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Shooters: The Toughest Men in Professional Wrestling Paperback – May 8, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Shooters: The Toughest Men in Professional Wrestling + Physical Chess: My Life in Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling + Say Uncle!: Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling and the Roots of Ultimate Fighting, Pro Wrestling & Modern Grappling
Price for all three: $44.49

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770410406
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770410404
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #873,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Whether you're a pro wrestling fan, an MMA fan, or both, the book is yet another must-read from Snowden . . . an excellent look at the broad history of professional wrestling's biggest and baddest." —www.MMATorch.com


"Shooters is a fantastic book from start to finish. . . . Snowden has searched far and wide for primary and secondary sources to provide his readers with a full, rich, and visual history of pro wrestling." —www.blogs.TheScore.com


"Shooters: The Toughest Men in Professional Wrestling is a hell of a book . . . A must-have if you are a hardcore fight fan or if you are a student of history." —www.FightOpinion.com


"This is simply the most comprehensive one volume coverage of strong style wrestling on the market. If you are a fan of today's strong style wrestling you will really appreciate looking back at the roots of this genre." —www.WrestlingFigs.com


"Shooters is a thoroughly researched journey through the history of professional wrestling with plenty of stops thrown in to visit the world of MMA. . . . Just as Snowden's first two books are essential reading for fans of MMA, so is Shooters." —www.BleacherReport.com


"Shooters is a history book, a volume that's entertaining and instructive. . . . This proves to be gripping reading." —www.JohnKoenig.SquareSpace.com

About the Author

Jonathan Snowden is the author of "Total MMA" and coauthor of "The MMA Encyclopedia."""He works for the Department of Defense, and he has trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the Army Combatives Program. He is a former radio DJ and television producer for the White House Communications Agency. He lives in Washington, DC.

More About the Author

Jonathan Snowden quit his job as a lawyer after September 11, 2001, to join the United States Army. He trained in Brazilian jiu jitsu and the Army Combatives Program and fell in love with the UFC. He is a former radio DJ and television producer who worked for the White House Communications Agency in Washington, D.C. He currently works for the Department of Defense and is a Contributor for Bloodyelbow.com and the Houston Chronicle as well as the author of Total MMA (ECW Press, 2008)and The MMA Encyclopedia (Coming to Amazon November 2010).

Customer Reviews

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This book far exceeded my expectations.
Lavie Margolin
This was not only the best pro wrestling book of the year, but one of my favourite pro wrestling books that I have ever read.
Ryan Clingman
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.
bookblogger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By bookblogger on July 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
First off I'll give a quick disclaimer, I don't care for professional wrestling at all. I watched it in the late 80's early 90's but since then it hasn't held any interest for me. I got a copy of this book based on a review I saw on it on MMATorch.

This book gives a great look at the history of wrestling back in the days when some contests were real and there were a lot of promoters running their own smaller shows. Starting with the first big name pro wrestlers in the late 1800's the book takes a trip all the way through the days of Brock Lesnar having to leave the UFC due to his illness.

I found the stories of the old school wrestlers pretty incredible. While the winners and losers were mostly chosen through internal promotion politics there was always a chance your opponent wouldn't be happy to take a fall and would actually fight back for real. The days were men were fighting many times a day in carnivals, taking all challengers with survivors earning a cash prize.

All of those stories were interesting, but the book really drew me in with the stories of the pro wrestling in Japan. That was where I started to see more names that I recognized due to being an MMA fan. There is a lot of great info on a lot of the names that currently are spoken of on a regular basis. Sakuraba was especially cool to learn about for me.

If you currently follow MMA, were ever a fan of pro wrestling, or appreciate the stories of the men who pioneered popularity of some of the combat sports this is a great book for you. It will really bring into focus the fact that, while the outcomes are predetermined, there is nothing fake about the athleticism of the men who dedicate their lives to entertainment wrestling.

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By fred vallongo on June 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Johnathon Snowden, has written an excellent book for students of wrestling history, with the best and toughest, as a common thread through the story. From Farmer Burns, through Frank Gotch, George Hackenscmidt, Ed Lewis, Lou Thesz, right up to the era of Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar, some wrestlers have been talented enough to control their own destinies, in what is often a sordid industry.

The pioneers realized early on that legit matches were bad for business; control of outcomes and performers was essential to ensure growth and profits. To guarantee that everyone "got with the program," and to protect the business and its secrets, promoters used the toughest, and most talented grapplers as policemen. Men like Nebraska based John "Tigerman," Pesek (a ferocious competitor who wrestled into the 1960's) filled that role for Lewis and his cronies in a 1922 match with Martin Plestina.

At one point, after being on the receiving end of Peseck's brutal tactics, Plestina was heard to shout "God, please don't kill me!" The book covers the career of Thesz, and Vern Gagne who were both good enough to control when, and to whom they lost.

The reader is given insight into the lives and methods of men like Karl Gotch, and British born Billy Robinson. Gotch after never really connecting in American rings, moved to Japan where his abilities as a wrestler, and trainer, led the Japanese to dub him "the god of wrestling." Robinson after a very successful wrestling career, has become a seminal influence in MMA, and a resurgence of catch wrestling.

Snowden also covers the careers of Angle, and Lesnar, in some detail. Angle's winning an Olympic Gold Medal, while wrestling with a broken neck is as inspiring as his descent into addiction to pain pills is sad, and tragic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mike on July 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was originally introduced to Mr. Snowden's work with the excellent and informative MMA Encyclopedia. When I saw this book I had to give it a try. Having grown up a wrestling fan (and now being a giant MMA fan) I loved reading about the history of wrestling and its role as a legitimate "tough guy" sport. The book itself is extremely well written and well researched. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in learning about the roots of catch-as-catch-can as well as learning about some of the toughest men in combat sports history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark S. Hewitt on October 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Jonathan Snowden's Shooters is a grand tour de force through combat sports history highlighting the bonafide rough and tough legit grapplers who plied their fighting art on the mats of the colorful world of professional wrestling.
The book's engaging narrative covers the likes of Muldoon, Jenkins, Burns, Gotch, and Maeda, on to Stecher, Lewis, and Pesek, continuing to Thesz, Hodge, Kimura, LeBell, and Inoki, advancing to Japanese "shoot wrestling" and modern MMA with Shamrock, Coutre, Barnett, and Lesnar. The underlying element throughout the historical panorama is the development and preservation of catch-as-catch-can wrestling and the rugged men who practiced it. The author aptly describes catch wrestling as wrestling's "ultimate expression".
Catch-as-catch-can is indeed a lethal and dangerous martial art.
This is a great book, a wonderful read, and is highly recommended.

Mark S. Hewitt
author: Catch Wrestling; Catch Wrestling Round Two.
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