Saturday, July 04, 2009

Cheap Heat Book Review-- Wrestling with the Truth by Bruno Lauer

Gene Jackson's Cheap Heat Book Review- Wrestling with the Truth by Bruno Lauer

As everyone who has read my stuff for a while knows, I love reading wrestling books. I've read the majority of all the wrestling books that have come out over the years. Of course my favorite has always been Mick Foley's first book 'Have a Nice Day'. I also very much enjoyed Chris Jericho's book as well as Bret Hart's book. There are a lot of really good books out there. On the flip side of that there are a lot of really shitty books out there as well. I'm a huge Jerry Lawler fan and I couldn't wait to read his book but was really dissappointed in it when I finally got the chance to as too much of it was spent dwelling on his lost relationship with Stacy Carter, to the point I was almost embarrassed for him by the end. His great career deserves a better representation than that. Anyway, I digress let's get to the point of today's review.

Being a huge fan of Memphis Wrestling growing up I always like to check out books that might have some good stories from the "glory days" of Memphis. When I heard Downtown Bruno had written a book I thought this would be right up my alley. I've always liked Downtown Bruno based on watching Memphis tv on Saturday mornings with my Dad when I was a kid, my Dad always loved to hear Bruno's interviews and thought they were hilarious, so we always looked forward to seeing Bruno and whoever he was managing at the time come out and talk smack about what they were gonna do that Monday night to Jerry Lawler....Jeff Jarrett....Bill Dundee...or whoever the 'Downtown Connection' had their sights set on at the time. So because of that I've always followed Bruno's career. I saw him work a lot in Continental during his time their in '88 and was pleasantly surprised to see him turn up in the WWF years later.

Anyway, I've really wanted to order his book and check it out since it was released but just haven't had the chance to up til recently. B.T. put me in touch with Bruno to talk to him about the Eddie Gilbert book I'm working on and Bruno has been so nice and helpful offering insight on anything I've asked and as busy as he is on the road all the time he always gets back to me and has just been really great helping me out and sending me material for the book. Having read some of the stuff he sent me for the book on Eddie Gilbert I knew I now more than ever wanted to read his book, "Wrestling with the Truth." So I finally ordered it and got it in about a week ago. I just finished it last night and I have to say I really enjoyed the hell out of it. Don't get me wrong I'm not just coming on here endorsing his book because he's helping me, I would put this book over even if Bruno didn't like me. So many great stories in there, a lot of really funny stuff, some really sad stuff, shocking stuff, but all of it honest. That is what impressed me most is that Bruno tells you like it is about the people he's worked with over the years. From the amazing way he broke into the business as a young kid, to dealing with hard asses like Bill Dundee, to surviving life with 'Psycho' Sid to hanging out with a teenage 'Rock' to Owen Hart ribs to the car wreck that nearly ended his life and did end referee Joey Marella's. You want honesty, that story is full of honesty, something most people don't have the guts to do but Bruno doesn't sugarcoat his feelings about Marella just because he's past on, as people so often do. This story is worth the price of the book alone as it's just really amazing that Bruno is here today after that ordeal.

There are a lot of funny stories and lines throughout the whole book but one of my favorites is a story of Owen Hart leaving Cheif Jay Strongbow totally speechless backstage, one of the greatest lines in the history of the business.......but I'm not gonna spoil it. Read the book to hear that one and countless others. The wrestling book market has been flooded in recent years and there are a lot of books out there that after you read them you wonder why you wasted your time. I promise you, if you order this book you won't be disappointed it's the story of man who paid his dues to make it from poverty to being the right hand man of most powerful family in sports entertainment.

Whether you know him as 'Downtown Bruno', Dr. Harvey Whippleman, or Harvina- the WWE Women's Champion, Bruno Lauer is a man with an interesting story to tell that can entertain fans and teach young guys in the wrestling business what it was like to "pay your dues" and "break in" to the professional wrestling business in the pre-Tough Enough era of wrestling. Things aren't the same and they never will be, but guys need to know what it was like for the ones who came before them and Bruno put in his time on the road to earn his spot. I again would like to reiterate what I said before that Bruno is one of the nicest most helpful guys I have had the pleasure of dealing with in the wrestling business and it's an honor to have him here as a part of the RRO staff.

If you'd like to check out the book for yourself and again I highly recommend you do. Go to this website.
The website also has some chapter previews and such that can give you a bit of a feel for the book and a taste of what's in there.

Have a great fourth everybody and be safe.