Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling by Jim Ross
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Slobberknocker is the biography of wrestling announcer Jim Ross.
My first exposure to Jim Ross was during that shot time when a St. Louis station carried Bill Watts' UWF syndicated show. After that, I listen to him call matches in WCW and finally, the WWF/WWE. When I saw he was working on a book, I knew I had to read it.
The book starts and ends at Wrestlemania in 1999. The middle chronicles Jim Ross's life, from his days as a kid watching wrestling to breaking into the business to eventually becoming head of talent relations in the WWE.
The material within is great. There's self-deprecating humor and JR doesn't sugar coat much of anything. He freely admits his devotion to the wrestling business destroyed two of his marriages. He also goes into his bouts of Bell's Palsy with candid detail.
On the wrestling side of things, JR goes into the nuts and bolts of working for Bill Watts in the UWF/Mid-South, riding with the older wrestlers to learn the business. He goes into the chaos backstage at WCW and tells some very interesting stories about his friendship with Vince McMahon, something that's not normally touched upon in books like this. The road stories are pretty hilarious, as they usually are in wrestling books.
And here come the gripes! For one thing, some of the dates were way off. Did know one fact check this? Everyone knows the Montreal Screwjob happened in 1997, not 1998. And why the hell were some really interesting time periods glossed over? We got two pages of Bill Watts working for the WWF prior to Wrestlemania 11, and just a page or two more of Watts running WCW. Jim Ross was in the wrestling business for over forty years. Why wasn't this book about twice as large? And why did it stop at 1999? That's 18 years that weren't covered!
Gripes aside, this was a gripping book. It was too short, though. I expected the world from it and it's definitely a second tier wrestling book. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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