A Bad Company, A Fun Book

The Hart Family is one of the most celebrated and possibly the first (there are timeline arguments to be made)  first families of professional wrestling/sports entertainment.  There have been quite a few books written about and by the Hart family, most notably Bret Hart’s biting, brutal, hate laced, but honest Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling.  I was a huge fan of this almost 10 year in the making tome which was more transcription of audio diary than Bret’s actual writing.  Bret happens to be a great writer and has/had a regular column in the Calgary Sun.  That column was once in awhile written by his older brother Bruce, the brother that without, Bret may’ve have never decided to have his father Fritz turn him into “the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be”.

Bruce Hart, the second oldest brother,  has chosen that the time was right for him to tell his very slanted side of the story in ECW Press’ Straight From The Heart.

I was very gratified to get the opportunity to read and review this book from the Publicity department at ECW Press at Book Expo America.  As a story/skewed memoir it is as enetertaining as any wrestling autobiogrphies of recent memory.  There’s fervor, details, psychology, analysis and a great story.

It’s a shame that much of Bruce’s memories or at least how he chose to put them on the page are false, incorrect, missing details or just outright lies.  This doesn’t change their quality of storytelling, but if one wants to really learn about the history of Stampede wrestling or even Bruce’s own wrestling career, this isn’t the place to look.

As the book continues down its path Bruce is also much more bitter than Bret ever came across in his book.  Of course in respect, he has every reason to be bitter.  Even through the lies and machinations, the hardships that Bruce experienced do shine and they set him apart as a person way different than his more famous family members.  He seems to have a lot of vitriol for his former brother-in-laws David Smith and Dynamite Kid and he holds no punches with them, but he equally seems to have a detest for Bret.  He also seems to feel he deserves credit for Bret’s success, stating he ghost wrote every single column in the Calgary Sun and that every decision and gimmick concept that Bret used to become “The Hitman” came from him.  I find this a little hard to believe.  As hard it is to believe that every single time Bruce had the chance to make it big, some crisis happened or someone else messed it up and his family screwed it all up for him.

Even for as much respect and love he shows his father Stu and the great history, which seems more accurate than anything in the book, of Stampede’s beginnings, the latter passages show that he equally feels like his father was to blame for failure and he was the reason they had success, but since he was “in charge”, he had to take credit for everything, be it failure or success.

Later on, he seems to pull back on his anger of Stu, but the feelings on Bret do not stop and sound tantamount to slander, but its such interesting and intriguing slander that it comes across as awesome fiction instead of a statement.  Which as I stated much of the book comes across as, as have many other wrestling books.  Unlike the very personal and open statements of Mick Foley or Chris Jericho’s books, Bruce’s book have much more in common with the books he personally quotes from, such as Ric Flair and Vince Russo.  This isn’t history, it’s HIS history and he backs it up with other people’s skewed histories instead of the video truth.

There’s also a ton of hypocrisy in his world view, but that also makes for fascinating and compelling reading.  In the end though he thanks us the most and hopes we enjoyed the read, as much as he’s enjoyed the ride.  I did indeed.

I would’ve like some further clarity on the current situation of his life, where he once again got married to a woman 20 years younger than him and had a child at 56.  He skipped ahead from his father’s passing in 2003 to Bret’s return to the fold of Vince McMahon’s corporation (in which Bret continues to appear in 2011 and probably beyond).  Much happened in those intervening years though.  I guess Bruce couldn’t think of a sufficient lie to tell to make that interesting.

It may seem crazy, but I still highly recommend Straight From The Heart, just go in there with an open mind.  You can choose to also take it at face value and if you’re not a real wrestling fan who actually gives a damn, do that and enjoy it, cause well, you will.

Addendum:  The book has some awesome photos.  Here’s an example:

The book also provides you names and time periods that while his memories of how things went down is inaccurate, they give you a great guide to the resource that is the internet and you can find lots of classic Stampede wrestling on Youtube:

Bruce Hart vs. Dynamite Kid

Owen Hart vs. “Bad News” Allen

R.I.P. Macho Man

(above photo taken by me at a 2006 CD signing in NYC)

On May 20, 2011, Randall Poffo, best known to the world as “Macho Man” Randy Savage was unwrapped from his mortal coil.  Reports account his death occurring from a combination heart attack and fatal car accident.

Savage was easily one of my favorite of all time.  He brought everything I liked about wrestling into a secure package.  Flamboyancy, technical athletics, insane rumblings, maniacal interviews and a never say die attitude.  When everyone went right, he went left.  I’d say his promos and raps tell his tale better than anything ever could.

Sugar was sweet and so was honey.  Macho Man went to the top, fell down, got back up and went to the top again.  The mountain was there standing like a pillar of salt and he just tossed it behind his back like a rock, paper, scissors.  You don’t see the steamroller coming till it’s ahead of you and you’ve been flattened out.  An elbowdrop from the top is what it was all about.  Yellow and Pink, Purple and green, red and black, colors bleed and so does blood.  Hardcore before there was hardcore, he piledrove Ricky Morton on a table and it didn’t break.  That hurts more than breakaway.

Did he become a joke with his rap album or just cement his legend of insanity and unpredictability?  I say the second, you can disagree.  It doesn’t matter, because heres to the Macho Man.

Hoping he’s off in some afterlife back together with Miss Elizabeth after their break up almost 20 years ago.  Or maybe he’s with Sherri.  He has his pick, he’s the Macho Man!

When it comes to lovin’, she steals the show

Any person who doesn’t appreciate the sexiness and awesomeness that is TNA Knockout Rosie Lotta Love is no friend of mine.

The major difference between the song her name is inspired by and her is, she’s very pretty.

and here she is in action against another large woman which really shows off how pretty Mary-Kate (her real name) is.

TNA has uploaded her “debut” match and follow-up angle and interview.

She wears that Teddy really well and even makes that slut make-up look good. Yay for the big woman!