It should be no secret by now that I love books about professional wrestling. Whether it’s about a performer’s career or a take on a promotion or an organization itself, it’s a tremendous source of entertainment. Stories about shenanigans taking place behind the scenes can always succeed in getting a laugh out of me. The fact is, these guys are on the road over 300 days a year and if they can’t find a way to blow off some steam, they’re going to go crazy.
Calgary sun columnist Heath McCoy takes you through the struggles and triumphs of Stu Hart’s Calgary based promotion Stampede Wrestling. Everything is covered in impressive detail from Stu’s humble beginnings to his rise to prominence in the international wrestling community. Stampede grew from a local wrestling promotion to a hotbed of talent recognized the world over.
When I heard that this book was being published, I had to get my hands on it. Just think of the stories involving legendary prankster Owen Hart, let alone the colorful antics of the entire Hart family itself. Despite my admiration of Owen and his older brother Bret, his remaining siblings are not often looked upon favorably and are usually the subject of bizarre tales.
What can only be described as an anomaly in pro wrestling culture, Heath is an outsider with a purely objective view. He doesn’t have an axe to grind nor any performers to smite so it’s easily one of the more refreshing takes on the business.
Looking back, the amount of talented performers that had honed their skills in Stampede Wrestling is remarkable and to read about their early days in the business was certainly interesting. Overall, I’d say this is a necessary companion to Bret Hart’s self penned autobiography and should be read by any pro wrestling aficionado interested in the territory days.