Dillon looks back on his 40 years of experience in professional wrestling, both inside and outside the ring, in this tell-all autobiography.
As a high-schooler, Dillon revered wrestling legends like Bruno Sammartino, Killer Kowalski, Haystack Calhoun, Gorilla Monsoon and Two-Ton Harris. He recounts the transition from simply admiring this fraternity of strong, costumed men from afar to becoming one of them. We learn that these strange characters were not only exceptionally devoted to their fans and their craft, but that they counseled Dillon to get a college education before turning pro. He effectively captures the feeling of being in the ring, initially as a referee and then as â€œtalent”–how the fights were scripted and how blood was spilled (typically from a condom inserted in the mouth and bitten). He includes descriptions of signature moves from the greats, including the figure-four leg lock, the squash in the corner and the bionic elbow. At the same time, Dillon ably depicts the camaraderie, when fighters would drive together hundreds of miles to perform a piece of crowd-pleasing, athletic showmanship, and then do it all over again the next day, all the while dreaming up new moves to keep the fans satisfied. Moving to the front office of the wrestling business, first with the World Wrestling Federation and then with World Championship Wrestling, Dillon proves that wearing a tie instead of tights often can be meaner than anything that goes on between the ropes. He chronicles the kind of back stabbing and dirty business that would sicken any professional wrestler, as it did Dillon.
Readers’ opinions of professional wrestling may well be effected by Dillon’s story; on the other hand, their expectations for business executives will remain dismal. (photographs throughout)