, David Von Erich, and many others, the Missouri title was what every wrestler who appeared in St. Louis hoped to win, and each titleholder has been given a section of their own.

  But this book isn't only about the title.  It's a look at the history of the St. Louis wrestling promotion itself during the time the title was in use; the genius of promoter Sam Muchnick; the behind-the-scenes manipulations that determined who would be given the opportunity to hold the title, or have it taken away; and the problems that beset the promotion both from within and without.

  Several of the wrestlers who held or wrestled for the title — Kevin Von Erich, Ted DiBiase, Jerry Brisco, Bob Backlund, Ric Flair, Dory Funk Jr., Terry Funk, Harley Race, and Ken Patera — as well as others close to the promotion, weigh in on the subject by sharing their memories of the times, and, in many respects, the most important contribution to the story come from Larry Matysik, someone who never wrestled, but was a key figure in the offices of the St. Louis Wrestling Club.

  Also included are: listings and descriptions of every match wrestled when the Missouri title was at stake, the television matches in which the champion wrestled on the famous "Wrestling at the Chase" television program, reprints of the "Wrestling" arena program covers, and over 150 photos and images of the wrestlers and the events that took place during that time.

  Deem attacks the subject from the viewpoint of a fan who was on the outside of the wrestling business looking in and a photographer on the fringe who made friends with many of the personalities who graced the wrestling ring in both Kiel Auditorium and the St. Louis Arena.

  Relive the memories of the days when St. Louis was the wrestling capital of the world and the Missouri heavyweight title was the goal of every wrestler.



"I Ain't No Pig Farmer!" by Dean Silverstone, with Scott Teal
"I Ain't No Pig Farmer!"
by Dean Silverstone, with Scott Teal

  In an era when few people were allowed into professional wrestling’s inner circle, Dean Silverstone pitched the idea of publishing an arena program to Harry Elliott, the wrestling promoter in Seattle, Washington.  Harry gave him permission and Dean’s career as a wrestling publicist began … when he was only 14 years old.

  An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Dean wrote, created, printed, and sold the programs at Seattle’s Senator Auditorium and Masonic Temple for the next 11 years.  During that time, he also would promote spot shows, referee, write and handle publicity for Elliott’s promotion, act as box-office manager, and run a few towns of his own.

  Dean tells about putting together a roster of talent and struggling to build his company, despite opposition from other promoters, who considered him to be an outlaw.  In the process, he faced anti-Semitism, unpredictable actions from his talent, crowd riots, warnings from the Hell’s Angels, collapsing rings, the tragic death of one of his top wrestlers, and even a Molotov cocktail.  Through it all, he developed a rapport and trust between himself and the wrestlers he employed.

  His story includes opening Golden Oldies Records — a retail business venture which would eventually grow to eleven stores in all parts of Washington state — hosting an annual reunion for veteran and retired wrestlers, and working on the board of directors for the Cauliflower Alley Club.

  This is the story of a self-made man, who, in his own words, was "born at just the right time in history."



The Hard Way by Don Fargo, with Scott Teal
The Hard Way
by Don Fargo, with Scott Teal

  Don Fargo is one of the overlooked stars of the classic era of pro wrestling.  He was a headliner in almost every territory in which he appeared — New York, Amarillo, Dallas, Tennessee, Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Louisiana, just to name a few.

  For the first time, Don tells, in detail, the story about what happened when he and his tag-team partner ran afoul of a group of motorcycle outlaws, and how he inadvertently wound up on the wrong side of the law on more than a few occasions.  He also tells stories about pulling ribs on his fellow wrestlers, including well-known celebrities like boxing champ Joe Louis, and classic, hilarious stories about many of the well-known wrestlers of the golden era of pro wrestling.   Don tells the story about how he met Jackie Fargo, how they formed the tag team that became known as the Fabulous Fargos, and the story behind how they became the first team to be billed as "world tag team champions" in Madison Square Garden.

  This is the most detailed book ever written that ties together important events in wrestling history with the hilarious shenanigans that went on behind the scenes.  You’ve never read a more entertaining life story than this one.



Wrestling in the Canadian West<br>by Vance Nevada
Wrestling in the Canadian West
by Vance Nevada

  For more than 40 years, western Canada was best known as the home of Stampede Wrestling, and the region has been the site of great wrestling action for more than a century.   It has produced, hosted, and developed, a multitude of top wrestling talent.   And yet, until recently, western Canada has been frequently overlooked for its significance in the history of the sport in North America ... until now.

  WRESTLING IN THE CANADIAN WEST is a celebration of more than 100 years of professional wrestling in western Canada.   Recognizing the efforts of promoters and wrestlers alike, the histories of the titles, Canadian wrestling trivia, and stories from the wrestlers who traversed the territory, this book offers a thorough insight into the legacy of the sport in one of the continent’s most oft-forgotten regions.

  "Vance Nevada has done as much as anyone in the business as a writer, historian, and as a wrestler.   I'd say his contribution is as significant as the Harts or any of the top people in the business in Canada.   Having spent a lot of time in that country during my career, it was very interesting to learn some of the history.   This book was hard to put down once I started reading it."
— Honky Tonk Man

  Over the past sixteen years, Vance Nevada has been one of the most active performers in Canadian wrestling. With appearances from coast to coast, he has stepped in the ring with top names in the business such as Tatanka, Bryan Danielson, Robert Roode, "Maniac" Matt Borne, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, and many more.   As one of the most visible headliners, he has laid claim to numerous championships, but perhaps one that has brought him the most professional satisfaction is his recognition as a leading historian of the pro mat game.

  Away from the glare of the ring lights, Nevada has piggybacked his touring commitments to get into libraries across western Canada, often spending hours scrolling through years of microfilm, researching the history of his business.   After several years, and documentation of 18,000 matches later, Nevada has released his book, a comprehensive almanac of professional wrestling in Canada — WRESTLING IN THE CANADIAN WEST.



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