Wednesday, November 04, 2009

QUICK REVIEW: Sputnik, Masked Men, And Midgets

SPUTNIK, MASKED MEN, AND MIDGETS: THE EARLY DAYS OF MEMPHIS WRESTLING by Ron Hall

THIS is a fascinating picture book that details through photos the history of Memphis rasslin up until the start of the cable TV era in the early 1980s. While the text is badly written, redundant and - at times - not particularly accurate, you probably didn't buy the book for the words in the first place. You're here for the pics and they sure don't disappoint.

There are fascinating posed photos, in-ring action shots, candid snaps + a stack of flyers, posters, newspaper articles, record covers and more. If you love the history of wrestling, then this book will delight you as much as it delighted me.

The book is divided into chapters focusing on foreign devils, the wild 60s era built around the colourful Sputnik Monroe, women wrestlers, midget wrestlers, wrestling bears and, of course, Jerry Lawler's rise to prominence in the 70s.

Again, the writing lets Sputnik, Masked Men, And Midgets down, but it's still a helluva lotta fun to sit on the dunny and check out some fantastic photos of an amazing period in wrestling history.

The book also comes with a short CD, the highlight being Sputnik's attempt to out-Blassie the great Freddie Blassie in Sputnik Hires A Band.