The Hardcore Truth: The Bob Holly Story by Bob Holly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Hardcore Truth is the biography of recently-retired wrestler, Bob "Hardcore" Holly.
During my decades of wrestling fandom, Bob Holly was always in my periphery, never one of my favorites but always a wrestler I knew would deliver the goods in the ring. After reading this, I wish I would have watched Bob more closely.
Unlike a lot of wrestling books, Bob's in the ring by the 10% mark. While I thought his dirt poor upbringing, teenage fatherhood, and fighting in toughman boxing matches in was interesting, I'm glad he focused on what made me want to read the book in the first place.
Bob doesn't pull any punches in the book, as befits his hard-hitting style in the ring. He doesn't glamorize his early days in WOW working for Bob Sweetan, nor his short stint as a job guy in WCW. Unlike a lot of guys other than Mick Foley, Bob says Ric was kind of a dick backstage. From there, Bob went to Smokey Mountain Wrestling for Jim Cornette and wound up dropping out of wrestling for a couple years to be a welder during the week and race cars on the weekends.
Bob eventually got the call from the WWF and wound up working there for 15 years. Remember what I said earlier about Bob not pulling punches? Bob calls it like he sees it and covers pretty much every significant WWF/WWE event from those 15 years, like the Clique running things backstage, Jeff Jarrett gettings special treatment because of his father, HHH holding talent down, the deaths of Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit, and much, much more.
I can't stress enough how straight ahead Bob is in this book. He talks about drugs, how much people were getting paid, who he liked, who he hated, and what he thought the company did wrong and what they did right. It's a really entertaining read and certainly kept my attention on a snowy Saturday afternoon.
There's not a hell of a lot more I can say about it without spoiling it. If you're at all interested in professional wrestling, you'll want to read this. For years, I have been touting Pure Dynamite: The Price You Pay for Wrestling Stardom and Terry Funk: More Than Just Hardcore as the wrestling books to buy. Now I'll have to start recommending this one as well. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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