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The Wrestlemania Era: The Book of Sports Entertainment [Kindle Edition]

The Doc" Matthews
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.95
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Book Description

Professional wrestling has never been as popular as it has been over the last thirty years. Beginning with Hulk Hogan’s rise to the top of the industry and the advent of WrestleMania, it found a place in the pop culture lexicon that made it a widely accepted, albeit still controversial, form of sports entertainment. The WWE has led the way, making the business as much about theatricality as it is about simulated combat and expanding their viewership in the process. Subsequently, a generation of fans has grown up with pro wrestling as one of their pastimes.

Wrestling’s growth has paralleled the rise of the media’s obsession with sports. Fans enjoy greater access than ever before to their favorite teams and superstars through television and the internet. Increased coverage has brought more in-depth discussion, creating a network of enthusiasts who are as much critics as they are devotees. Sports analysis is no longer just water cooler talk. Be it as diehard supporters of respective sports enjoying educated conversations or be it as a team’s employed statistician, we have become a sports world obsessed with analytics.

The WWE product is more globally visible than ever. They currently broadcast their weekly programming in 150 countries and in 30 languages. Websites that cover pro wrestling draw tens of millions of people every week from around the world. Much like ESPN, Fox Sports, and others, these sites provide news, results, and insider reports. The thirst for a constant stream of information is as strong amongst wrestling fans as it is for any sport or entertainment avenue. “The Doc” Chad Matthews knows that better than anyone. He started watching wrestling with his grandfather when he was two years old. In his early college years, he began writing television recaps of WWE shows for a popular website as a hobby, later writing full-fledged critical columns and reviews while going through professional schooling to become a doctor. During the same period, he took a strong interest in analytics.

Matthews eventually followed the lead of his favorite basketball writer, Bill Simmons, in combining his interest for hyper analysis with the sport that he covered. Simmons proceeded to take his analytical approach and create a list of over ninety of the greatest to have ever played in the National Basketball Association. His amazing work, The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy, was the ultimate fan account of pro basketball history. Inspired, “The Doc” set out to write the modern pro wrestling equivalent. He developed a methodical criterion to support his personal observations of nearly thirty years of fandom in order to definitively answer the question as to which wrestlers belong in the debate for the greatest of all-time. While analytically reviewing and celebrating the “WrestleMania Era” dating back to the early 1980s, he spent countless hours researching, formulating, and categorizing the matches, the interviews, the main-events, the pay-per-view buyrates, the television ratings, and the championships won.

A five-tiered breakdown shaped the definitive list. Through a formula (to bridge the gap between eras) for championships won, a scale for main-events and headlining matches to account for longevity, a compilation of television ratings and pay-per-view buy rate data for financial success, a wrestler scoring system to reflect physical attributes and microphone skills, and a film critic-like star rating scale to account for performance, Matthews has named the “Greatest Wrestlers of the WrestleMania Era.”

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

“The Doc” Chad Matthews is the pen name used for the popular online wrestling columnist from and For a decade, he has written critical reviews of WWE television shows and pay-per-views, as well as a wide variety of columns from a ranking of every WrestleMania match in history to a one year series of short stories creatively detailing the lives of WWE superstars to thorough breakdowns of WWE financials to weekly thoughts on current events. A physician by trade, Matthews began writing about wrestling as a hobby to take his mind off of his rigorous class load during his professional education. Interacting with people from all over the world (his column readership spans six continents) provided him with a unique outlet. He credits writing about his favorite pastime for helping him get through school and open a private health clinic in his hometown. After 30 years as a wrestling fan, “The Doc” gives an unmatched analytical perspective on pro wrestling in the modern era. Matthews lives in North Carolina with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.

Product Details

  • File Size: 883 KB
  • Print Length: 592 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615910246
  • Publisher: DPC Publishing, Inc. (November 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,701 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I read a lot and I watch wrestling a lot. That said, I don't read a lot of books about professional wrestling. I've read Mick Foley's first two books, I've read Chris Jericho's book, and that's pretty much it. While I am a fan of history, as well, the books I read tend to be fiction. I am, however, also an erstwhile wrestling columnist and, while I don't read them often anymore, used to read columns about professional wrestling quite a bit and even had the dream of one day compiling my columns into a book. That time has come and gone mainly because I lost the majority of my columns years ago. "The Doc" Chad Matthews, who writes for the same site I used to, has gone one better than that, though. He's taken his considerable opinions about professional wrestling, added in some statistical analysis, and combined it all into a fantastic read. I read fiction because I want to be moved to emotion. I want to cheer with the bad guys, and mourn when something awful happens to them and I want to follow along with the story.

In crafting The Wrestlemania Era the way he has, Matthews has, in essence, told a story. It may not be a story with a clearly defined beginning, middle, and ending, but that's okay. Sometimes you have to work for your entertainment and that's something that makes it all the more rewarding. In this book, The Doc covers basically thirty years of professional wrestling and analyzes--in reverse order (countdown style)--who the best 90 performers from that era are. The gamut runs from Starrcade 1983 until the end of 2012. Why 90? I have no idea. Personally, I would have gone with 100, but I would assume because breaking it up into neat 30 person tiers has a certain appeal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor Is In... January 30, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a longtime fan of professional wrestling, I have waited for years for someone to write a book that discusses the medium in both a passionate and intelligent way. For a long time, fans like myself were left with wrestler autobiographies and a few, select wrestling-based websites to fill our need for non-kayfabe literature. After reading The Wrestlemania Era: The Book of Sports Entertainment, I am thrilled to say that author Chad Matthews has finally given us the informative, thoughtful and downright entertaining read that fans have so long desired.

Matthews’ book is both a labor of love and a love letter to the world of professional wrestling. The centerpiece of his work is a countdown of the 90 greatest wrestlers of the “Wrestlemania Era,” a period that encompasses nearly 40 years from the late 1970s to present day and includes superstars who made names for themselves in various promotions including WWE, WCW, ECW and other smaller promotions/territories no longer in business. Matthews uses a wide range of criteria that includes in-ring performance, financial success, look, etc., to create one of the most unbiased examinations of a portion of the history of professional wrestling ever recorded.

Along with his knowledge of the sport’s history, one of Matthews’ greatest qualities is his writing style. Each chapter of the book is engaging and none feel like a carbon copy of what came before. When highlighting one wrestler, he may cite a personal experience when justifying that superstar’s ranking (Edge, for example). In another section, he does a fantastic job of putting a wrestler’s career into perspective and context despite troubling circumstances (Chris Benoit).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step into the ring with author Chad Matthews! March 21, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Does Professional Wrestling bring back memories from your childhood? Do you recall some of the biggest names over the past 30 years? Are you still a weekly fan to this day? This book will be a treat for you to enjoy from start to finish. From the mildly interested to the passionate, this book is absolutely worth it. Not only has Matthews complied an impressive and comprehensive 'Order of the Greats,' he's woven their respective histories and careers together in a manner that paints a cohesive landscape of Wrestlers from then to now. How their careers began, some of their famous matches, their allies and sworn enemies...and he accomplishes this without the 'red tape of the wrestling biz,' in a no-nonsense fashion based on their true and pure Wrestling grit.

You will not find a book like this anywhere else. If you're a long time fan and stepped away from the ring, go ahead and lace your boots back up. A few pages in to this book, you'll find yourself counting down until the next Monday Night show. And if you're a current fan, you'll enjoy this book more than the next Wrestlemania!

"But you don't have to take *my* word for it." Go on and treat yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Wrestling book writen by a fan for fans January 23, 2014
By DAve
I have been a long time follower of The Doc and his excellent Lords of Pain columns for a long time now. He was able to stand out amongst his peers because of his always positive attitude towards the product and his passion for the WWE. His excellent writing skills is just an added bonus. What The Doc has done here is written the ultimate fan tomb about wrestling's biggest extravaganza. He has great insight and his personal opinions are honesty and always justified. He has basically done what every fan dreams of doing at some point in their life. With this brilliant piece of work The Doc has given us a truly wonderful fans point of view from someone who has no backstage knowledge or insight....he is simply a fan. I would compare this to Bret Hart's book and Jericho's books as far as great wrestling books go. Its well worth picking up and it is also well worth checking out The Doc's weekly columns at
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know about wrestling
For any wrestling fan from the 80s wrestling boom to now, this is a must have book!! Great analysis of wrestlers from different eras, taking all accomplishments into consideration. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jessica
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for wrestling fans of all eras
The Doc's first foray into the squared pages doesn't disappoint. A really enjoying read to be consumed at any pace. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Matthew Thomas Sacrinty
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem
This is a modern classic wrestling book. Every form of entertainment needs it's scribes to tell the history beyond whats presented and this is no different. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rich
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 10 months ago by Aaron Burgess
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Fan Account on Professional Wrestling
I'm a 15 year fan of professional wrestling. I grew up watching WWE and WCW go head to head in the Monday Night Wars, witnessed the rise of John Cena and am now enjoying the newly... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Matt
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellence
This is an absolute must read for any wrestling fan, new or old. The Doc draws you in with his own experiences as a fan and then lays out the top guys of the Wrestlemania Era. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Casey Jones
2.0 out of 5 stars Much Potential Wasted
This book had such an interesting premise that I could not resist checking it out. Unfortunately, while the effort was massive and the detail in compiling the rating system... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Colin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read on wrestling from the '80's til now
This is not a history of wrestling book nor does it read that way. Doc discusses the greatest, most successful wrestlers from the very first Wrestlemania up until now. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Hugo Medeiros
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must have for diehard wrestling fans
I have been writing online columns for roughly the same amount of time as The Doc has. I've seen this man grow from a reviewer into one of the best wrestling writers on the... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Rance Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for fans of Professional Wrestling!
"The Doc" Chad Matthews has written an amazing book. His knowledge of the industry over the previous three decades is second to none. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Chris
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