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Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment [Kindle Edition]

Shaun Assael , Mike Mooneyham
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $11.19
You Save: $3.81 (25%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

“Current fans and recovering Hulkamaniacs alike should find [Sex, Lies, and Headlocks] as gripping as the Camel Clutch.” —Maxim

Sex, Lies, and Headlocks is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the backstabbing, scandals, and high-stakes gambles that have made wrestling an enduring television phenomenon. The man behind it all is Vince McMahon, a ruthless and entertaining visionary whose professional antics make some of the flamboyant characters in the ring look tame by comparison. Throughout the book, the authors trace McMahon’s rise to power and examine the appeal of the industry’s biggest stars—including Ed “Strangler” Lewis, Gorgeous George, Bruno Sammartino, Ric Flair, and, most recently, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. In doing so, they show us that while WWE stock is traded to the public on Wall Street, wrestling remains a shadowy world guided by a century-old code that stresses secrecy and loyalty.

With a new afterword, this is the definitive book about the history of pro wrestling.

“Reading this excellent behind-the-scenes look at wrestling promoter McMahon . . . is almost as entertaining and shocking as watching the most extreme antics of McMahon’s comic-book style creations such as Steve Austin and The Rock.”
Publishers Weekly

“A quintessentially American success story of a cocky opportunist defying the odds and hitting it big . . . Sparkling cultural history from an author wise enough to let the facts and personalities speak for themselves.”—Kirkus Reviews

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Reading this excellent behind-the-scenes look at wrestling promoter McMahon, the current ruler of the wild and ruthless world of professional wrestling, is almost as entertaining and shocking as watching the most extreme antics of McMahon's comic-book style creations such as Steve Austin and The Rock. Combining hard investigative journalism with a genuine love for wrestling's weirder tendencies, Assael (senior writer for ESPN and author of Wide Open) and Mooneyham (who writes the wrestling column in the Charleston Post and Courier) have penned one of the closest looks so far at this industry, which moved from the cheap and smoke-filled Midwestern halls of the 1930s to become one of the most successful television enterprises ever by the 1990s. The authors focus on McMahon, who rose from a difficult childhood to take command of the World Wrestling Federation and almost singlehandedly invent the current style of extreme wrestling. The authors also carefully detail how McMahon's take-no-prisoners business style led him into his own bouts with financial, legal, sexual and drug problems, until finally he had become totally seduced by the loud, angry circus he'd created. But beneath the many stories about crooked promoters, armed wives, drug-crazed and sexually profligate wrestlers, the authors also skillfully illuminate pro wrestling's influence on the media, detailing McMahon's feuds with rivals like Ted Turner and World Championship Wrestling's Eric Bischoff, as well as his byzantine dealings with notables from such companies as Viacom and NBC. This is an essential read for both fans and enemies of pro wrestling.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Professional wrestling has become a lightning rod for controversy. Critics decry the violence and the rampant disregard for political correctness, while those who savor the spectacle think those are its best qualities. At the eye of the storm is Vince McMahon, a third-generation wrestling promoter with a genius suited for the cable age. Assael and Mooneyham provide a brief history of the sport from its days as an early television phenomenon to its downslide into a regionally marketed sideshow in the seventies and eighties. The advent of cable created a need for cheap, quickly produced programming, and McMahon was there with wrestling, which he built into a show-biz spectacle. Imitators followed, and the stakes became higher as cable networks battled for viewers, steroids became de rigueur, and wrestlers died in stunts and from drug overdoses. There's no end in sight: the Rock, a premier wrestler, was a speaker at the Republican convention that nominated George Bush. Somewhere between expose and celebration, this account will be of most interest to fans who view the sport as a guilty pleasure. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 453 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1400051436
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (November 3, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00486U9WG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,845 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Was this really researched well? November 26, 2003
By A Customer
The major concern I have is whether or not some rarely known facts were thoroughly researched. My concern comes from the fact that there were many inaccuracies in the book that I knew for a fact were wrong. For instance, the Rick Steamboat-Randy Savage WMIII match that Assael claims went nearly an hour, was actually a fifteen minute affair. Assael also writes that Lex Luger slammed Yokozuna on "July 4, 1995" just prior to his shocking appearance on Nitro. Problem was, the bodyslam actually took place July 4, 1993 - big difference. If he can't get this stuff right - which is can be found very easily in any old PWI Almanac - how can we trust him to know what was going on in meetings with Vince McMahon and Ted Turner held behind closed doors?
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
I found the book "Sex, Lies, and Headlocks" to be interesting, though some of the stories to be quite depressing. It is just amazing some of the stuff that goes behind the scenes in the wrestling business. For one, I was shocked what Vader said after learning of the death of Brian Pillman.
The timeline of the book goes from the start of the NWA in 1948 to when the McMahon's moved their WWF company from USA over to Viacom.
I'd recommend the book for all wrestling fans thought acknowleging that it is not perfect. There are some inaccuracies with dates and other information. The authors flip back and forth between topics. This can lead to some incohesivenss and rather pointless info that may be just included for pure shock factor.
At the end of the book their is a final chapter that is very rushed. It includes the XFL, demise of ECW, and the sale of WCW to Vince McMahon. I felt that the sale should have had alot more detail since it was one of the biggest news stories in wrestling history. It would have been nice if the authors would have gone into more detail covering it.
The book was a bit short (258 Pages, not the 288 lists) and can be read at a fast pace. The language in the book is not the greatest. I can understand when the authors quote someone but I was suprised to see some of the words they used themselves. It did not bother me but it might not be a great choice to read for someone who is of a younger age.
Would have been nice to see the book a bit longer and covering more topics but this is probably the best book on wrestling that has been released lately. Despite the cons, It was still very enjoyable.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Facts wrong. February 24, 2004
This book is well written, but not a lot of research was done. It's written like fiction. Andre the Giant did not retire in 1987, as this book states. He won the world title in 88, and the tag titles in 1990.
Sloppy facts and enough made up info and verbiage make this book a no go.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The squared circle is exposed....... April 20, 2003
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Sex, Lies, and Headlocks is perhaps one of the most revealing narratives ever composed on the subject of professional wrestling. The authors have laid bare much material about the business that was once considered inside information and not for public consumption.
In effect, the reader is treated to a fascinating back-stage look into how Sports Entertainment emerged from humble beginnings into a corporate and television empire.
Centering around the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) dynasty is Vince McMahon, the company owner, with him being an essential focal point in the book. Virtually no stone is left unturned in the revelations of how be bought the company from his father and used, sometimes ruthlessly, whatever business tactics he needed to buy out his competition and solidify his domination in the wrestling market.
Not without its myriad problems during its rise to greatness, the WWF would absorb many situations that pushed it close to failure on several occasions. Among some incidents would be rampant steroid use by wrestlers and revealing sex scandals in the 1980s. Rebounding from this and moving into the 1990s, Vince McMahon would eventually go head to head with media mogul Ted Turner regarding their many ugly battles to ruin each other and gain domination in the cable television market.
Shifting into the late 1990s and approaching the new millennium, the WWF would finally begin its eventual rise to the top through perseverance and shrewd business dealings that have made it the sole professional wrestling powerhouse they are today.
Sex, Lies, and Headlocks is a very well written and researched book and is probably the closest look you will ever get to truly knowing and understanding the WWF's history and its secrets. For all fans of Sports Entertainment, this book is a real treat and comes highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Title is misleading July 29, 2003
By Joe
This is billed as, "The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation", but this book is REALLY about the hisotry of the television development of the WWF, WCW, and NWA. The book is primarliy about how wrestling gained exposure through cable television and how the WWF and WCW eventually became giants through television and how WCW "overtook" the WWF in the ratings, and then going back to second fiddle to their eventual demise.
It's fairly easy reading. I finished this in two days.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely interesting historical perspective October 15, 2002
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Before starting Shaun Assael's Sex, Lies, and Headlocks, I was fearful that it would be a totally one sided bashing of Vince McMahon and the wrestling empire that he has built. And while the book is critical of many of the means that Vince used to get where he is, it is also a very nice historical perspecive of the history of the business itself. I didn't expect it to go into as much detail as it did on the rise and fall of some of the other organizations, especially WCW and it's Monday Night Wars with the WWF. Having been a long time fan, much of what I read I had known of before, but there was information that I hadn't heard as well. This is a great read if you are interested in the business and the behind the scenes dealings of it. If you are a die hard Vince McMahon fan, you may not like or believe all of what you read. But, I can't imagine anyone with an interest in wrestling not gaining some knowledge of the business that they didn't have before.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars who released this??
Well, it was a good try but after the writer got a few facts wrong that can easily be researched it gave the whole book to me a sense of "suspended disbelief" too bad it... Read more
Published 2 months ago by jlbjr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good book
Published 2 months ago by Lawrence A. Carter
3.0 out of 5 stars A good primer for the history of WWF
This book is a solid introduction to the history of the WWF and gives you information about how wrestling began. Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. R. Rogacki
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great, but pretty good.
For those who aren't already familiar with Vince's history, this would be a perfectly acceptable introduction. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Christopher Marshall
1.0 out of 5 stars Miss leading
I found the book miss leading, yes some was about Vince McMahon but more was about the ratings and networks. Also found it hard to read and even boring at times. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dave
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for inside information about wrestling
I just finished reading this book and it's been intriguing. Hardcore fans would know a lot of the stories in the book but it is still nice to read. Read more
Published 10 months ago by FAWAZ O. AL-AQEEL
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Info-but do your own research
When I read this book I was completely hooked on it, it gives you the behind the scenes info you want but is it all as real as they say. Read more
Published 12 months ago by David G
2.0 out of 5 stars More than a little disappointing
This is what happens when someone who doesn't know anything about wrestling decides to write a book about wrestling. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Casey Simpson
1.0 out of 5 stars Sex, Lies and Factual Errors
Aside from being amateurishly written, Sex, Lies & Headlocks is riddled with so many glaring factual errors that it taints the credibility of the entire text. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jake Aurelian
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok nothing special
Very similiar to many blue rays out to purchase (rise and fall of wcw, Monday night wars, history of Wrestlemania). Didn't learn much that I already did not know.
Published on May 4, 2012 by Pen Name
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