Wrestle Maniacs by Adam Howe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wrestle Maniacs is a short story anthology featuring stories about professional wrestling.
Let's face it: apart from Hoodtown, Champion of the World, and Ugly As Sin, there isn't a ton of pro wrestling fiction out there. When Adam Howe hit me up to read an ARC of this, I went for it like a series of Ric Flair chops in the corner.
I expected Wrestle Maniacs to be entertaining but I was pretty surprised at the overall quality of the collection. I've read a handful of the authors before, like Adam Howe, Gabino Iglesias, and James Newman but a lot of them were new to me and people I'll seek out later.
The stories run the gamut. There's comedy, tragedy, action, gore, and WRESTLING! There aren't many anthologies dedicated to one subject that actually cover a lot of ground. There was fiction loosely inspired by the tragedy of the Von Erich family, of Chris Benoit's murder/suicide, and the Montreal Screwjob. There were also really entertaining tales of luchadors and wrestlers that suddenly find themselves in a shoot. Or something out of the Twilight Zone, in one case.
My favorites were A Fiend in Need, Last of the High Flying Van Alstynes, and Rassle Hassle but there wasn't a jabronie in the bunch. I hope Wrestle Maniacs does well enough that Adam Howe and Honey Badger Press do another wrestling anthology in the future. Four out of five snap suplexes.
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