To say I’m behind on my blog here would be an understatement. I just went through and cleaned up my drafts. (IE, removed stuff that I’d started and won’t bother finishing because it’s no longer topical or relevant). I’m still left with over 50 drafts. And that DOESN’T include at least a dozen or so that I know are coming but I’ve not officially started.
All of that said, I figured tonight is as good a night as any to get to some of my backlog so I’m doing just that.
The WWE Encyclopedia Updated & Expanded was published in November of 2012 and I got it for Christmas that year. As the name states, this is a true encyclopedia of all things WWE / WWF covering all eras. As with most of coffee table books, it’s really more of a reference or something you’ll flip through from time to time rather than read it cover to cover. That being said, there’s so much in here that you really COULD read it start to finish.
It is touted as “The Definitive Guide To WWE” and I’ve got a hard time arguing with that statement. The first thing I looked for when opening the book told me just how inclusive this was… It includes Chris Benoit. And while it doesn’t go into details on his death (nor would I expect it to) it gives him a half page spread and talks about his accomplishments. As far as I know, this is by far the most the WWE has referenced Benoit either on air on in print since his death.
That huge positive aside, there’s still clearly politics at play here. If you look at the cover (front, back and inside jacket) you’ll notice a glaring absence: Hulk Hogan. I can’t say I blame WWE though. At the time of publication, Hogan was the acting general manager of TNA. Luckily, the hard feelings didn’t extend into the book and WWE gave the Hulkster the treatment he deserves with a full two page spread.
Hindsight being what it is, inclusion of CM Punk front and center on the cover and Superfly Jimmy Snuka flying over the entire historical roster weren’t the best choices, but they were working with that they knew at the time.
Hall of Famers are recognized with a seal on their entry that tells which year they were inducted which is a nice touch. The book also includes timelines for each championship, entries for PPVs, referees and The Undertaker’s Streak (20-0 at the time of printing).
One thing I did find sort of weird was where they placed folks in the book – by FIRST name. If you’re looking for Ric Flair, you need to go to the R section. I would have assumed he would have show up in the Fs. A small, nit picky issue to be certain, but one I wanted to point out. It’s not even really an issue until you’re looking up something like the Hart family. I’d expect to see Bret and Owen in close proximity, but based on the first name format, they’re in totally different areas.
All of that said, the WWE Encyclopedia Updated & Expanded is a simply outstanding book and every wrestling fan will enjoy it. You can pick up a copy on Amazon. You’ll be glad you did. It’s worth every penny. Strongest of recommends.