Title: Professional Wrestling in the Pacific Northwest: A History, 1883 to the Present
Author: Steven Verrier
Release Date: November 15, 2017
Note: This book was sent to us for the purposes of this review. The review, despite this, will remain unbiased and based on our own personal opinions on the book. Please bear this in mind as you continue to read.
History for many people can be tiresome. I’ve heard countless stories of friends, family, and co-workers who absolutely hated learning about the past and the significance it has on society by today’s standards. For me, the opposite couldn’t be truer. I love history.
When it comes to something I am passionate about, such as professional wrestling and the sports entertainment industry, I am more than happy to learn more about the history. This book had a focus on the history of the Northwest, an area I personally feel as though I didn’t know a lot about.
To clarify, the Northwest the book specifically talks about includes Washington, Oregon and British Columbia and aims to look at the vast history in the area throughout the past 130 years or so and not the entire history of professional wrestling in America.
Every chapter felt lengthy and full of information on certain periods in the vast history of the region. I felt that each area was covered well throughout and it was interesting to learn about how the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the various iterations of WWE and WCW influenced the region and not always in the best way.
I can tell just by the language Verrier uses within the book that he admires many of the wrestling personalities that found a home in the pacific northwest throughout their careers. Some of the more familiar names to fans may be ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, The Wild Samoans, Sgt Slaughter, Ivan Koloff, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, The Bushwhackers, and Daniel Bryan.
There was so much I learned about the difficulties the wrestling industry suffered throughout its development in the pacific northwest, which included the rise and fall of countless promotions such as Portland Wrestling and ECCW which was at first based on the ECW shows held by Paul Heyman.
If knowledge is what you seek, this may be one of the best books related to the wrestling industry I’ve read. It has a wealth of information not specifically on one person or company- but on an entire region somewhat closed off from most of the United States.
That said, this book did suffer in a few ways. The first of this is an overreliance on pre-existing information. While Verrier wrote and researched the book, the majority of what I found were quotes from other books written on the industry in the same area. I would’ve preferred to see more of his own words and not so much that of others.
There were also a few minor periods in the timeline I feel as if Verrier glazed over. Perhaps this can be explained (as he attempted to do) by a lack of wrestling news during that period due to rules and regulations imposed on the various areas of the pacific northwest- but I would have liked to understand, even briefly, on how the industry was shaping elsewhere in America and how the pacific northwest was falling behind through those problems.
At times the chapter length and text size can be tedious, especially if you set yourself a goal for chapter completion. While I personally read it as fast as I could, for other readers I can see this being a problem.
Objectively, when I look at the book I see it as a resource for any fan who wants to learn more about the industry and that area specifically. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, this will undoubtedly be beneficial for you. For others, you may find it a trudge to get through.
To conclude this review, I want to reiterate that from a historical perspective this is an exceptional book you can dig your nose into for hours on end learning many facts about the industry you’d never known before. I certainly learned a lot I’ll never forget from this.
This book has received a 7.5 rating from us. While the book provides a good insight into the professional wrestling history in the Northwest, it was at times laborious to read and skipped certain periods of time. We do recommend purchasing the book if you’re into the history because you’ll learn a lot.
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