Book 226 – Slobberknocker: My Life In Wrestling by Jim Ross and Paul O’Brien

Book – Slobberknocker: My Life In Wrestling
Author – Jim Ross and Paul O’Brien
Year – 2017
Pages – 325
Genre – Wrestling Autobiography

There are a number of wrestling autobiographies that everyone knows would be sensational.  Vince McMahon. Triple H.  The Undertaker.  Easily some of the most compelling people involved in wrestling that would blow open some of what happens behind the scenes.  Those of us who consider ourselves a little smarter (wrestling lingo for knowing the inner workings of wrestling – and no, I am weirdly not ashamed to either know that or consider myself such) could add a few other names to the list.  Jim Cornette.  Paul Heyman.  Kevin Dunn.  For many, many years, I would add Jim Ross to that list – potentially at the top.

So I was surprised, despite knowing it was being penned, to see that this had been released in October of last year and I had missed it.  Growing up outside of the business and forcing his way in through hard work, Good Ol’ JR has been a staple of most major American wrestling promotions, Head of Talent Relations of WWE, the voice of wrestling to my generation, and is one of the most widely respected minds in the industry.  It’s the kind of thing I thought would have been on my radar.  From close friendships with people such as Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mick Foley, to a highly volatile one with WWE supremo Vince McMahon, Ross must be absolutely bursting with stories to tell.

Well unfortunately not.  It’s so tough to tell with these autobiographies what the reasoning is behind not “telling all”.  Niceness maybe.  Possibly recollection.  Poor writing.  Whatever it is, there’s nothing quite so boring as finding that there is not the content to support someones pedigree.  The most scandalous that it gets is a chapter about Vince farting a lot.

Not that scandal is what I was necessarily after.  I just wanted to find out about all of the interesting things that have happened in the life and career of one of the greats.  Instead everything is in such cursory detail that it just washes by.  I felt this might have been a good thing at the beginning when describing a perfectly normal upbringing – too many autobiographies linger on childhood unnecessarily, and this was a good change – but that lack of depth pervaded into everything, and you never felt that there was enough meat to really get to grips with.

It is very obviously ghost written, and whilst I am not against that per se, it feels that more could be done with some of these wrestlers who are incredibly performers – and particularly Ross who is an accomplished commentator – to get their voice across.  It is no coincidence that it is the autobiographies written without a ghost writer such as Edge’s, Mick Foley’s and (I believe) Bret Hart’s are some of the best.  I simply don’t believe that someone like Jim Ross would be incapable of writing it himself, and so should probably be left to do so.

It is not an awful book – of that there is no doubt.  If it was from someone different I may have quite enjoyed it.  However, my expectations were incredibly high for this book and so I was incredibly disappointed as how average it was.  I know that there are probably very few (if any) people who read these wrestling reviews, but I absolutely love wrestling books, and despite not being the best one, it did reignite my desire to read more.  I just wish they weren’t so damn expensive!  I shall reread the ones I have that aren’t on here first I think, then maybe start to make the purchases.

5/10

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