Thursday, November 16, 2017
WWE: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
This is a nice, if greatly abridged, visual history of WWE (Or, as I will forever know it, "The WWF"), but it's far from, as the title proclaims, EVERYTHING you need to know.
First off, WWE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW is basically a book for younger fans, so it doesn't have the same depth and sense of history as other DK WWE books, such as their book about The Ultimate Warrior, or their 30 year history of Wrestlemania. There's nothing wrong with being light and frothy, but there were a few things in this book that really rubbed me the wrong way.
Each wrestler's entry has a brief bio that includes their "Debut"....would it have killed WWE to admit when they made their real in-ring debut? For instance, Chris Jericho is said to have debuted on August 9th, 1999. He had already been performing for nearly a decade at that point. WWE owns WCW, where Jericho had spent much of his early career.....why not mention that? I wouldn't care if the listing was "WWE Debut", but it's not. This makes veterans like A.J. Styles look like they just decided, one day in their late 30's, to give wrestling a shot. (Styles is listed as debuting in 2016....Again, I don't expect them to talk about his time in TNA, but at least give us his real in-ring debut date.
Another thing that bugged me is the book's selective use of history. Has Chris Jericho's reign as the first undisputed World Heavyweight Champion been retconned out of existence? Jericho's first World Championship is listed as happening in 2008, a full seven years after he was crowned the first undisputed champion after defeating Stone Cold Steve Austin AND The Rock in a tournament. That's a huge accomplishment to try to sweep under the rug. (On the other hand, the book mentions Chris Benoit a few different times, which is a big change from the way that WWE has basically tried to scrub away his very existence.)
Small quibbles, but...these things bother me. I'd love to see DK do a REAL "Everything You Need to Know" book about WWE, but this is as close as we'll probably ever get. It is a nice, attractive primer for newer fans, though. Longtime fans can probably take a pass.
WWE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW earns a fun, if inconsequential eight out of ten Daniel Bryan goat-faces:
DK Books provided a review copy.