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Drawing Heat the Hard Way: How Wrestling Really Works Kindle Edition

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Length: 259 pages

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Editorial Reviews


"I have really enjoyed reading Larry Matysik’s book Wrestling at the Chase, the story of St. Louis wrestling, featuring legendary promoter Sam Muchnick. St. Louis was as well promoted as any city in the world for many, many years. Nice job, Larry!” —Jim Ross, Raw Superstar,

Larry Matysik may not be on your short list of professional wrestling greats, but he should be . . . If you have a keen interest in the nature of professional wrestling . . . this is the best book written on the subject."  —Figure Four Online and WrestlingObserver

"Matysik astutely explains that McMahon's dominance of the industry allows him to regularly change the face of pro wrestling into his own ever-evolving vision of . . . 'sports entertainment.'"   —Scripps Howard News Service

"Larry Matysik wonderfully sums up how wrestling should work and how it really does . . . This is a man who knows his stuff and it shows in his writing."  —

About the Author

Larry Matysik is an independent promoter who has worked in the professional wrestling industry for more than 45 years. He is a former television announcer and publicist who worked for the World Wrestling Federation from 1984 to 1993. He is the author of Brody and Wrestling at the Chase. He lives in Belleville, Illinois.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3284 KB
  • Print Length: 259 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press; Original edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0038KYF82
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #958,225 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By fred vallongo on September 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "Drawing Heat," a veteran (40+years) announcer, booker, and sometime promoter, offers his take on the last decades of wrestling history. He also suggests its possible future. The chapters: "booking 101," and "booking 102," should be required reading for anyone looking to enter "the business" in any capacity.

He shows how a smart booking team can build towards a profitable series of cards, and, conversely, how a "hot spot," or a "Dusty finish," can produce a quick profit, but kill business over time.

Matysik's portraits of some of the characters he has worked with over the years: his mentor Sam Muchnik, Vince MacMahon, and especially Frank (Bruiser Brody) Goodish, are sharply etched, and fun to read'

I found the anecdote of Bruiser Brody's encounter with a fan during a plane ride, who asked Brody if wrestling was fake, and when the wrestler told him it was, then began arguing why it was real, not only funny, but a good metaphor for the suspension of disbelief every fan experiences! The art of pro wrestling is telling a story that encourages, and allows us to suspend disbelief, and get caught up in what we see and hear.

And of course, he explores the question--"why?" is he (and by extension his readers)still a fan of a "worked" sport that shatters more dreams than it fulfills; that sometimes appeals to our worst impulses? And yet like the author, I admit I remain a fan after 50 years of watching wrestling in arenas, gyms, and of course on television.

A casual fan might find this book provides too much information--like the old saw about not wanting to know how sausage is made, if you want to continue to enjoy it! The true student of pro wrestling will find this a delightful, and insightful read.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Diamonddulius on February 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I have the utmost respect for Larry, and I honestly think he's a pretty sharp guy in some instances, I have to say I got the impression that Larry just doesn't really "get" pro wrestling as a genre. The reason for that is because of the influence of Sam Muchnick. It's true he was the greatest president in NWA history and was unparalleled when it came to holding the promoters (and the NWA) together, but the fact of the matter is he seemed ashamed of wrestling. He wanted desperately to be involved in "legit" sports, so he tried to make wrestling into a real sport. No angles. No gimmicks. No tag teams. No managers. No stips. Very few promos. The matches were good, don't get me wrong, but often the show was simply dull. To understand the deficiencies of this book, you must understand that this is the background Matysik comes from.

So, like several other old timers, Matysik tries to draw comparisons between pro wrestling and UFC. UFC is legit, so it comes as no surprise that Matysik would see his vision of wrestling as similar, particularly when taking into account his background. But he, like many performers from back in the day, lets his desire to "be legit" color how he sees wrestling, and he truly misses the boat on what makes great wrestling. Wrestling is not a competition, and never was. It was and is a morality play. People truly "into" wrestling during the territory days did not want to see the best man win thru competition, they wanted the babyface to give the heel his come-uppance. To apply "legit" sports ideas to wrestling (no cheating, no heat, no craziness) only handcuffs you. If UFC has a parallel, it certainly would be boxing, not wrestling. Matysik suggests that wrestling's audience had dwindled because UFC had taken a portion of it's audience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Douglas E. Dahm on September 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Larry Matysik's Drawing Heat the Hard Way gives an unprecedented, in-depth, behind the scenes look at pro wrestling. In an easy-to-read, enjoyable, and conversational style, Matysik reveals the guts of an often misunderstood and ever changing slice of Americana. As with any subject, much swirls beneath the surface of pro wrestling. Through personal anecdotes and solid analysis from someone who's been in the middle of the business for the last forty years, the book pulls the reader along at the pace of good novel. Die-hard fans and casual observers alike will get a kick out of this one, Matysik's third and, I think, the best of the three enjoyable books he's written on the subject of pro wrestling. It's top of the line.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sheldon M. Goldberg on January 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Larry Matysik has turned into a prolific author. With three other wrestling themed books to his credit, Wrestling at the Chase, Brody (with Barbara Goodish), the St. Louis Record Book, Larry now turns to giving us an in-depth inside look at professional wrestling and how it works.

If anyone is qualified to write such a tome, it's Larry Matysik. From the age of 16, Larry became an assistant to one of the greatest wrestling promoters who ever lived, the legendary Sam Munchnik, a founder and long tiome president of the National Wrestling Alliance. Larry became an announcer as well as promoter and publicist. This man can truly say he beared witness to thye true heyday for professional wrestling in America.

If you are someone who is involved in pro wrestling in some way, this book is required reading. If you are just a fan who wants to really know what makes this thing called professional wrestling tick, this is your book.

Like Larry's other books, this is excellently written and a highly informative and enjoyable read. The author's passion for the subject shines through like a beacon.
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