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The 50 Greatest Professional Wrestlers of All Time: The Definitive Shoot Paperback – February 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (February 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770411046
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770411043
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Matysik's book offers something for the current WWE fan and for folks who enjoyed watching Wrestling at the Chase or bouts at Kiel Auditorium and the Arena. He mentions numerous familiar names and some you may have even forgotten." —St. Louis-Post Dispatch (February 23, 2013)


"One of the things that distinguishes Matysik's book from similar volumes is that he presents very convincing arguments for the inclusion — or the exclusion — of certain performers. He presents those arguments respectfully, along with a sense of fun and intelligence." —Charleston Post-Courier (March 31, 2013)

About the Author

Larry Matysik is a wrestling promoter and the author of "Brody," "Drawing Heat the Hard Way," and "Wrestling at the Chase." He has worked with Sam Muchnick, cofounder and former president of the National Wrestling Alliance, and Vince McMahon, chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment. He lives in Belleville, Illinois.

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Customer Reviews

That is how easy this book flows as well.
Flair
Unfortunately, that's too true; his writing is a bit too conversational for my taste, and like a good long conversation it can get a bit unfocused.
David E. Smith
Larry Matysik's latest effort is more than just a one-sided ranking of the top 50 professional wrestlers of all time.
Roger Deem

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Douglas E. Dahm on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
With his usual engaging style, expert Larry Matysik brings a different angle and the inside scoop on professional wrestling, the wrestlers, and all involved in the business. The first part of the book sets up a well reasoned and compelling framework for his selection of the fifty best grapplers of all time. Then he profiles all his choices--wrestler fifty to number one--with inside information far beyond what even a hardcore fan could ever access. In fact, it's easy to now and then to forget the whole "who's best" theme while reading the fascinating individual stories. (The inside human side of each wrestler grabs you as much as the ring action.) It's an interesting read and, when it comes down to it, whether fans agree or disagree with the list, the book will hook even the casual fan and become a permanent part of the devotee's library. Another good one from L. M.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By martez detroit on March 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Larry M brings a great historical perspective and a great resource for true rasslin' fans. I agree with all of the 4 and 5 star reviews that are showing as of this day. Lou is #1 and Randy Orton is #50. The only thing i will mark down is the lack of stats, like title reigns for example. But he made up for it with tons of info. Very well written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By PB on June 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Matysik has done it again, crafting a riveting read on our fair sport of professional wrestling. For how many books can you say that the introduction is as interesting as the actual meat of the book? Well, you can count this one. The first 100+ pages of the book detailing Matysik's method for assembling the Top 100 is worth the price alone, but then, lo...he delivers a definitive Top 50 of All-Time! Each chapter is perfectly suited to begin and finish on the can. Over the course of 50 visits, not only is the reader re-familiarized with the perennial greats, but he / she is also educated with inside knowledge of the business and eras / wrestlers that might have pre-dated him / her.

What a great book! Fascinating and fun to read. While I might argue with some of the rankings, my squabbles are few. My only real disagreement is with the inclusion of Randy Orton at #50. I wonder if there might have been a little bit of hometown cooking influencing his inclusion. Give me Mick Foley or even Sting over Orton, but that's half the fun of the book - critiquing his list against yours.

For wrestling fans young and old, this is highly recommended. Keep the books coming, Mr. Matysik!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Justin Shroads on July 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great objective analysis of pro wrestling greats. Far better and less biased than the WWE 50. I can only hope Larry writes more books about pro wrestling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GEORGE SCHIRE on February 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
Author Larry Matysik did the impossilbe! He put together a list of wrestling legends that spotlights the elite of the pro wrestling business over the decades. Not an easy task! Sure some can speculate that this was "Larry's opinion", but when you read the case Larry makes for each of the 50 grapplers to be placed where they are in the pecking order, you know that he made every possilbe attempt to be subjective...not easy to accomplish when one was as close to the business as Larry was.

Agree or disagree with the final list of 50, Larry's book will stimulate discussions for years to come. Larry was able to remove his own personal feelings about the wrestlers, and look at their body of work in the ring and contribution to the sport, to justify (at least in his opinion...as all lists like this would be) why the 50 wrestlers on the list are "the greatest of the greatest".

This book is insightful and well thought out. There is no attempt on Larry's part to present "his" opinions as gospel to the reader, but rather showing the pros and cons as to why a wrestler is #26 or #8 on the list. There have been hundreds of wrestling books published over the last decade, but Larry's book is in the top five of them all.

If you are an old fan of the kayfabe era, or a newcomer to the entertainment era, Larry's book is an education on how it all unfolded. You won't be able to put it down, and you'll refer to it again and again. That is the difinition of a GREAT BOOK!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matt Farmer on February 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
A project like this is a very daunting task. To narrow down the 50 greatest of all time is a hard thing to do. Being one of people that author Larry Matysik credited in his book gives me a different view on his selections. Many of the names we discussed and while we may have had different ideas on placements, I realize the end of the day these polls are subject to opinions.
What makes this book stand out is his expert analysis on fifty of the biggest names in wrestling history. Weather your a fan of old time wrestling or if you have become a fan of wrestling in the last 5 years this book has something for everyone. Its 460+ pages of wrestling history!

If you would like to ask me questions about this book or others follow me on twitter. @mattfarmer93
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jay on January 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of professional wrestling then this book is a must read. Now, it would have been so easy for Matysik to have just listed wrestlers of the "WWE years", but he goes all the way back to the early 1900s. Some of the younger readers won't recognize names like Gene Kiniski and Edouard Carpentire. And even some of the older readers won't recognize names like Jim Landos and Joe Stecher, but these are the men that made wrestling what it is today. When I read Matysik's list of the 50 greatest professional wrestlers of all time, there were some names that I didn't see--names of wrestlers of which I was a big fan. But Matysik gives a list of criteria which he believes needs to be considered when choosing members of his list. Things such as in ring ability, microphone skill, charisma, longevity. And once I started considering some of my favorites,using his criteria; you know what? Matysik was right. Some were entertaining while doing their gimmicks, but when they wrestled, well, the matches tended to be stinkers. And others that were great in the ring, just didn't stay in around very long due to injuries, (or even death!). Matysik is brutally honest explaining why he choose certain men and, more importantly, why he didn't choose others. If they had a drug problem, couldn't draw a crowd, or wouldn't play the political game with the promoters, Matysik holds nothing back. And when you read why he picked his 50, it is hard to argue against his choices. This is a well thought out analyses of the history of professional wrestling. You will enjoy it!
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